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jmckay

Western Canada / August

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Hi,

 

I was playing on the Athabasca North Glacier early this morning and saw two significant events of icefall from the Silverhorn lower serac. The first one happened at 0650 with the first sun exposure and the second at 0705. The second event was quite important with a big cloud and chunks of ice going over the tracks of the Ramp route (see pictures). The serac might be still unstable!

 

Recommendation for the Ramp route: Traverse below the Silverhorn way before the sun hits the serac and try to avoid going right underneath it.

 

Recommendation for the North Face and Silverhorn approach: Move fast and early since chunks were flying over those tracks as well.

 

Thank you,

 

 

 

Remy Bernier

ACMG Rock Guide

remybernier@yahoo.com

www.myrockguide.com

Tel: 403-678-4276

Edited by jmckay

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Darek Glowacki and I had a group in the Neil Colgan area Aug 14-16. Up the Perren, Fay via the centre ice bulge and west ridge, down the Schiesser.

 

Good travel on the glacier, most problem crevasses are visible and avoidable. Good bridge over the schrund on the centre ice bulge route. The west ridge schrund seems impassable on the normal line (shown in Selected Alpine Climbs), we went up the ice face to the west (right) of this and the schrund was bridged well there. The rubbly peaklet you have to traverse over to climb the west ridge is no different than the climbing on the rest of the route.

 

The backside descent still looked doable.

 

Mark Klassen

Mountain Guide

 

_______________________________________________

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.

Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.

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Took a couple of clients up the N glacier of Ipsoot Mt today. Flew in to unmarked lake at 6000' and walked up the glacier to a P/U at 8200'. The firn line started at 6700'. Two sections after the firn needed lots of probing with the top going near some big sags (this is on the middle and most obvious route).

Good step kicking in late summer snow above 7000'.

 

Dave Sarkany

Ski Guide

 

http://web.mac.com/mountainguide.com/iWeb/alpine-news/Alpine%20News/Alpine%20News.html

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My wife Deb and I savoured the delights of the Grand Sentinel for the

first time today.

 

Our guide book suggests that the best approach to the Grand Sentinel is

by contouring high and into the notch to the left of the spire, crossing

several gullies that from a distance look innocent...

 

Right now this is a very dangerous way to get there as it brings you

directly in the path of some very active rockfall from the small, steep,

rubbly, hidden icefields on the north side of Pinnacle peak. Throughout

our visit to the area there was regular rockfall down these gullies, on

average once every 5 minutes with huge chunks careening across the

"faint trail" that the guide book mentions.

 

One strategy that reduces exposure on the approach is to continue down

the well beaten path along the valley bottom until you're directly below

the Grand Sentinel spire (and well past the last of the gullies

threatening the approach), then hike directly up below the spire, and

continue pressed up against the (climber's) left side of the spire and

into the notch. This is still a little ugly but seemed to keep us clear

of the worst of it all.

 

Regards,

Tom Wolfe

AAG

http://web.mac.com/mountainguide.com/iWeb/alpine-news/Alpine%20News/Alpine%20News.html

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Sir Donald

 

Climbed Terminal Peak on August 18th, up the trail to Perley Rock, around the south side of North Terminal Peak onto the Illecillewaet Glacier, and up a short snow/ice face and then a scramble up the west ridge of North Terminal Peak. Crampons were nice to have on the lower part of the Glacier approach where it has bared off to ice. The bergschrund is getting large at the base of the 100m, 40 degree snow/ice face, but there is still an easy, safe crossing point, climber’s left of center. Very nice views, and the summit provides a rarely seen angle of the south/west side of Sir Donald and the Vaux Glacier. 12 hours car to car at a leisurely pace.

 

Hiked to the lower bivy site Below Sir Donald/Uto on August 19th. Climbed Sir Donald via the NW Ridge on August 20th, descending via the summit block by-pass on the west face and then the bolted rappel line. Sir Donald is very dry, and excellent condition. There were at least twenty climbers on the ridge on Sunday August 20th. Busy place.

 

Jordy Shepherd

ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide

 

Alpine news

Edited by jmckay

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Aug 17-21

 

Climbed Mt Brazeau and Henry McLeod from the south on Aug 18th & 20th, with perfect conditions.

The approach is well described in the “11000’ers” but I have put a few in just to give people a sense of the terrain.

The map for this area is not great, has the switching contours to 40m above 2000m and a lot of the features don’t show up well. The attached picture of the approach shows the route up from the side valley.(1)

 

It’s a long slog to the bivy site at 2720 metres. But the views were incredible.

We had runoff from the small patch of snow in the picture.(2) This is now ice and if it doesn't melt during the day you'll be chipping ice. Water can be found down below the site. It would be a ways,

 

Climb

There is short section of icefall hazard getting to the access tongue as you pass underneath for a few short minutes. It hasn't been recently active. We climbed Henry McLeod on the second day as a recon. The east face is easily climbed on 25-30 deg snow.

