Climbing Conditions

4 photos

Athabasca, A2, Andromeda

Columbia Icefields

Climbing Conditions

A few aspiring AAG's spent the past three days doing day climbs at the Icefields.

In general, climbing conditions were good. Snow on steep slopes offered nice supportive step kicking/cramponing, although would have skied poorly (and lines such as skyladder and silverhorn have plenty of ice showing).
Walking conditions were poor with step plugging on all lower angled slopes/glaciers in breakable windslab or crust, and isothermal trudging late this morning below 2700m on boundary glacier.
One notable avalanche observed - a Sz 2.5 Wind Slab from the ramp route (crown ran along the schrund) on Wednesday PM. Hangfire remains. See photo.

Route details: Backed off Asteroid Alley due to lack of ice on the crux (steep rubble buried by snow plugs instead), but Shooting Gallery looks in (substantial spindrift the day we visited). We enjoyed athabasca North Face on Thursday, the short snow slope just under the schrund didn't feel perfect (soft weak snow down 30cm) so we started on climbers left where the slope to the schrund has the least consequence. Above the schrund, Snow for perhaps 2 ropelengths, then primarily ice. Entire crux pitch had snice on the rock and a little water ice also. Today we climbed A2 in snow squalls before forecast precip this afternoon (it's now raining steadily in Jasper), up Athabasca N glacier and down Boundary glacier (both offered straightfoward roped glacier travel on mainly snow).

Ruari Macfarlane

On The Map

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.