Hector - Legendary summit to car day

Banff Yoho Kootenay

AlpineLifeSnowpackReport , Monday 8th April, 2024 10:00AM

The mountains gods delivered to us an absolutely unexpectedly perfect day on mount Hector. We were able to do the legendary summit to car without removing our skis. (Might be different story for the split boarders). Be careful though, the spring diurnal cycle is here and sun baked aspects were sliding later in the day. We did an alpine start and somehow our group was the first out there after the new snowfall so we were setting a fresh uptrack. Ski crampons will make your life 200% easier for the starting section with the waterfall ice (but i didn't bring any and was fine). We were able to uptrack without taking the skis off, but coming off the mountain that track was completely shredded so its probably more difficult now. Since we were first on the glacier and there being no visible track (and our first ski ascent of Hector), we roped up and probed a line across about half the glacier. Probing revealed a snowpack consistently between 2-3m deep (or deeper) with a hard supportive crust around the 100cm mark. At that point we decided to put the probes away and uptrack carefully without them. We also got dusted by some ski mountaineers who set a beautiful uptrack to the summit. A line straigh through the flat middle had us avoid pretty much all crevasses. The summit step was quite easy for anyone with climbing experience and ice axes and crampons bit into the hard snow/ice beautifully. Since we brought all the gear, we placed a gold and a red c4 to protect the move, and made use of the bolts to belay/rappel. The ski from the summit to mid glacier was probably 20-40cm of perfect fluffy powder snow. We were able to ski continuously to our vehicles without taking off our gear to walk. The snow turned to popcorn and was wet loose sliding on the descent below the glacier, and was VERY sticky near the bottom.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN