Recent ski conditions in Rockies -Lake Louise area and 93N

Rockies Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park

Lilla Molnar , Monday 19th April, 2021 1:00PM

April 12-18, an ACMG TAP Apprentice Ski Guide Exam skied a variety of objectives including; Ferris Glacier/Crowfoot Ridge col, Observation Sub Peak, Dolomite NE col, Popes Peak, Cirque Peak, Mt Field, Olive Peak and the Upper Victoria Glacier

Weather and Avalanche Conditions
The week started with high pressure, well below freezing temperatures during the day and night and up to 60cm of storm snow. It progressed into spring diurnal conditions with freezing levels reaching up to 3000m with alpine temperatures soaring to +8c. Good overnight recoveries kept the avalanche hazard low in the AM, but as the daytime warming/solar radiation increased throughout the day, loose wet avalanche activity became widespread on all solar aspects and all elevations to size 3. The avalanche hazard increased to high at all elevations by the end of the day.
On April 19th a storm from the NE brought light flurries, strong sustained wind at treeline and in the alpine, and below freezing temperatures. Precipitation amounts of up to 10cm with wind transport was deposited on the April 18th melt freeze crust producing numerous dry loose avalanches in extreme alpine terrain.

Avalanche Activity
Cornices are large and of concern. Cornice failure on St Nicholas Peak pulled a size 2 slab and scraped to rock in places. Several wet loose avalanches observed up to size 3 on solar aspects, scrubbing to ground in some locations.

Ski Conditions
Good skiing conditions were found on N aspects down to 2000m. Crust at treeline and below was softening in the PM and corn skiing on solar aspects at the right time of day was found. Spring travel conditions and variable surfaces in the morning at treeline and below treeline required thoughtful uptracking and ski crampons were necessary in many locations. Height of snow was variable on the glaciers. Up to 300cm was found on the Bow Glacier.

Submitted by Lilla Molnar on behalf of TAP ASG candidates

Source: Mountain Conditions