ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Coast Mountains - June 27th, 2019
Posting the following report on behalf of Andrew Councell (IFMGA Mountain Guide)
In many regards I could simply cut-and-paste from Alex Geary’s conditions summary from last week as the weather and current conditions are nearly carbon copy. Stability in the mountains can be a rare thing but, then again, this is the time of year where conditions begin to change less rapidly. Our few days of rain here in Squamish have once again produced around 5-10cm of new snow in the mountains that will quickly melt on all but the highest North faces once the sun returns. The most recent snow looked to be down to around 2200m on Garibaldi but there appears to be less (or no) new snow at similar elevations around the Duffey. While we enjoy our damp and overcast skies around Squamish, broken clouds and periods of sun linger from Pemberton and eastwards. That said, a few rumbles of thunder started yesterday afternoon around Ashlu (we even had a few bright flashes of lightning in the evening in Squamish) and convective pulses have been moving through the eastern side of the Coast Mountains as well. It rained harder last night than it has since late-April, hopefully a nice reset to the forest fire clock. This will also mean that many of the slower-to-dry rock routes in Squamish will once again likely need their time to dry up.
Looking ahead to the weekend, freezing levels in the mountains will hold to the low-2000m elevations for Friday and gradually rise throughout Saturday as the weather continues to improve. Sunday looks like the best window for sunny and warm mountain pursuits with slightly deteriorating weather back in the forecast for the following week. High freezing levels for Sunday (over 3000m) might require an early start to enjoy good snow climbing conditions before the slop sets in. While timing the snow may not make a difference for low-elevation endeavours, it could greatly ease travel for glaciated objectives!
Reports from guides working in the field indicate that while the snow climbing is good right now, the glaciers are starting to show their “bones” with ice appearing as well as more crevasses. Many crevasses are still well-bridged but, as we are still transitioning from seasonal snow at higher elevations, it’s a good time to give crevasses and moats an extra degree of respect and perhaps a wider berth as well. Moats are forming and widening, melting back and pulling away from the rock, creating extra challenges for climbers. With the recent dusting of snow, and the clearing weather for Sunday, keep an eye on overhead rockfall as the snow melts.
There’s reports of something going on with the cable crossing the Squamish River (access to Lake Lovely Water and Tantalus, etc). Apparently the cable was sagging 20’ lower than usual and needed to be rescued. Another team was on Tricouni and reported dry driving to the trailhead, one of the highest around this neck of the woods. And other guides report snow-free rock ridge routes in the alpine. This is a great time to access these routes as the lingering snow coverage makes for relatively easy and fast access and/or egress where cumbersome boulders and talus will persist in the coming months.
Fickle weather may keep you on your toes but can offer some of the most rewarding mountain experiences you’ll ever have. Enjoy the weekend and stay safe!
IFMGA Mountain Guide