Mount Fromme summit Thursday May 18
I have lurked for awhile and this is my first post.
I have been considering which North Shore mountains can be climbed safely in these unusual and hazardous spring conditions. I chose Fromme because it is pretty much all forested.
My climbing partner and I arrived at the head of St Georges Trail at around 7:30 on the morning of May 18th. Trail was free of snow until the gravel pit. Patchy snow started appearing at that point and covered the trail fairly soon after. There were many postholes along the trail and we made many new ones. Some pretty nasty snow really. Lots of logs right underneath. We had to keep a moderate to slow pace to ensure that we didn't injure ourselves when falling through.
Along Bill's Trail there was a lot of snow, and as there had been a dump of 25cm of fresh snow just a few nights before it became difficult to ascend the steeper slopes. My partner chose to use her snowshoes which helped in some regards but made ascending very difficult and her route-finding was more difficult for that. On the other hand she wasn't wading through the snow like I was. I opted to keep my snowshoes on my pack and made good use of my axe for good stretches of the upper slopes.
Trail markers were hard to find towards the top, as they were likely buried in snow.
It took us about 3 1/2 hours to summit. Visibility was very poor but it was nonetheless beautiful and atmospheric up top. I finally put on my snowshoes briefly to explore the summit plateau.
Descent included a nice tumble in the powder down the steepest slope by my climbing partner and took us just over 2 hours.
If anybody has suggestions for other relatively safe mountain exploration under these hairy local conditions I am all ears.
Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who takes the time to share local conditions.