Avalanche Conditions

2 photos

Avalanche Conditions

Just out from 3 days around the Bow Hut. Probably the most wind-scoured I have seen the area in almost 30 years. Snow coverage on the glacier at the level of the Wapta crest around the St. Niklaus wind scoop is anything from 240cm to nothing, but mostly around 125cm where probed. Brutal winds and low viz turned us around yesterday until we ventured out again later in the afternoon for some turns. Ski quality was hard wind crust with the odd thin softer bits that made for "decent" turns. As so often on the Wapta when the winds blow this hard I could not make out wind-deposited snow/wind slabs, but you may find them in easterly and steeper locations along ridges and steep benches at treeline.

That being said, a party traversing to the top of Bow Falls yesterday reported fresh debris from the steep easterly slopes below the Onion. With a bit of sun when skiing out this AM it appears that the massive cornice released yesterday and triggered a 2.5ish slide (see image).

Winds died down around 4AM today and we woke up to about 5cm overnight that was blown around quite a bit.

Talking to a party that entered the Wapta via Peyto Lake reported it was "a big mistake" citing super-low snow coverage, difficult creek crossing and the steep moraine being barren and frozen rock hard.

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.