Ski Conditions

Icefall Traverse

Lyell icefield

Ski Conditions

A ski guide exam took place on the icefall traverse from April 30th to May 7th. The week started quite wintery on the Lyell icefield skiing classic objectives around the Mons and Lyell huts. Later in the week the conditions turned to a classic spring diurnal cycle and we stayed at the Icefall and Rostrum huts. We skied various snow conditions from corn to powder and a few alpine slopes up to 40 degrees. We started skiing early and finished early in the afternoon. Our default travel method on glaciers was to rope up unless we had good reasons not to.

Snowpack summary: In general, the glaciers have a settled snowpack of 260cm-320cm. Solar aspects have many melt freeze crusts which gave sudden results in snow pits down ~60cm in facets. We also felt a few whumpfs which we suspect were on this layer. There was still dry snow on north aspects in the alpine above 2400m. There is an isothermal snowpack below 2200m due to weak refreezes over the last few days. On May 6-7th we received 5cm of snow at icefall lodge (1900m) and suspect 20cm in the alpine with freezing levels starting up at 2900m and dropping below 1900m by the end of the storm.

Avalanche conditions: We saw several loose wet avalanches up to size 3, a size 2 glide slab, and small windslabs throughout the week. We noticed several cornice tabs were failing but never pulled any significant slabs. We were not very concerned with any PWL’s during the week.

SGE candidates and examiners.

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.