Columbia Icefields- Boundary Peak
Spent 3 days (Oct. 14-16) in the Columbia Icefields and guided an ascent of Boundary Peak on Sunday, Oct. 15.
All three days had continuously strong winds from the W-SW and very strong wind gusts that kept our attention. I found myself pitching out easy glacial ice terrain that is usually short-roped due to the risk of being blown over. In addition to the high winds, wind slab avalanches were our main concern. Having not been in the area recently, we chose to bring avalanche gear on our ascent day and travelled cautiously to minimize and avoid our exposure to consequential wind-loaded features. Glacial travel was pretty good with easy probing to ice which helped us to avoid any thinly bridged crevasses. HS was 30-50cm on the Little A glacier (Athabasca's N. gl.) as we approached the Boundary-Athabasca col. Foot pen was generally 30-40cm on the glacier; deeper in some spots where trail breaking was slow. Also noteworthy were two different Melt Freeze crusts in the lower snowpack that I'd want to keep my eye on until they likely facet out.
As we departed the forecasted snow was coming in and conditions will only be getting touchier as the winds were still howling.
Winter keeps coming! Get stoked for more Snow and Ice!
Ridgeline Guiding Services