Bow Yoho Traverse, April 2-8

Bow Yoho Traverse Little Yoho

Will Woods , Sunday 9th April, 2023 12:00AM

Just finished a 7 day Bow-Yoho Traverse with the ACC. We spent two nights each at Bow, Guy and Stanley Mitchell huts. We found a mix of conditions, with things getting warmer and less ideal for skiing the closer we got to the long weekend. Here are some observations and pics if you are headed that way. Coverage on the glaciers varied from 30cm to more than 3m, with an average being 180-210cm.
On the 3rd we summited Mt Gordon in excellent ski conditions and cold temps (-10 to -6).
On the 4th we woke up to evidence of a deep slab release off the NE face of Olive Peak (2nd photo), and crossed the Collie Icefall on the lookers right hand side (3rd photo). Temps were still cold (-8 to -5) with clear skies and very little wind, even up high. The summit ridge on Collie looks less corniced and complicated than usual from below.
On the 5th we skied up Yoho Peak and down the slopes on to the SE, finding good skiing with some definite thin spots.
On the 6th we passed thru Isolated Col during a warming trend, it was -6 at the Guy hut at 2600m at 8am, and stayed cold-ish (up to -2) during out ascent and descent. This was the day it warmed up considerably (to +1 at 2050m at the Stanley Mitchell hut) and stayed warm overnight.
On the morning of the 7th it was -2, and it warmed up to 0c at 2600m at noon on a north aspect and reached +2 by the end of the day. It was overcast and/or foggy most of the day.
On the 8th we skied out the Yoho Valley Road, starting at -1 and snowing 2cm/hr. As we descended the temps and the snow got warmer and warmer, it was +4 at the Tak falls campground and +6 at the parking lot. In the Yoho valley there was lots of wet loose avalanche activity, but it didn't look like there had been any recent slab avalanches out of the paths that cross the road, so we gave them a lot of respect, especially because of how warm it was. The snow got wetter and more isothermal as we descended, but was workable.

There are lots of folks out there in the huts right now, and so here is a few conditions details that got shared with us:
- The travel up the ridge on Mt Olive is in good shape
- The summit ridge pitch on des Poilus is soul-crushing facet wallowing
- The President glacier (4th photo) is quite broken climbers left, and the ascent of the Vice President from the col is in decent condition
- The Whaleback route descent slope was refrozen wet avalanche debris
- The Yoho/Emerald Lake Iceline exit has avalanche debris in it that looks like it has gone to ground.

Also, a friendly reminder to check and change outhouse barrels if needed. With most beds in most huts full most nights they fill up faster than the last couple of seasons.

Source: Mountain Conditions