The Matier Group Steep Ski Trifecta

A right of passage for the Coastal BC ski mountaineer, the Matier Trifecta links up steep ski lines on Joffre, Matier, and Slalok Mountains!

Ski Touring Difficult

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Julian S booting mid-way up the Aussie.
Julian S booting mid-way up the Aussie. Photo: Eric Carter

Description

Each of these routes is a classic on their own and all are sought after objectives, but if you've got daylight to spare, it's even better to link two or even all three!

With the recent landslide and resulting closure of the Cerise Creek area, the only legal access is via Joffre Lakes. Follow the standard tourist trail from the parking lot to the Upper Lake. Often it's well travelled and even can be tricky to skin with so many snowshoers.

Once you reach the Upper Lake however, you'll leave behind the crowds and enter the alpine. You have a choice to climb either side of the Matier Icefall, dependant on conditions.

Most parties reach the upper Matier Glacier and head directly for the Aussie Couloir on Joffre. The Aussie is south facing and will start to be sun affected early so it makes sense to get it out of the way. Be mindful of other groups as this is a popular objective and you must climb the descent route. It's worthwhile being first in line!

From Joffre, head up to the Anniversary Col to climb Matier. You'll be tired of boot packing after these two climbs but Matier is slightly more technical so it stays interesting. The summit ridge and down climb to access the NW Face are spectacular. Drop into the face but be cautious of windslab and the bergschrund at the bottom.

Now, cruise across the Matier Glacier, shooting for a low point on Slalok Shoulder where some steep skinning and more booting will take you up the ridge to the summit pyramid. Sometimes you can ski right off the summit onto the face with a fall line descent all the way to Joffre Lake and out the trail!

This linkup is a classic! Look for good stability with some fresh snow early-mid spring. If it's been warm and sunny, the Aussie may be boilerplate ice and not worth attempting but don't despair as the other two runs are north facing and may be in much better shape! Crampons and and ice axe are mandatory, as well as glacier kit and a rope just in case!

Routes included

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