Climbing Conditions

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Climbing Conditions

I just completed two back-to-back trips to the Bow Hut and Wapta Icefield for the ACC.

The first trip (Aug 25-28) provided excellent late-summer weather and conditions with mainly clear skies and solid freezes providing fast, easy travel to the summit of Mount Gordon. I was still probing just over a metre of dense snowpack on the flats of the icefield (~2800m) where typically by this point in the season would be bare glacial ice. In fact, there still remains a wide strip of snow all the way to the toe of the glacier. In general, coverage (in comparison with recent previous years) is more like mid-July as opposed to of late August making for well-covered and well-bridged cravasses.

The second trip (Aug 29-31) felt more like fall than summer with a skiff (1-2cm) of new snow and 0 C temperatures in the morning until about noon. The new snow wasn't enough to start masking crevasses but it also wasn't melting very fast.

That concludes four trips this summer to the Bow Hut and some of the best glacier travel conditions I have experienced in more than a decade. COVID-19 has made hut trips tricky but the silver lining was an entire Bow Hut to ourselves. We managed this new hazard with limited participants (6 max), daily screening, physical distancing, masks (always on when in the hut except eating and sleeping), exhaustive hand washing and touch-point sanitizing.

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.