Matier, Matier Glacier, Joffre Lakes – May 25, 2012

Matier, Matier Glacier, Joffre Lakes

It’s 4:20am May 25th. My effing cell phone alarm clock apparently doesn’t work and I bolt upright as Sharon kicks me out of bed “Shouldn’t you be meeting someone right now”. I should be. Vince Shuley’s text burns on the screen “Where are you now”. Address is texted back; 5 minutes later he’s there and I’m dressed and bleary-eyed on the way to the Duffey to scratch a high-alpine pitch.

1200m elevation to 2783m takes a bit of time so we had nice moments wandering through broken up patches of snow, lateral moraine, plodding up the Anniversary Glacier and cramponing up rime and sastrugi. We moved at mellow ramble speed; trailhead 6ish, Anniversary Col 11ish; Matier at 12:30 or so. Clouds and wind (oh what wind which had been blowing at mach looney speeds in the morning) backed off and sun became the dominant feature. Basically we had timed the ski down perfectly and the turns were magnificently satisfying. By the bottom as we rocketed off the slope on to the Matier Glacier the snow was already sticky in the intense heat so we bagged the plan to enchain Slalok.

Skied out via the Matier Glacier, slaloming convincingly large serac falls that had plowed deep furrows into snow and wet slide releases that moved soooo slow. The Third Joffre Lake looked marginal so I became the sacrificial plumb line skiing pretty much right across it. The Second Joffre Lake looked even less confidence-inspiring with Dan and I basically water-skiing most of it while trying to think light thoughts. We hiked around the First Joffre Lake and out to finish up at around 4.30 – stinky but dry.


1200m at Cerise Creek

Contemplating rudimentary bridges and disappearing snowpack

More wonderful lower elev snowpack

Matier views with Dan

Matier views with Vince

Some windslab forming on the approach – Stonecrop/Slalok and Spetch in the backdrop

Dan sets the bootpack

Spindrift and wind was blowing in something fierce

Approaching the summit bulge

Joffre and Aussie Couloir view

Twin One, Duke and Howard view

Finally Vince gets his summit

Downclimbing the summit rime

There always seems to be a nice blowhole to unwind in and take in a view at Matier’s NW face

Dan settng up to ski

Vince drops in


Snow is wonderful quality

Admiring handiwork

NW Matier

Serac slalom via the Matier Glacier

Vince on the Matier Glacier

Matier Glacier

Quite the wet slide and serac fall runnels on the exit slope

Another small moment on the Duffey

On the Third Joffre Lake

Just enough coverage on the Third Joffre Lake to ski over it

Waterskied the Second Joffre Lake

and back to walking for the final exit via the summer trail

Summit Pano


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