Climbing Conditions

Wapta Icefield Conditions

Wapta Icefield

Climbing Conditions

We spent the weekend on a traverse from Peyto Lake to Bow Lake, with a night spent at the Whyte Hut.

Peyto Creek was easily forded in the braided section near the lake, with only a few steps up to knee deep.

Mostly bare ice was encountered on the icefield until about 2600 m. Above that elevation there was 10-20 cm of snow with a firm crust on top which made for easy traveling but has started to mask crevasses. Lots of probing was required to ensure we did not stick a leg into a hole (which was only partially successful as two of our party did just that).

Another party reported 30 cm or more of snow near ridgecrests at 2900-3000 m.

I haven't been at this end of the icefield in the summer in several years and the glacial recession is staggering. Since my first visit here in 1988 the Peyto glacier has receded almost a kilometre and a large lake has formed below the toe in the past few seasons. Near the hut I estimate there has been at least 30 m of ice thickness lost. This has caused true elevations to be quite a bit less than the given map elevation, which is a consideration for white out navigation.

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.