Words and photos by Sharon Bader and Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.
With the good weather holding up and snow stability also good, Alex, Paul, James and I headed to the Duffey. I’d been eyeing a combination line and managed to talk them into an attempt to link Matier’s East Face with the prominent couloir that splits the Twin One Glacier. It definitely looks aesthetic but I had no real idea of whether it would go.
We made good time to Matier’s peak taking 3.5 hours to get there by noon. This gave us time to wait for valley fog to clear and for Paul and James to ski off Matier’s subpeak above the NW face. It started clearing up an hour later and we skied off Matier’s East Face in hero knee deep powder snow. Then it was pretty routine navigation over to the top of the Twin One Couloir. Setting up two raps and clearing out some cornices took some time so we didn’t start skiing down till later in the afternoon. Snow was not so great (3 – 5cms of soft snow on top of firm hardpack) in the top part of the couloir – which was also the steepest so turns were pretty conservative. The main apron mellowed out to high 40s then 45 then to a lower bench opening to the Twin One Glacier and out. Here the snow was excellent – knee deep powder which could be sluff-managed. Because we were a bit cavalier with time and due to the length of setting the rap stations it got dark in the last bit of the couloir so we ended up skiing the last bit of coulour, then out to Anniversary/Twin One Col and the rest of the way out of Cerise Creek by headlamp.
Alex’s writeup is here. Some numbers – Matier E Face – 350m. Rap into Twin One – 60m. Couloir proper 600m. Total ascent was ~ 2050m
Four pounds difference per foot – James vs Alex’s setup
Alex on the Anniversary Glacier at ~ 2400m
just breaking out of the valley fog
Picture of the entire line we want to ski. Matier at centre of picture
Bit of bootpacking to Matier summit ridge
Pano of Matier’s summit ridge – valley fog below at about the 2600m mark
Alex hanging out on the rimy ridge while we’re watching James and Paul slay pow
James slaying pow off Matier’s sub-peak (the skiing is in the video)
More rimy towers – this time on Matier’s East Face
Matier’s E face – Matier Ridge – then Joffre. Taken from the south
Paul and Alex sneaking past the rime on the summit ridge to the powder covered E face
Paul desecrating said powder-covered East face
Twin One Couloir has good protection
Paul and Alex setting the first rap
but first …. Paul must play with big blocks of snow
View from the first rap station
View looking down from the first rap station then view from the platform we dug out to put on skis. Still exposed to the big-ass cornice
Light leaving us as we depart the Twin One Couloir