Canadian Rockies Recent conditions reports - Page 68 - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 73Likes
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1006 of (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 03:58 PM
Scaling New Heights
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Posts: 73
Default Wates-Gibson via Astoria River

Last week I visited the Wates-Gibson ACC Hut for the first time.

The Astoria River Trail is in excellent condition up to the Wates-Gibson cutoff. The trail is wide and dry with easy ups-and-downs.

The cutoff trail to the hut is a huge contrast, a dispiriting slog of rocks and tree roots in dense shady forest. The trail is in poor condition. It gets a little better after about 3 km, especially near the end at Chrome Lake, then finally ending in a steep and eroded 1 km climb up to the hut.

Although it adds about 6 km to the route, the preferable route to Wates-Gibson is surely to follow the Astoria River trail all the way via Switchback, Clitheroe and Surprise Point campgrounds. You will be passing through the Tonquin Valley on this route with great views of Amethyst Lakes and the Ramparts. On this route, some of our companions at the hut encountered caribou walking over the bridge at the creek draining the lakes, just minutes after we had passed.

I would not visit the hut again. It is poorly situated for day hikes into Tonquin Valley itself, and nestled among trees that obscure what would otherwise be outstanding views. It's very dusty and smoky inside, which didn't help my son's asthma, and the only water source is a small stagnant lake that (we are told) is contaminated with Giardia. I think we would have very much more enjoyed sleeping in a tent at one of the the campgrounds in the Tonquin Valley itself.

On the bright side, the recent dry conditions have caused virtually all flies and mosquitos to disappear!

Scott Meadows
[email protected]
esmeadows is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #1007 of (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 05:00 PM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,920
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by esmeadows View Post
Last week I visited the Wates-Gibson ACC Hut for the first time.
...
this is terrific post Scott, better suited as Trip Report than condition update! Would you have any photos?
I am considering backpack into Tonquin in Sep. Were there any issues with Edit Cavell road? How was the smoke?
zeljkok is online now  
post #1008 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 03:56 PM
Scaling New Heights
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Posts: 73
Default

Thanks for the note, zeljkok. I guess I was thinking that Tonquin and Wates-Gibson were too commonplace as destinations to warrant a detailed trip report. Other than the spectacular Tonquin, my main impression of the trip was the condition of the hut's cutoff trail.

With a printed reservation at the hut or hostel, the Parks staffer waives you through. The road is in excellent condition and appears to be recently resurfaced. The parking lot at Cavell Meadows is under major reconstruction with heavy trucks passing on the road all day.

We experienced wonderful weather overall, but the smoke got progressively worse during our stay. It was worst on our final day and heavily obstructed views. The pic of me below was taken on the next-to-last day. From Jasper townsite on the day we left, you could barely see surrounding peaks. Awful start for Day 1 of the Tour of Alberta!

The Parks website says that Cavell road will be closed on Sep 18. Tonquin access after that is by Portal Creek/Maccarib Pass only. I was kinda thinking that might be a good time to enjoy the valley with smaller crowds.

Enjoyed your trip report about Fish Lakes and beyond, zeljkok.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/pxC4zU6QwS5YJjrE2

Scott Meadows
[email protected]

Last edited by esmeadows; 09-03-2017 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Photo didn't appear
esmeadows is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #1009 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:05 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
xj6response's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.
Posts: 2,209
Default

had a day in banff on saturday with my son in law. Headed up to the Cascade Mtn notch above the C level cirque. Great views of Lake Minnewanka and Bow valley. very slippery above the cirque, icy too. Take your Yak Trax or similar traction aid, the trail above the cirque is even steeper when it's below zero on the snow. We had to help two young ladies down who were ill equipped for the conditions.
Attached Images
    

________________________________
xj6response is offline  
post #1010 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:38 PM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,920
Default

Nice; haven't been to c-level cirque in over 20 yrs I think. These are now shoulder season conditions; pretty soon it is going to snow 2-3 meters and all will be solid white
zeljkok is online now  
post #1011 of (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 01:03 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
xj6response's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.
Posts: 2,209
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Nice; haven't been to c-level cirque in over 20 yrs I think. These are now shoulder season conditions; pretty soon it is going to snow 2-3 meters and all will be solid white

Likewise, I hadn't been there for decades and with only part of a day available we wanted a solid, steady climb with good views, not far from Banff. C Level cirque, especially up to the notch really fit the bill. Lake Minnewanka was really nice from up there.


Very much shoulder conditions, catching some folks off guard I think!

________________________________
xj6response is offline  
post #1012 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 11:17 PM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,920
Default

March 10 '18

Ha Ling Trail well compacted. Fair amount of people with inadequate footwear sliding down the trail and making it a skating rink. Couple of narrow and awkward sections. Still can make it without spikes, but they will become necessary in few days. Both Ha Ling and Miners ridges are mostly windblown.

Click image for larger version

Name:	miners1.jpg
Views:	148
Size:	713.1 KB
ID:	249201

Spray trail above Canmore to Whiteman is good, car can easily make it. Snow likely beyond, but will melt looking at warm temps forecast next week.
zeljkok is online now  
post #1013 of (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 12:15 AM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,920
Default

March 31, '18

Can't remember this much snow in the Foothills this time of year. Went for quick walk in Bow Valley Prov. Park & was postholing above my knees at places. I'm seriously weary of floods once all this starts to melt in month or two. Couple of photos:

Click image for larger version

Name:	manysprings1.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	614.0 KB
ID:	250137
My 'sweet spot' -- bench at Many Springs.

Click image for larger version

Name:	elkherd.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	763.8 KB
ID:	250129
Large elk herd gathered near the entrance to the park. Quite a show

Click image for larger version

Name:	manyspringsun_layered.jpg
Views:	96
Size:	692.8 KB
ID:	250121
Walking around Many Springs lake. Nobody passed & was trail breaking (which sounds kinda silly for this area)
zeljkok is online now  
post #1014 of (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 01:10 AM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,920
Default

April 6 '18

Usually this time of year I am hiking Minnewanka shoreline trail & up to Aylmer lookout mostly on dirt with large chunk of lake free of ice. Not so this year - I've seen better conditions in January than now in April. Lake is totally frozen; snow level near parking reaches top of picnic tables. Shoreline trail is solid packed snow; only section that has started drying out is rise around 3km mark shown on the pic:

Click image for larger version

Name:	trail1.jpg
Views:	99
Size:	804.7 KB
ID:	250161

In short full winter. This year has indeed been something else.
zeljkok is online now  
post #1015 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 02:06 AM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,920
Default

McConnel Ridge above Barrier Lake mid-April '18. Sound like broken record already, but I've never seen even remotely this much snow this time of year in my 25 yrs of hiking in the Rockies. Mud and snow mixed crossing the dam, and then just solid snow everywhere, probably over 1m in places. Barrier Lake still fully frozen with what seems no spring in sight. Trail to lookout hard-packed though, wet snow. Photo:

Click image for larger version

Name:	viewpoint1.jpg
Views:	171
Size:	777.7 KB
ID:	250225

Not sure if anyone reads or needs these updates as it seems just about everyone has deserted Alberta side (and CT in general), but I'll keep posting as long as site exists; hopefully someone still appreciates.
zeljkok is online now  
post #1016 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 07:07 PM
Dru
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Climbing, a mountain, Canada.
Interest: climbing and spraying
Posts: 16,175
Default

