Current conditions are excellent for alpine climbing, with dry rock on all routes and enough snow left on the glaciers to make for good travel and bridged bergschrunds. Rogers Pass, the Bugaboos, the Lake Louise group, the Columbia Icefields and Mt. Robson are all in prime summer condition right now.
Amazing what a couple of weeks of warm weather can do! Approaches are all pretty much snow-free now, and while glaciers still have healthy coverage, it is getting thinner by the day, with the firn line (the boundary between between last winters snow and the lower-elevation exposed ice) getting higher and higher. Overall, in the South and the North Coast regions, glaciers and crevassed areas are still well bridged, and moats/bergschrunds are still passable, though starting to open up.
With a sunny and clear forecast for the weekend, things are about as good as they get for many alpine climbing routes. In general dry rock is present on all aspects, snow coverage remains good on most higher elevation glaciers, and so far the snow travel has stayed good early in the morning. This is a good time to go after bigger summer objectives.
The amazing weather continues. Thunderstorms and some rain in most areas for Thursday night, but mainly sunny through the weekend with good overnight freezes possible.
The big story in the Banff/Kootenay area and numerous other areas in BC are the forest fires, which have prompted some area closures. Check websites for the region you are planning on visiting for developments on these. As well, more than one party has been smoked out of their climbing objective in the Rockies this past week due to air quality.
It’s mid July and the alpine conditions on the Coast are looking pretty fine right now! The weather forecast is as good as it gets, with continued clear skies and no storms. With clear nights, reports are of good travel on firm snow in the mornings, but expect the snow to lose strength quickly during the day.
The weather forecast is looking good for this coming weekend in the Rockies and the Columbia Mountains. At this time most areas are predicting a cloudy night on Saturday with small amounts of rain but, otherwise, it looks like clear skies and warm temperatures overall.
Most if not all alpine rock climbs are now in good condition and have been seeing traffic. Rogers Pass, the Valhallas, and the Bugaboos are all in excellent condition. The snow is quickly melting off of the glaciers however travel continues to be quite good.
Sent on behalf of Grant Statham:
The dog days of summer are “the hot, sultry days of summer”, and they are here now! Considering the 35 degree temperature in Revelstoke right now, and the forecast for this weekend – it’s safe to say that the heat is this week’s big story. Both Invermere and Calgary weather forecasts have “special weather statements in effect”, which warn of an extended spell of temperatures in the mid to upper 30’s right through the weekend.
So what does this mean in the mountains?
We are officially in early summer conditions, and the weather looks promising through the weekend into next week with sunny skies and the odd afternoon storm.
The Bugaboos are drying out, although there is over a meter of snow at the Applebee campground, and the snowline starts at the Kain hut. Reports are of fast morning travel with an overnight freeze and many of the South and East aspects are mainly dry. The higher peaks (Pidgeon and Howsers) are still very snowy with cornices and will need some time.
It has been rainy and mostly fairly calm the past couple of days in both ranges. Freezing levels have been observed as high as 3350m(11,000 ft) and light snow has been reported as low as 2300m along the Rockies Divide and in the Bugaboos yesterday. All the rain and warm air will help settle the snowpack somewhat in the long term but it was a deep moist "slushie"of a snowpack up to at least around 2700m yesterday at Lake O'Hara. My guess would be that conditions are similar at that elevation throughout the ranges.