Icefields - Athabasca/A2
This past weekend the Icefields, the ACMG TAP program had 3 instructors and 9 participants undertaking alpine guide courses. The Icefields were in quite good shape with pleasant travel conditions on the glaciers over this past weekend.
Travel was good on Saturday June 12th but even better on Sunday June 13th due to clearer skies and a solid radiation freeze overnight forming a supportive crust..
We probed depths at the margins of the snowpack to 70cm and we probed 150-200cm at 2700 meters around the Mt. Athabasca. Snowpack was isothermal in some areas below 2500 meters.
Another guided party reported up to 280cm of snow at the beginning of the Silverhorn route with depths tapering to 50-80cm of snow on the lower half of the route that appeared to be well bonded to the glacial ice at the time.
There were also parties on the Ramp on Athabasca and parties climbing Athabasca via the AA col as well as A2/Hilda.
Temperatures ranged from 1.0 - 16.0 C through both days.
To support Mike Adolf's observations from this area last week and this week, there is still a great deal of snow at both Treeline and in the Alpine. As such, all instructors and candidates carried avalanche safety equipment in terrain steep enough to avalanche and/or had enough snow to produce avalanches.
We also undertook our objectives by utilising early starts and early finishes to minimize our exposure time.
With this latest storm there will likely be some new snow with moderate to strong north winds and cooler temps potentially increasing the avalanche hazard in the short term.
Icefields campground and Wilcox are opening by 15th of June. Camping available at Jonas Creek campground if you are headed that way.