For all the peaks, the left side of the glacier closer to Henry McLeod is followed. A big glaciated rib heading east on Henry is contoured . Not much for slots, most are obvious or well bridged. There is a small icefall on Valad Peak near Brazeau which can be avoided by staying lower. (3)

Ascent of S face is mostly tedious scree on the way up from the col. Count on 1.5 hours. The 500 metre descent to col was 20 minutes on that same now “excellent” scree. (4)

Counted 21 11,000’ers from it’s summit. Very cool place.

 

 

 

Peter Amann

Mountain Guiding

Box 1495, Jasper AB, T0E 1E0

780 852 3237

www.incentre.net/pamann

pamann@incentre.net

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Mount Temple

 

Alpine news we collect it for you

 

 

Climbed the East Ridge of Temple with a guest yesterday. Excellent conditions and dry (the gullies of the Black Towers are bone dry). Need crampons for the summit Icefield. Instead of going up the the gully in Black Towers, I went up to the ridge above the Sphinx Face and climbed the ridge to the snow field from there - quite good climbing up to 5.7. Beware not to trust all pitons that you see, I replaced some that I was able to pull out.

 

Okay weather for most part, but snowed quite heavily near the summit.

 

Cheers,

 

Marco Delesalle

Mountain Guide

_______________________________________________

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.

Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.

Edited by jmckay

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Alpine News: God only knows their sources!

 

 

 

Conditions for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains.

 

In general the mountains are in excellent condition for Alpine climbing. A

series of storms mid-week brought some fresh snow and verglass to the upper

reaches of the main ranges of the Rockies and this has not yet all melted.

Expect some lingering fresh snow and icy rock especially on northerly

aspects. This snow was not reported in the interior ranges. The snow/ice

routes are in reasonable shape with a little soft snow over hard ice. As

this year is one of the driest anyone has ever seen, the glaciers are

melting back and exposing lots of loose rock. Rockfall is a real concern.

Route travel times may need to be increased on some routes due to the

slower nature of climbing on rock or talus where there is normally snow.The

bergshrunds are gaping and in some cases have made route access very

difficult if not impossible. The forecast for the weekend is showing

promise with a ridge of high pressure building in and mainly clear skies

expected for the southern parts of BC and Alberta. Start early and enjoy

the freeze.

 

Brad White

UIAGM Mountain Guide

 

_______________________________________________

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.

Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.

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Robson, sex at altitude, Assiniboine

 

 

Climbed Mt. Victoria from the Abbot Pass hut (Aug. 25), Excellent Cond. Once again. Everything well frozen. From the last storm, most of the new snow has melted away, some verglass in the lower sections, but easy to get around. At 3300 meters was -3.0 at about 08:00.

 

Lefroy looked in good shape as well.

 

Marco

ACMG Mountain Guide

 

 

Cofee with Pete

 

Mt Victoria page

Edited by jmckay

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what ever you do do not go to this site. Has an auto virus html upload system. Best to stay away.

 

 

 

 

The firn line is way up around 8500-9000 ft. Travel is good with ankle

top penetration at most. Some dodging and weaving around exposed

crevasses.

 

Happy trails

 

Barry Blanchard

Mountain Guide

 

_______________________________________________

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.

Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.

Edited by jmckay

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Climbed Silverhorn yesterday with good conditions. Anywhere from 5 to 40 cms of new snow on top of good ice. New snow was hiding several small holes mid way up route. It was 6 degrees in the parking lot at 4 a.m. and stayed cool until around 11 when the sun popped out of the clouds. North face looked to be in good shape with one party on it

 

Cheers

 

Mike Stuart

Assistant Alpine guide

_______________________________________________

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.

Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.

 

 

What makes me such a great lover!! Athabasca information. Located in the Columbia Ice-Fields

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East Ridge of Mt Edith Cavell is in great shape as of yesterday. The lower snow/ice gullies can be passed on rock on the left. An ice axe is still neccessary for a few short sections near the summit. Most parties used crampons as well to keep things simple. West ridge descent is bare and dry, runners were nice to have for the trail out.

 

Conrad Janzen

ACMG Ski & Asst Alpine Guide

 

 

A person should have wings to carry them where their dreams go, but sometimes a pair of skis makes a good substitute. -Hans Gmoser-

 

Do you Yahoo!?

Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail._______________________________________________

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.

Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.

 

Come have coffee with pete!

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The good old Assiniboine page

 

 

Just got back from Mt. Assiniboine today. I climbed it on the 28th with a guest in perfect conditions once again. No need for Ice Ax or crampons. However today a different story! On the way down the Gmoser highway snowed quite heavy at times. The snow line was all the way down to Assiniboine lodge. Sure looked like winter out!

 

Marco Delesalle

Mountain Guide

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Alpine News: comes out with a new one tommorrow

 

 

Same story as Marco. At the icefields on the weekend. Excellent conditions

and excellent conditions yesterday going up to to Neil Colgan and Fay area.

Instant winter overnight with about 15 cm of snow and more coming. Snow

line down to almost Moraine lake.

 

Marc Ledwidge

Mountain Guide

 

_______________________________________________

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.

Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.

