Cathedral / Vanguard

Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park

bryan.daneau , Tuesday 22nd March, 2022 2:55PM

Went up Cathedral glacier and down Vanguard. No significant obs through the day aside from loose wet to size 1.5 from steep S aspect and pin wheeling when sun came out for 15min and packed a punch around 1:30 circa 2100m. Skinned 2/3 of the couloir and boot packed the rest. Slabs on the traverse to the Crags but non reactive. Decent snow coverage in the alpine and on the glacier terminus compared to last season. Type 2 fun on Cathedral glacier with sastrugi/boilerplate, mod winds with strong gusts, and minimal viz. Belayed ski cut in entrance to Vanguard didn’t produce any results. Probed over 3m on Vanguard glacier and didn’t notice any cracks or sags. Amazing snow rating is for Vanguard - would be OK to terrible on the classic Cathedral route. Heavy mashed potatoes from about 2000m down. Serious and committing terrain on Vanguard - complex rating with lots of overhead hazard. Minimal snow coverage across the valley on Victoria - little snow to get up to the glacier and on the glacier itself from what we could see.

Snow conditions were: Crusty, Heavy, Powder, Wet. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Sunny, Warm, Windy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Dense trees, Steep slopes, Sunny slopes. Riding quality was amazing.

Avalache Conditions: Rapid temperature rise to near zero degrees or wet surface snow.