This one is worth reading
https://www.mountainconditions.com/r.../crevasse-fall

Quote:
Incident Description
On April 15th Parks Canada responded to a crevasse fall on the Athabasca Glacier. A party of two was exploring the Icefields on snowshoes. They had originally been planning on attempting to climb Mount Columbia, but decided to just go for a hike up the glacier because of poor weather conditions. As a result of the decision to limit their travel to the lower glacier they did not bring ropes or harnesses.
They made good progress to the end of the snowcoach road, and decided to proceed further when the weather was not as bad as they had expected. Following a GPS track they had downloaded from a travel website (from April 2015), they proceeded up the North side of the Athabasca Glacier. They made it to the top of the third step, when one of the party fell in to a crevasse.
The member still on the surface could not make voice contact with his partner, was getting a distance reading of 37 on his transceiver when in search mode, and so returned down the glacier to get help. On his return trip down the glacier he had to cross some avalanche debris that had covered their up track.
The member in the crevasse was unconscious for a time. When he regained consciousness he could not make voice contact with his partner. He changed into his boot crampons and was able to climb out of the crevasse. He walked back down the glacier, falling in another crevasse up to his armpits, and eventually made contact with a road maintenance vehicle working on the snowcoach road.
Analysis
This party had limited experience in mountain travel. They did not have adequate equipment for the terrain they were in. They were following a rough route description from an unknown source. They were not aware of the overhead hazard to the route they were following. They overestimated the strength of the snow bridges covering the crevasses - the Athabasca glacier has become increasingly broken and crevassed in recent years.
This individual is incredibly lucky to be alive, please use this as a reminder to:
-Wear harnesses and ropes when travelling on the Icefields - travelling in roped teams of three is recommended.
-Use a probe to assess the depth of the snowpack when travelling on a glacier.
-Thoroughly research your intended route, if visibility is poor it will be difficult to assess overhead hazards such as avalanche slopes, cornices and serac fall potential.
-Be aware that glaciers are constantly moving and conditions can change quickly. Do not assume that a previous route used to navigate crevasses is safe.
-Carry a two-way satellite messaging device, and carry it in a hard shelled case to avoid accidental activation.
Dru is offline  
post #1017 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2018, 10:24 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
xj6response's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.
Posts: 2,209
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post

Not sure if anyone reads or needs these updates as it seems just about everyone has deserted Alberta side (and CT in general), but I'll keep posting as long as site exists; hopefully someone still appreciates.
I think crappy weather has reduced CT activity. Just like AB, snow levels on BC south coast are very high. Weather has been wet, cold just awful. My recent trip to Strathcona Forbidden Plateau was cut short by sudden freezing cold rain, wet and heavy snow, up to 8' deep in places. Not much to report. Looking forward to some Autumn hiking in the Purcells this year.

________________________________
xj6response is offline  
post #1018 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2018, 12:32 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
kellymcdonald78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Backpacking, Skiing, Space History
Posts: 723
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru View Post

Saw this one, that person is pretty lucky. Another case of "it looked cool on Instagram", at least they had transceivers

Last edited by kellymcdonald78; 04-26-2018 at 12:47 PM.
kellymcdonald78 is offline  
post #1019 of (permalink) Old 04-25-2018, 07:12 PM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,920
Default

Couple more early spring visuals from last week of April:

Click image for larger version

Name:	ch1.jpg
Views:	89
Size:	587.9 KB
ID:	250537
Chester Lake in Kananaskis. Been coming here for 20+ years and never saw this much snow. Went on snowshoes, but compact trail from weekend warriors and boots would have been ok. Skier track contouring high above lake south side directly under Mt. Chester, with awesome looking turns down the bench on east side.

Click image for larger version

Name:	ch2.jpg
Views:	155
Size:	874.5 KB
ID:	250529
Several releases off Mt. Chester in rapidly warming temps

Click image for larger version

Name:	sawback1.jpg
Views:	79
Size:	604.0 KB
ID:	250545
Sawback Range looking towards distant Pulsatilla Pass from Ink Pots. Johnston Canyon is melting mess of slush and you need an umbrella (and spikes) to pass through; rest of trail compact to Ink Pots, but over a meter in depth. Faded ski tracks only beyond
zeljkok is online now  
post #1020 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2018, 09:00 PM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,920
Default

Yam shoulder, May 2 '18

Click image for larger version

Name:	yamshoulder1.jpg
Views:	150
Size:	853.6 KB
ID:	250785

Still tons of snow. Postholing above knees on final forested slope leading to shoulder. Backside has plenty of it too. CMC and Association area appeared more dry. Take spikes
zeljkok is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1