I guided the middle Snow and Ice Gully on Mt Andromeda yesterday, October 3rd. Despite above zero temperatures throughout the day (plus 1 to plus 7) we had very good conditions on the approach, and on the route. Lots of activity in the Icefields during the rain event earlier in the week, a number of size 1 to 2 avalanches off of most steep ice slopes were the rain made the snowpack wet and cut the bond with the ice. Even a size 3 off of the Silverhorn and North Ramp route. Given freezing temps the alpine climbing is very good as the moist snowpack sets up well. Lots of ice smears remain from the rain at present.|
We ran into sloppy wet snow on the southeastern exposure leading down to the AA Col. I wouldn't have felt good about being on any big open slopes on that aspect late in the day.
I'm on a campaign to change the name of these climbs away from the "Practice Gullies" as the route that we climbed yesterday is as long, and of better quality, than the routes on the N Face of Mt Fay (see photo below).
I've taken to calling the left hand climb "Far Earth", the middle "Middle Earth", and the right "Near Earth". The slope leading to the AA Col (not pictured) is "Little Earth". Join the campaign, lobby any guide book authors that you know.