Ski Conditions

4 photos

Wapta Icefields

Bow-Yoho Traverse

Ski Conditions

I finished a 7-day Bow-Yoho traverse today. Excellent skiing every day, with wintery weather producing over 40 cm of new storm snow throughout the week.

Our primary avalanche concerns were limited to small (1-1.5) storm and wind slabs on the surface. Overall the Wapta is in excellent shape with easy travel and well covered glaciers.

The best skiing was on northerly aspects. Two days ago the north side of Isolated Col made for a great break from skiing with heavy packs on the way to Stanley Mitchell, and yesterday we skied the glacier on the East side of the Secretary-Treasurer from the VP/ST col in the am, and President Glacier in the afternoon. We stopped about 200 m from the col out of concerns for the building storm slab, settling of the storm snow with the mild temps (around 0°), and poor visibility. Winds were calm.

At around 3:30 pm as we finished pulling our skins a big sluff came rumbling down off the President close enough to our tracks to warrant our retreat.

During the night another 20+ cm fell, and winds built to strong S-SW with widespread wind effect in the alpine evident in the morning as we traveled out via the Tak Falls road. It was a fine beautiful spring like day, with excellent travel and a perfect conclusion to our trip. A widespread cycle to size 1.5 out of steep/extreme E terrain could be seen but otherwise little avalanche activity from the storm. This should all settle out quickly over the next two days with good weather.

Ski crampons were not used on the trip although conditions could change to warrant them quickly enough.

A reminder to avoid the massive ice cliff in the center of the toe of Des Poilus glacier! See photo. I'm also attaching a photo of the Collie Icefall, skiing on the President Glacier, and the east facing Bow Glacier from last Sunday.

Tom Wolfe
Mountain Guide, ACMG/IFMGA
Guided Ski Touring - Wapta Icefields and Bow Yoho Traverses:

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.