Fine June skiing from May 1st to 3rd at the Columbia Icefields. WARM, CLEAR and not a dry snowflake in sight. Good freeze every night and good skiing up high. Getting very lean or dry below the glaciers.
We had good skiing above treeline at Parkers Ridge on Sunday and it was "manageable" skiing below treeline at 3pm.
Today we skied up the Boundary Glacier and down the Hilda Glacier. The Boundary Glacier moraines were easy to get to but we walked with skis on our packs all the way from the Hwy. Good ski travel above there for now and excellent corn on the Hilda Glacier side at 10:30am. It was much more rugged than Sunday getting down the last 100 vertical meters on the lower Parker's Ridge to the Hilda Hostel as it is melting fast. A couple of bare sections had to be crossed and the snow in the trees now has a nasty selection of frozen ski trenches, human sized craters, variable crusts and wet weak snow.
Yesterday we skied from the toe of the Athabasca Glacier to the summit of Snowdome in excellent early summer conditions. The 2nd Icefall can be passed on the left of center but it does require some fancy ski walking or cramponing on bare ice in a few places. Snow was fairly shallow at the top of the Athabasca glacier and on the upper south face of Snowdome. Good, easy roped travel going up but I thought it would be a terribly lonely place in bad light unroped. It felt reasonable skiing down unroped on Monday but we had perfect light and it was still a solid snowpack with a good fast corn surface all the way down to the flats where the Snowcoaches turn around. Somewhat sticky from there down at 3pm.
25c in the shade in Canmore at 4pm. Hard to believe it was great skiing 6 hrs ago:)
ACMG Mountain Guide