On the drive toward the Crowfoot Parking Lot (on the way to Helen Shoulder) we encountered 30cm or more of new snow. Lots of very recent avalanche activity was noted (from the last 12 hours or less). Many avalanches had wide propagations up to size 3, some to deep facets or near ground with some pretty long runouts. Lots of wind loading at ridge-tops was noted as we drove. Cornices were building. There was lots of evidence of wind affected snow / wind slabs in open areas at treeline and in the alpine. The sun was poking out and starting to warm the solar aspects (facing the sun). Temperature at the parking lot at 10:00 was -3.

Just as we were about to leave the road to do our tour, Parks closed the road and we had to head back to Lake Louise. If we had embarked on the tour we would have stuck to simple, conservative terrain and avoided all avalanche terrain. Of particular concern would have been any overhead hazard, especially steep slopes or cornices above and any wind-loaded lee slopes.

See our photos of avalanches on Bow Peak and Crowfoot Peaks.

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.