Mt Lorette, Eisenhower Tower, Joy
Over May 21-23 we climbed the standard (South facing) routes on Lorette and Joy (Kananaskis Country) and Eisenhower Tower (Castle Mtn, Banff NP). All three routes were in fairly good condition.
Lorette had no issues with snow, but even pre-dam release in the AM the river seemed high and we opted for the stoney trail approach.
Eisenhower; the rockbound lake trail held scattered patches of snow upto knee deep on the shaded aspect, just before the climbers trail turns off (as per Banff Rock guidebook description), and occasional manageable patchs or areas of snow on the approach; on the dragons back, in the notch, and on the summit. We were glad of mountain boots, gaitors would have a bonus. We took an ice axe and didn't use it in soft snow conditions, but may have had it been a solid freeze. Notably, the rappel descent on the East side of the notch puts you on slopes still snow covered, corniced & avalanche prone. Instead, we retraced our route along the dragons back. Recommend the rap descent down the rib (as opposed to the adjacent gully) on the rap line on the tower, as the snow patch in the middle of the south face is still large and better avoided.
Rockbound lake trail further upvalley is still deeply snow covered. brewers butress and most other routes look dry but the descent gully on the upper tier is very snowy. Large snow patchs linger on Goat Plateau.
Joy - we had to wait an hour before starting for some Mountain Goats above to pass through the area, and many ticks were squashed on the upper portion of the route; otherwise good conditions! Some notable natural rockfall from high on the route for a 20min period mid morning gave us pause as the sun heated the face, but no snow patches threaten the route after pitch 1. Access to the hiking trail descent is still largely snowy; but only one isolated low angle snow arete to negotiate if taking the scree gully descent (tan coloured scree gully furthest lookers right of Joy - recommended).