Ski Conditions

2 photos

Wapta Traverse Conditions Nov 10-13 2016

Wapta and Waputik Icefields, Banff National Park

Ski Conditions

4 Days spent on the Wapta Icefield over the Remembrance Day Long Weekend.

Snow and glacier conditions:
-Anywhere from 0-40cm between 1800-2100m depending on aspect and valley.
-Average of 115-150cm on glaciers with Balfour Glacier being an exception with probed depths up to 210cm
-Lots of apparent open crevasses but no encounters with questionable snow bridges
-Strong, uniform snowpack with surface of snow capped with a semi supportive melt freeze crust to 3000m. Snowpack was 'spring-like'.
-Signs of previous warming with glidecracks formed.

-Thursday: clear with evidence of strong winds in am at higher elevations
-Friday: few clouds and strong to extreme winds. Minimal transport and deposition considering extent of wind.
-Saturday: 5cm of warm/wet snowfall and moderate winds with temps 0 to -3 @ 2000-3000m
-Sunday: clearing in the am with cooler temperatures.

Avalanche conditions
-Minimal to no avalanche activity.
-Few size 1-2 natural loose wet following wet snowfall Saturday (12th)
-Few size 1 natural soft windslabs with extreme winds Friday (11th)

-Ski remained on back till the Peyto Glacier. Rockfall was a concern in the canyon with sun and warm temperatures.
-Exit down to Sherbrooke Lake had snow till the lake with sections of bootpacking and bushwacking

Overall, a successful and beautiful early season trip and hopefully the glaciers will be set up for a good year but low down still needs much more snow. Unusually warm late fall conditions.

For more photos:

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.