Clear, warm days followed by cool nights have offered a good melt-freeze cycle for upper elevations.
It's melting fast out there! Rangers spent the weekend patrolling the Colchuck area for the busy Holiday weekend.
The snowpack is deteriorating quickly in the Enchantments and the greater Stuart Range. It looks more like late June rather than late May up there. The extended heat wave from last week really left its mark on the snowpack across the range. However, the recent clear days and cool nights have offered a good melt-freeze cycle for upper elevations.
You’ll be traveling on dry trail until 4000’ which is when snow starts becoming patchy. Aasgard Pass is melting out rapidly. The lower section is broken up with several sections of boulder hopping before hitting the continuous snow halfway up. The waterfall hole is now open, so be sure to stick to the climber's left side (following the summer hiking trail) to avoid this hazard.
Colchuck Glacier still has continuous snow to the lake, however, the lower section is becoming sun-cupped and thin. Ski quality is deteriorating, but climbing conditions are still good. Snow conditions are firm during the early morning hours, so having crampons and an ice axe will be necessary.
Rockfall has been abundant during the heat of the day on Dragontail and Colchuck Peaks. Make sure to climb early and wear a helmet!