Hello! Guided an ascent of Spray River Falls (near Banff) today on Sulphur Mtn. The route is in great shape and takes ice screws well. Some wet ice here and there but much dryer conditions than 2 weeks ago. Welcome back winter!
The approach is nice right now with a mostly frozen and supportive trail in the snow. All of the approach is below threshold, with exception to the base of the route where spindrift slabs can be found. The terrain directly above the route is definitely holding enough snow to knock a lead climber off if it were to initiate and slide (see pic). The terrain above this (hidden fr. the top out) is likely holding enough snow pose a real avy hazard in the right conditions and justifies bringing avy gear. We brought our transceiver/shovel/probe with us. We did observe some minor snow sluffing out of steep rocky terrain, as well as, lots of new Surface Hoar growth (10mm SH in the parking lot).
Today’s weather conditions:
Temps were -16c at the car (0700am) and warmed up to roughly -10c by mid day. Scattered skis all day. No precip. Calm winds where we travelled with what looked like consistent light SW ridge top winds, as seen on Mt. Rundle.
Overall a great day and we were happy with our terrain/route choice.
Ridgeline Guiding Services