Ski Conditions

Homathko Icecap Traverse.

Homathko Icecap

Ski Conditions

I guided a 10 day traverse of the Homathko Icecap from May 1-10.

Danny, Janey, Dave, Stephen, Frank and I flew with White Saddle Air to a 2320m col just north of Mt Grenville.

Mt Grenville's glaciers have thinned out dramatically in the 34 years since I last visited this section of the icecap. In the past the NE glacier used to be a steady ramp leading to the S ridges glacier but it now presents as a melteded out dish leading to a challenging shrund and a thinish ridge.

Most purely glacial locations (not rock) on the trip showed a 30-100m variation of GPS height versus the 1970 surveyed map heights. An average surface height drop of 60m! The upshot is the beautiful protruding rocky peaks are relatively bigger and their associated ridges are horizontaly longer. The Queen Bess Glaciers has receded 3km.

We easily traversed north along the upper 1/3rds of the Heakamie and Jewakwa Glacier complexes to Sasquatch Pass weathering a 2 day storm and skiing slopes. Many crevasses showed on on the surface as obvious sags but this winter's snow was always deeper than my 3 m probe length.

We had mostly good weather but one storm brought about 25cm of snow. It quickly bonded to the warm moist snow below.
We saw only two Sz 2 new slabs off steep ridge top features. During the last two days the temps warmed and numerous small cornices and loose wet slopes released to Sz 2.5

At the north end of the icecap for a final day trip we kicked steps up Mt Saint John. We got picked up by Mike and his 407 above the Queen Bess Glacier near Mt Burghley.

We got a great spring trip, found really good skiing on true north aspects and came out totally sun roasted. My lips will be peeling for a while...

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.