Climbing Conditions

1 photos

Columbia, Athabasca, Andromeda

Columbia Icefields

Climbing Conditions

We climbed Mt Columbia on May 27 from a camp at 2900 m on the Columbia Icefield. The approach via the zig-zag route through the icefalls on the Athabasca Glacier was reasonably filled in. The lower glacier is rapidly melting out though and you may need to carry skis for a bit soon. The East Face on the peak itself had punchy crusts and we were happy to follow older boot steps.

We had a good look at Athabasca and Andromeda on the way by and as previous reports have stated they are surprisingly dry. It is not an exaggeration to say I have seen more snow on those peaks in many Julys. On Athabasca the North Face, North Face Bypass and Silverhorn routes are all quite icy. On Andromeda the AA col face to the East Ridge, Skyladder and all the north bowl routes are icy as well. The bottom of Skyladder still has snow through the rock band. Bergshrunds will already be problematic on some routes.

Of interest - a wolverine visited the icefield on Saturday afternoon. From his track it looks like he came up the Saskatchewan Glacier, investigated the Columbia Glacier and decided it was too dicey, and descended the Castleguard glacier. (See pic).

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.