Mt. Clemenceau Ski Tour:
Scott Thumbler and I just returned from a wonderful spring ski touring trip from May 11th to the 15th into the Mt. Clemenceau region. We flew from Golden to the Tusk glacier with 4 clients, and set up camp next to Mt. Clemenceau. I also learnt a new term on out trip. “Glamping” It is Glamour Camping. With the huge base camp tent we had as a cook shelter it made BBQing stake and Salmon much more pleasant. Also the base camp tent made the evening wine a poker games much more enjoyable.
All and all this was a truly amazing trip in to one of the most remote regions of all the canadian Rockies.
Thanks to everyone who was part of this for making it happen.
Report of Conditions:
On the flight in we did not see any evidence of natural slab avalanches. Travel conditions where great with good overnight freezes in the am (with ski crampons) turning to excellent corn and moist deteriorating crust in the PM on solar aspects. The snow became moist on all aspects in the PM all the way to 3300m. Crevasses are well covered in the area still and the route goes through the middle of the seracs as described in the West face route description in “The 11,000ers of the Canadian Rockies” guide book, at the moment.
We directly observed rather predictable avalanches running on solar aspects with the powerful sun effect. Mostly moist point release avalanches to size 2, however we did witness a size 2.5 serac triggered slab avalanche at 2400m on a west aspect at 2pm. The slab failed to the rocks. We also experienced a large whumpf at the same elevation and aspect, in a shallow rocky area on facets and depth hoar. At 3pm two simultaneous size 2 glide cracks also released on the south aspect of Mt Clemenceau at 2000m. There was also evidence of what looked to be a 1 week old natural cycle to size 3.
clips from Clemenceau:
ACMG Aspirant Ski Guide