Mount Olive, Wapta Icefield
We skied up past bow hut today (December 3rd) and climbed Mount Olive. Noticeably warm down flow had us down to t-shirts as we entered the canyon, in the shade, at 9am. It was -13 in the parking lot at 8:30am. There was definitely warm air in the alpine, but it felt cool with light to moderate SW wind.
There was just enough snow in the lower elevations, and we had fast travel from valley to peak (4.5 hours). We probed between 180-240 cm while ascending the climber’s left side of the Bow Glacier above Bow Hut (2600m).
We ascended on the east side of St. Nic, only removing skis for a short walk over bare rocks, and we descended the same line down.
Windward alpine slopes (SW facing) are looking very bare. The skiing was supportive with variable quality, and excellent turns on the glacier above Bow Hut.
No whumphing noted in the areas skied, no recent avalanche activity noted.
Beautiful day in the alpine with clear skies. The Bow Lake ice surface stayed frozen all day, no slush on the surface of the ice.
A quiet day on the Wapta, with one group of three seen during the day, at the St. Nic - Olive col as we descended. Another guide was in the Crowfoot Glacier area, and said the ski quality was pretty good.
ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide