With the understanding that forecasted high temperatures combined with one of the shortest nights of the year might not make for the best snow conditions, we attempted the SE Face of Diadem Peak today (June 20) from a camp in Woolley Creek.
Fording the Sunwapta River was easy - less than knee deep. Yesterday afternoon there was evidence of recent wet loose snow avalanches and icefall debris up to size 2 off all the peaks in the area, and we witnessed a few rockfalls and avalanches. There is a cornice at the top of the main couloir on the SE face, but taking the left branch would avoid it.
This morning it was 10 degrees when we left camp at 1.30 AM. The winter snow was firm and good traveling on the lower glacier, but as soon as we hit the snow from the storm last week at about 2500 m we started postholing to the mid shin and it was very wet. This was the case even on avalanche debris and bed surfaces, where we thought it would be better traveling. Slow going combined with rockfall/avalanche/icefall hazards due to the warm temperatures made us turn around. We pulled the pin at 2650m and were back in camp by 4.30 AM.
Be prepared for slow travel on the Icefields Parkway as there is a lot of construction happening. It added at least an hour to the drive.