After getting scooped on Plan A this morning (first time that's EVER happened in Revelstoke), we went and climbed the first couple of pitches of Venous Return at 3 Valley Gap. The first pitch is usually a bolted mixed climb through a tunnel, but today it was all ice (It took me about 5 minutes to make a hole in the ice big enough to get through). The ice in Revelstoke has fattened up a tonne in the last week, everything I've seen looks good to go and the ice is less aerated than normal.
The snow surface at valley bottom is currently 10cm of facets (or wind slab on facets) overlying about 10cm of melt-freeze crust and then ground. Winds at the 3 Valley Remote weather station (1165m around the top of most of the start zones) were up to 50kph NE in the past 12 hours, and we observed a few small spindrift avalanches today. As soon as we get any new snow I wouldn't want to be on most of the longer ice climbs, as they generally have steep, sustained and confined avalanche tracks that will entrain a lot of snow with the current snow surface.
Looks like there may be a few days left before it snows?
Photo #1 Venous Return
Photo #2 Gap Falls