Ski Conditions

3 photos

Rugged Conditions

Wapta Icefield

Ski Conditions

I was in the Bow Hut/Peyto Hut area with the Yamnuska Mountain Skills Semester from November 13-18.

Conditions are challenging right now, and the ski in and out from Bow Hut was marginal at best. On the glaciers, average snow coverage was 55 cm. Crevasses were difficult to see due to coverage from hard wind slabs, but bridging was dubious to nonexistent.

During our trip, we experienced widespread, near constant whumphing, and we remotely triggered two size 1.5 slab avalanches on the northwest side of Mt Thompson, from a distance of 100 m (see attached photo).

On Nov 15-16 there was a natural avalanche cycle to size 2.5. Visibility was poor during that time, but on Nov 17 we observed crowns on Mt Baker, Mt Habel, Trapper Peak, Peyto Peak and the Bow Hut headwall. These avalanches were failing down approximately 40 cm on the storm snow interface, or on the ground.

Glacial ice has melted to an alarming extent on the Wapta. Gaining the summit ridge of Mt Gordon from the north requires 6 m of rock climbing, and the pleasant snow climb on the north ridge of Mt Olive is now a pile of loose boulders.

I am attaching photos of crevasses below the Mt Olive/Mt St Nicholas col as well as photos of the southeast ridge of Mt Rhonda. The icefield has changed dramatically over the last few years.

Grant Meekins
ACMG Mountain Guide
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

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.