ACMG Mountain Conditions Report for Rockies
The PMCR has issues a last summary for the Rockies, a must read for those still heading out:
ACMG Mountain Conditions Report Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains issued May 19, 2011
This is the first ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the 2011 season. The Canadian Avalanche Centre is putting out what is probably it's last bulletin for the season today. This first summary will focus mainly on travelling conditions so please reference the CAC bulletin for current avalanche and snowpack conditions. It can be viewed at http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/bu.....ins/latest
Spring has arrived in the Rockies and Columbias but it feels more like late april than mid may.
In the Columbia mountains and along the Rockies Divide, snow is still to be found as low as 1200m and people are still skiing to the valley in Rogers Pass.
Forecasting mountain travel conditions in general is pretty straightforward for the time being. If it doesn't freeze overnight, skiing and walking could be miserable. With a good freeze and no recent snowfalls you should be able to go almost anywhere that holds snow. Crevasse bridges are starting to sag after all this warmth so warm weather whiteout navigation on the icefields will be even less fun than usual.
Rivers are still relatively low but the creeks are coming up and the snowbridge creek crossings are getting skinnier and weaker. Bears are coming out and are probably pretty limited as to where they can get food by all the snow.
It is raining moderately hard in Canmore right now(noon) but no snowline in sight. Front ranges rock routes are mostly snow free except the real high north faces. Snow is likely to be encountered on north slopes like the back of yamnuska.
Waterfall ice climbing is of course almost done. Anywhere with daggers overhead is a really bad idea at this time of year but psycho keeners could probably still find some sheltered places in the dry ranges if they really need a last fix.
Alpine climbing could be awesome when things cool down but I would guess it will be nasty while it is grey and warm.
Sometime in the future(June?), if and when it warms up to real spring temperatures we may have another BIG avalanche and cornice fall cycle. For now the snow is just sitting there, like an uninvited guest on your couch:)
ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide