Mountain Conditions Report Coastal Mountains
The latest conditions from the ACMG Mountain Conditions Report Summary for the Coastal Mountains issued June 02, 2011:
Heads Up and Hazards!
This section if for you if you are planning to go into the mountains over the next few days.
Avalanche season is not over in the alpine, 20-40cm of new snow above 2000m will become moist and very reactive on Friday afternoon. Surface slides and sluffing could persist through the weekend well into next week. Forecasted warm temperatures could initiate a long delayed spring avalanche cycle. Keep an eye on what is overhead and think twice about where you set up camp. Large avalanches could reach valley bottom.
Also be aware that warm temperatures will raise river levels over the weekend, make sure your tent isn’t too close to the water and that you can get home if the rivers swell while you are out there.
10-20mm of rain fell around the Coast today except Squamish and Hope where it was way more. The rain will ease tonight and at least 4 days of nice weather is forecast. Valley temperatures will climb to 25degrees except around the sea where they will be a few degrees colder. Freezing levels will peak between 3200-3500m during the days and drop at night.
There is still 2-4 meters of snow above treeline and patchy snow still exists as low as 700m above sea level in some places. There is about 100cm of snow at the summit of the Duffy Lake road, and probably close to that on the Coquihalla.
The snow is saturated and you will likely be "post holing" for most of the day. Saturday, Sunday and early into next week a crust that can support body weight is likely to develop overnight, but will break down early in the day. It’s worth throwing a pair of snowshoes in your purse if you are heading into the high country.
There are still cornices out there guarding the ridge tops and threatening the valleys below. Give them lots of space.
Squamish rock was drying quickly until last night. The winter seeps are starting to dry out and people are climbing pretty much everything on the Apron, North Walls and Grand Wall areas. Don’t get me wrong it is not September, and you will have to tape your cuffs to your wrists if you try Rock On or the Ultimate Everything.
In the Bluffs and other cragging areas the climbs that are normally ascended dry are good to go, or will be by the weekend. The climbs that are normally climbed wet…well, they’re good to go too!
The falcon closures are in effect on the Chief and there have been many bears hanging around.
All the trails into the alpine are still covered with snow to some degree. The more popular trails make for good travel, but early in the morning you might want crampons and late in the day you will sink to your hips if you step off the beaten path.
On logging roads around the coast you will reach snow at about 900-1000m elevation east of Vancouver and south of Squamish. On the roads north of Squamish expect to reach snow at 600-800m and throughout the Coast Range roads are still blocked by avalanche debris from late winter.
By my estimation it will be another 2-4 days before the dozer breaks through the Hurley pass. They are clearing the road from the north. Driving from Pemberton you can get as far as the Tenquille Lake trail around Km 18.
The Upper Lillooet River FSR is ploughed (or melted out) to South Creek on the on the one side and all the way to the Meager junction on the north side. If they aren’t already, they will start logging out there in the next few days. Avalanches could still reach some of the higher spurs on these roads.
The west Harrison Lake road to Tippella and Port Douglas has been reopened over the last 2 months or so.
During a flight last week we observed a large avalanche cycle that had occurred in the Bridge Range and Montrose Range about 10-14 days ago. The slides extended as far south as the north end of the Pemberton icecap and east to the Icemaker area. The slides were likely the February layer and only 1-2 meters deep. There is still lots of snow and potentially weak deeper layers that could still become active.
Other than surface sluffing we saw no new avalanches in Garibaldi or the Squamish Elaho divide on that flight last Friday.
Have fun out there,
ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide