Joffre Lakes - Heartstrings - Jan 19 2008

words and photos by Sharon Bader and Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is a popular summer destination that provides winter opportunites for skiing, snow shoeing and apparently ice climbing. We often pass this area for less popular destinations but today we were going to check out a new run, Heartstrings. Today we skied with John, Linda and Greg as well as Max and Gregor who will be joining us at Kokanee Glacier this year!

The travel is flat to the First Lake. The sky is thick and good vis is not guaranteed. Fortunately there are tree skiing options in this area.

Snack Break!

We climb up an open slope above the Second Lake and decide to take a run here. The snow is great!

Linda Bily

Skiing down to the Second Lake.

Sharon Bader

We climb up past this tree pitch towards Mount Taylor with the Matier glacier and Joffre peak in the back.

Greg skinning up

We continue towards a ridge of Mount Taylor and have to boot pack the last 20m of elevation to gain the ridge.


We are a little to far over so we need to boot pack over the ridge to get down the northern flank to Heartstrings.

Sketchy facetted ridge top!

Once around the ridge this slope bordered by massive monoliths awaits!

Lee! - Photo by John Baldwin

The skiing was good!


Sharon !


Once off this slope we enter the boulder field that yields pillows in winter!



Elevation Profile of the day.

Awesome day guys!


Caspar Disaster - Jan 20 2008

words and photos by Sharon Bader and Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.

About 10km past the Cerise parking lot is another mountain - Mount Caspar. The issue is getting there... Today we're again skiing with John, Lindy and Greg. Kevin and Heidi join us. Kevin is an old friend of Lee's from back in the Team Puke biking days and he and Heidi have been living in China for the last three years teaching. I wonder if all this fresh air will kill them...

View from Cerise area.

Mount Caspar ridge - Photo by John Baldwin

This flank is pretty steep... We climbed straight up from the road to the arrow until the snow got too unconsolidated and the day was passing us by.

The best approach????? - Photo by John Baldwin

We can see the northern ridge as we approach. This has been described as a good line to ski and possible destination for the day.

Road approach just before Vanhorlick creek

If hindsight were 20/20 and some unknown ligament in my ass could see this would have been a good place to turn around.

hmmm maybe we can get up from here?

Few pictures were taken earlier due to being preoccupied with thoughts of - does this go???

oh look, Kevin is doing a kick turn!

We continue gaining elevation as the trees thin.

Heidi in the middle of a kick turn!

The views were of course, stellar, it was COLD though - 12oC - but felt colder with the stiff north wind.

Sharon - oh look a kick turn!

Cayoosh in the background.

Sharon - - Photo by John Baldwin

We start heading up over some rocks, the snow is really unconsolidated here, there and really everywhere.

Is he doing a kickturn?

Greg tries to find another route that well, maybe won't require a kickturn. nope.

Greg in his treed element

Once at this crux point with the snow not wanting to support our weight, convex rolls and facets to the left, cliffs and more trees to the right, Lee tries to sidestep up.

Kind of hard to side step when the snow keeps falling away...

So Kevin digs out his shovel and digs his way up to the next pitch.

Keep digging!

Once up top we realized we weren't at the top, it was late in the day and the snow was not confidence inspiring so we made the decision to go back down the day we came.

hitting the trees!

The descent wasn't THAT bad! after the big hmmm 626m in 2.34k... in about 4 hours...


Next time we'll have to try a different approach.