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[TR] Matier - NW Face 8/10/2007


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Trip: Matier - NW Face


Date: 8/10/2007


Trip Report:

Friday morning I left sleepy Snohomish at 6:00 am to rendezvous with Matt in Vancouver. Eric and John were going to meet us in Squamish at 11:00. As luck would have it, Matt and I ended up right behind John and Eric in traffic on the Sea-to-Sky Highway just outside of Squamish. After stopping briefly in Pemberton for Pizza and burgers, we headed up to the Joffre area and parked at the Cerise Creek Winter Trail TH. We used the winter trail as the summer trail is accessed by a poorly maintained road overgrown with Alder, which in retrospect we could have driven a car up but chose not to because of reports that it was undrivable.


The winter trail, which is free of Slide Alder and Devil's Club, gets it's name not from being a brush bash (quite untrue), but rather because the summer trail is inaccessible in winter because the road required to access it (poorly maintained year-round) does not get plowed in winter. If you park at the winter trail be sure to stow away any valuables, as it is the site of many break-ins.


We hit the trail (elevation 3,800') at around 3:00 and reached our destination at Keith's Hut (elevation 5,250) roughly a couple of hours later. Keith's Hut, named after a climber killed on an attempt of Canada's Mount Logan, is a climber's/backcountry skier's paradise. From it's deck one can take in the sights of Joffre, Matier and countless others that I can neither name nor pronounce.







On Saturday we awoke at 4:00 am and were trail-bound by 4:45. As we hiked the ridge we watched the sun come up. We stopped at a snowfield on to go over some things and were roped up and on the glacier by 8:00. After taking in the most amazing views from the Matier/Joffre Col, we reach that start of our climb around 11:00 am. Ten – twelve pitches of 45 degree snow and ice climbing (with multiple end-arounds bergshrunds) and we reached the top of the NW Face by 5:30. With daylight fading, we reached the summit at 6:00 pm. We descended via a series of 4th class downclimbing and some exposed snow-slopes and were back on the glacier by 7:30.











After reaching the terminus of the glacier at 8:30 pm, we unroped and headed towards the ridge. With daylight fading were uncertain about which scree slope was the proper one to bring us back to the ridge and down to Keith’s Hut. After much debate (and trial error) we reached the top of the proper scree slope in blowing sleet at 10:00 pm. We then descended the trail back to Keith’s Hut under headlamp (and guidance from a tiny candle at the hut, which was graciously lit for us as a guiding light by others). Within minutes of crawling into my sleeping bag it began to rain bullets on the tin roof of the luxurious hut. I was glad to be back and in my cozy bag.


Sunday we descended to the cars under light drizel and celebrated in Whistler.



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i can help with some winter pics. we were up there last Saturday. We went up the south ridge and skied down the NW face. the weather was rather wintery (i.e. touch and go):




view of joffre




on the summit




few east from the summit




the NW face... awesome ski

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