Mount Waddington Area Ski Conditions
Waddington Ski Traverse
I was guiding in the Mount Waddington area from April 18-25 with Dan F, Dave L and Stephen C. We flew into Furry Gap with Mike King White Saddle Air and traversed south east (with some peak bagging) to the bottom of the Waddington Glacier. Finishing just below Pivot Dome at Tree Line.
Weather conditions where cool. Average day time temps were -5 to -10. Nights where -10 to -20. We had new snow every day except April 24th.
At higher elevations we experienced predominantly winter snowpack conditions with not a hint of warm Spring effect the exception being steep south aspects and the last day the sun left a crust on all solar aspects below 2000m. Near tree line the upper meter of snow was isothermal on all solar aspects.
Avalanche hazard was mostly Moderate. North and West aspects from 2000m to 2400m showed isolated current and recent slab activity to Sz 3.5. Maybe failing on March 23 surface hoar 1-3 meters down?
It's been over 20 years since I tripped here and I noticed some route changes probably due to glacial recession. The snow gully to the skiers L of the Furry Icefall has gotten narrower. There is only 15 to 20m separating rock from blue ice in a couple of locations. The Finality Glacier (just below the top of Mt Finality) has steepend a bit and now shows a short icefall. The south side of the Jester/Waddinton Col is almost totally ice free and a bit steeper.
There is now a substancial shrund/moat just below tbe summit of Mt Munday that goes side to side but is passable on the left side. The Munday Glacier has receded creating a short headwall at the Munday Gl/Bravo Gl col. This now requires about 50m of 40-55 degrees scrambling. Also, the Waddington Glacier looks more broken up. We used the Waddington Gl/Bert Gl route instead. The N side of the Waddington Glacier still looks passable but may require using some steeper slopes.
It was so good to get back into the area and do what is probably the Coast Mountains premier ski traverse :)