Edited by jmckay

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Climbed the N face on Stanley yesterday from a bivy just below the

glacier that lys directly below the route. Gained the glacier via

morraine/ridge climbers left. Interesting glacier travel with some front

pointing up crevasse walls, after the initial trough we favoured the

climbers left hand side of things until an uninterupted ramp led to the

snow cone below the route. Bergshrund on the route quite straight

forward. Ice screw anchors all the way with the exception of one

t-slot/picket anchor mid route. A strange 10cm thick solid ice crust

overlying 2cm of air overlying the true iceface for the last 100m. North

ridge descent dry and fine, no crampons after the small summit ice

slope. Winter up there today, I'm sure, with all the snow overnight.

 

Happy trails

 

Barry Blanchard

Mountain Guide

Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

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Mt Sir Donald Photo Page

 

 

Snowline down to 8000 ft / 2400 m in Glacier Park and the Revelstoke area this

morning (August 31st). Seems to be less snow than guides are reporting seeing

in the Rockies, estimating 5-10 cm.

 

With a clear and warm weather forecast through the weekend, Tupper and Uto

should dry out enough to climb. Sir Donald may dry out enough as well, but if

not, the SW ridge on Uto is a worthwhile alternative.

 

Jordy Shepherd

Mountain Guide

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The Athabasca and Icefields Page

 

 

Athabasca/ ice fields

 

New snow last night and this morning.

4 to 5 cm was observed on the tents in the campground and most likely a lot more at higher elevations. Yesterday warm temps caused la few sluffs in the ramp silverhorn area. The good traveling many of us had experienced in the previous days was changing. Now, will have to wait and see what this short low pressure cycle will leave on the slopes.

 

 

 

Patrick Delaney

604 892 7612

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Just came out of the Bugaboos. As you would expect

rock conditions are excellent, even with the few cm's

of snow from late last week. The glaciers however,

continue to deteriorate at a very fast pace. The

Bugaboo/ Snowpatch col is down to bare ice till the

bergshrund and has a few holes open lower down as

well. The bottom two rappels (climbers left side) are

becoming hard to reach as the ice continues to melt

back. The last anchor is a good 3 meters above the

ice, and requires some climbing to get up to it. This

last rap (30m) will get you just onto the small

bridge. Once this is gone (soon) you will need to make

one additional, none fixed rappel to get over. The

loose, scree/boulder right hand side seems to almost

be a better option now if no one is above you.

The glacier on the south side of the Howser/ Pigeon

col is also starting to be problematic. A few hundred

meters down there are four large crevasses that now

almost span the full width of the regular way through.

A rope is a must, as are crampons in almost all but

the softest conditions. This will be important to

remember when there is any significant amount of new

snow to dust them over.

The rappels off the South and North Howsers are in

good conditions as are the bergshunds.

Have fun. Craig McGee, IFMGA

 

__________________________

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Mountain Conditions Summary - Rockies and Interior Ranges

August 31, 2006

 

The exceptionally dry conditions of this summer have come to an end, and winter has arrived to many alpine areas throughout the range.

 

On Wednesday the weather pattern shifted to a NW flow, bringing cooler temperatures and heavy rain to the mountains. The heaviest precipitation fell in Continental Divide areas, where reports of up to 25cm at higher elevations were received. Mt. Assiniboine and Mt. Temple are plastered in new snow. The Columbia Icefields area also received a significant dump of fresh snow - although amounts may taper further to the north, as less rain fell in Japer on than in southern areas. The eastern end of the Bow Valley also received snow, but again less than the divide, and down to about 2400 meters.

 

Reports are limited, but areas in Roger’s Pass and the Bugaboos appear to have received a bit less snow than the central Rockies. Estimates range from 10-20cm in Glacier Park and the Bugaboos. The snow fell to treeline elevations in all areas, but has been steadily melting upwards on Thursday and this melting trend should continue. Expect snowline at about 2700 meters, lower on north aspects.

 

All of this means the dry alpine rock climbing is done for now, especially on shaded routes. South aspects should melt quickly, as the weekend forecast calls for blue sky and valley bottom temps in the mid 20’s. Expect wet rock climbing and morning verglass over the rocks. Areas to the east and west of the Continental Divide will offer the driest rock - Ha Ling Peak and the East End of Mt. Rundle near Canmore are free of snow and drying fast.

 

Glacier travel has become more complicated, as just days ago the ice was bare and crevasses visible. This has changed. Be wary of thin bridges across crevasses and ensure you use some kind of pole to probe your way through any crevassed areas.

 

25 cm is enough snow to create a slab avalanche hazard on the higher elevation mountaineering routes, particularly when drifted by the wind. Be wary of recently developed windslabs in leeward areas (N Glacier route on Athabasca, for example). This condition should stabilize rapidly with the warm temperatures this weekend.

 

It looks like a glorious weekend ahead. Trees in the valley bottoms show a hint of yellow, today’s temperatures were cool, while the mountains were white and glistening in the sunshine. The waning days of a beautiful summer are upon us – enjoy!

 

Grant Statham

Mountain Guide

 

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________________________

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_______________________________________________

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.

Please check out http://acmg.ca/mcr for more information.

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