Columbia Icefields Area
Jasper Visitor Safety team spent the day May 28th on the Columbia Icefields and found the following conditions.
Overall, the snow coverage was good throughout the icefield. General snowpack depth in the accumulation zone was 3m+. North Twin and South Twin were in good shape in terms of snow covering the steeper ice faces making it excellent for ski travel. There looked to be a couple seracs and crevasses that may present some challenges in the col between North Twin and Twins Tower.
There were no signs of significant avalanche activity on the Columbia Icefield itself. There was no evidence of any persistent weak layers or large avalanches. One small (Size 2) previous ice fall triggered wind slab out of steep terrain on the North Face of South Twin was the only avalanche activity noted on the upper elevations of the ice field.
The access via the Athabasca Glacier through the icefalls and ramps on the climbers right side was generally thought to be in good shape overall. There was a lot of ice and avalanche debris on the bench under the icefall making the crevasse navigation a little less tricky. There is still, although minimal, snow coverage all the way to the toe of the glacier.
Tim Johnson ACMG ASG/AAG
Jesse Milner ACMG SG/AAG
Darren Vonk ACMG AG
Attached is a photo of the upper Athabasca Glacier