Climbing Mount Athabasca - Conditions Report, August 2018.


 

From Cloud Nine Guide, Simon Meis on a recent ascent of Mount Athabasca:

 

I recently guided Marco and Mattia up the Ramp Route on Mount Athabasca, another summit for the 2018 season!

 

We had a cool and cloudy day on the mountain, the sun only poked out once or twice and the summit was obscured in clouds most of the day.
At 4:30pm on Friday, we were lucky to nab the last campsite at the Icefields Campground, an added logistical hiccup narrowly avoided.

 

Cloudy conditions overnight prevented a good freeze on the glacier. It was 7 degrees at 3am as we left the parking lot. It was 4 degrees at 5am at 2600m where we were gearing up to step onto the glacier. Immediately after leaving the standard rope up spot we had to side hill across ice covered in frozen stones. This was awkward, but short lived.

 

The glacier is bare ice up to about 2800m. Once on snow we found the first six inches to be rain soaked and soft. That said the crevasse bridges are hanging in there; navigating up the glacier to the base of the ramp was a simple matter of walking around the open holes. 

 

The snow became more firm at around 3000m. This corresponded nicely with where the ramp route is steepest and we moved through this section easily on good footing.
As previously reported on the mcr, the Silverhorn and the North Face look icy and the AA col has lots of sections of exposed scree.

 

We descend by retracing our steps down the ramp route. As we moved across the ramp at 10am the snow surface was softening but still providing good, confidence inspiring footing.
Overall the route is in reasonably good shape; the dry conditions made for fast travel.

 

Simon Meis
IFMGA Mountain Guide
Cloud Nine Guides

 

 

 

For more information on hiring a Cloud Nine Guide for your next ascent check out our Athabasca Ascent Program here:
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