Classic Wapta Traverse: 4-7 May 2019
I just guided the Classic Wapta over four days.
Saturday, 4 May saw unsettled weather with new snow and mod-strong W-SW winds. We aborted our climb of St. Nicholas due to building wind slab. I dug on an alpine west aspect and found a 2 cm crust sandwiched by facets producing low moderate results. This kept us off big alpine west faces.
20-30 cm of dry, fresh snow on North aspects in the alpine for our ascent of Mt. Olive on Sunday. Intermittent convective clouds and flurries.
Monday was the Balfour High Col and it was in as good condition as I've ever experienced. Very good coverage on the ice with less crevasse complexity than my last trip through. Several natural avalanches observed on SE and S aspects up to size 2 slabs in the new storm snow. The cloud ceiling hovered at 3000 metres all day, so we skiied to the top of Lilliput Peak for still great views.
Tuesday (yesterday) we had an early start from the Scott Duncan hut, and the crust was supportive all the way to the highway. Sherbrooke Lake was in perfect skate ski condition. We ran out of consistent snow on only the final kilometre of trail.