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Rachelo 04-20-2009 09:12 AM

Canadian Rockies Recent conditions reports
A continuing post to note the conditions of trails recently hiked, when it's not worth a full TR (for whatever reason).

Please share what it's like wherever you've been!

Rachelo 04-20-2009 09:13 AM

Snowshoeing Foran Grade and Windy Point ridges - April 5, 2009
There was an average of maybe 3 feet of snow, and all really wet, sticky stuff. (nearly perfect snowball snow, with a tendency to ice up.) I suspect that as long as it doesn't snow tomorrow, the vast majority will be gone by this weekend, and it'll be a massive slushbog.
It would have been possible to hike at the time, but with the compactability of the wet snow, our snowshoes kept us almost right on top, and we'd have been knee-to-thigh deep without.
Great to finally get some sun though. Spring showed up and burned my whole hiking party. None of us thought to bring sunscreen.
It's a nice little early season hike.
A few photos:
1. 2. 3. 4.

1. Windy Point Ridge from the Foran Grade trail.
2. Between the two ridges.
3. Sun and windcrusted snow near the summit of Windy Point Ridge
4. Rock outcrops on Windy Point Ridge.

full TR on my website.

It was a great short trip for my atrophied leg muscles. Thanks to Bob Spirko for the idea.

Rachelo 04-20-2009 09:15 AM

East End of Rundle - April 10, 2009
Weather was incredible, with sun and decent temperatures. My little zipper thermometer read ~14 at the bottom, and 0 at the windy top.

The trail's in decent condition, with typical spring troubles. The bottom section below treeline includes packed snow which will probably be slush and mud by now. Mid-mountain is really nice, with a little more snow up near the top. The upper cliffbands are a little troublesome, as the vast snowmelt has turned the scree into slippery mud, but we made it through on snow, and this looks like it won't need too much good weather to dry up.

Full report is on my website. A few photos here:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

1. Chinaman's Peak across Whiteman's Gap from us.
2. Upper mountain from just below treeline.
3. Snow patches below the summit cliffbands.
4. Traversing between cliffbands.
5. Cool avalanche paths in the bowl between us and the third peak.
6. Celebrating victory in my usual high-fashion style.

Rachelo 04-20-2009 09:17 AM


quote:Originally posted by mtnview

Miner's Peak - April 10, 2009
I first went to Miners Peak and climbed all those little bumps then over to Ha Ling. Looked similar to the time you guys did it. It was icy in the morning and very soft in the afternoon.

Recognize this spot.

Allan A

Rachelo 04-20-2009 09:20 AM


quote:Originally posted by Eco

I was on Opal south last w/e. Conditions were fine to the top. Lingering snow for sure, but passable. Didn't see any ticks which was a bit of a surprise. Lawson and Inflexible still has plenty of snow. Didn't have a close look at Opal north, so can't comment on that route.

Rachelo 04-20-2009 09:29 AM

Prairie Mountain - April 12, 2009
(I know many people have probably hiked it since then, but for the nonregulars...)
Typical winter/spring conditions. Lots of slushy snow in the trees (which I could see turning icy soon), dry and windy on top.
My microspikes were AWESOME for this trip.
(full report)

Rachelo 05-04-2009 10:51 PM

Sulphur Mountain via Cosmic Ray Road - May 1, 2009
It was back to full-on winter this Friday. I *hope* that the weekend sun got it started, but it needs a lot of melting yet. I wouldn't be suprised if the rain forecasted for Calgary this week is another layer of snow in the mountains either.
We'd had plans for Grotto, or maybe one of another couple, until we got out there and realized the true extend of the snow. So wanting to get in a little bit of elevation for the winter-withered legs, we headed to Sulphur Mountain. I've been up it before a few times, but never this way. Snow started pretty early on, and probably the upper two-thirds of the ascent were in ankle- to knee-deep snow. By the way down it was slushy, but not apparently reduced in volume.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Little bit of snow on the ground at the Cave and Basin lot.
2. Snow. Lots of snow. Winter-like amounts of snow. ugh.
3. Tons of snow in the Minnewanka area.
4. Piles of snow on Cascade.
5. Pinwheels! whee! Small entertainment in the world of snow.

(It's not that I completely hate snow. I'm just ready to move on, and the weather isn't.)

On the plus side, I can't get out the next few weekends, so I suspect the conditions will be soon getting better!

Question - can anyone explain why Minnewanka is still solidly iced over, but Two Jack appears to be blue and liquid? Does it just flow more? I would normally have expected it to stay frozen longer.

booewen 05-05-2009 06:27 AM

Thanks for starting this thread, going to be useful soon I think as more stuff starts to open up.

What's your opinion on Minnewanka Trail for backpacking this weekend? I was assuming it would be snow free, but from what you say, maybe not.

Was hoping to hike in an camp and then go for a run further along the trail the next day.

I've been in england the last few weeks so have no idea of conditions.

dav1481 05-05-2009 07:11 AM

spicytuna 05-05-2009 09:07 AM

Boowen, the trail to Minnewanka will probably be very muddy and wet. It'll probably consist of compacted snow in the tree covered areas and mud in the open areas.

We received quite a bit of snow late last week and we're supposed to be receiving some more precipitation this week. Up to 10cm of snow on Thursday!

larryl 05-06-2009 08:26 AM


quote:Originally posted by spicytuna

We received quite a bit of snow late last week and we're supposed to be receiving some more precipitation this week. Up to 10cm of snow on Thursday!
Does that mean I should bring my skis in at the end of the month to continue my ski season? Or when does the climbing season start? Should I bring both skis and climbing gear in? Hehe.

Sodbuster 05-06-2009 08:47 AM

Crampons with flippers as an antibot. :) Accessorize with puffy coat, shorts, and zinc for the nose.

spicytuna 05-06-2009 08:56 AM


quote:Originally posted by larryl

Does that mean I should bring my skis in at the end of the month to continue my ski season? Or when does the climbing season start? Should I bring both skis and climbing gear in? Hehe.
Climbing season started a month ago Larry!

I've already been up Yamnuska 4 times. Not to mention climbing at Wasootch, Barrier, Grassi Lakes, etc.

Granticulus 05-06-2009 09:20 AM

spicytuna: With all your climbing, are you still interested in doing Compression Ridge (or have you already done it by now)?


lobo 05-06-2009 09:41 AM

Some Jasper conditions.
Miette Hot Spring road- opens May 15
Celestine road- Closed to at least July 31st due to reclamation work
Overlander trail- clear and dry except one small area of snow
Jacques Lake-clear to Summit Lakes then mud @ snow.Good in 2 weeks
Maligne Canyon-Clear and dry
Highway 93A- open
Moab Lake road- Closed due to washout, but hard and dry and can be biked. Trail good all the way from Moab to Middle Forks. Sporadic snow to Scott glacier
Edith Cavell road-closed til June 15- but road clear and dry for biking to hostel, but lot's of snow off road
Geraldine Lake road- closed until June 1st, but mostly dry to Fryatt turnoff. Lower Fryatt trail clear and dry to camp. Two mile hill has snow, but I postholed to the top and then went on to Brussels camp.
Fortress Lake trail- Snow for the first 3 kms and then good to the crossing.
Valley of the Five is all good
Berg Lake- Good to White falls, then lots of snow
Glacier Lake-I will be day hiking there on either the 13th or 18th of May
These are all first hand reports as I have done them all. Of course, this could all change with a freakish late season snow storm. We didn't get any of the snow that hit southern Ab last week

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