Classic Mountaineer in the Joffree Group









FATMAP difficulty grade



Mount Matier is an excellent mountaineering route for newer mountaineers with some glacier travel experience and a lot of scrambling experience.

In good conditions, the glacier is manageable with fairly straightforward routefinding.

The trailhead, however, is an unsigned, hard-to-find dirt pullout on the side of the Duffy Lake Road.

As of June 2019 a landslides have covered the old summer trail.

This has dramatically altered the approach route along both summer and winter trails.

It also poses a continued risk.

At present access has been limited.

For updates visit the Nlhaxen Conservancy. The approach trail drops down to a log bridge river crossing and through a temperate rainforest for a couple of kilometres.

You'll reach an abandoned logging road that continues for 2 kilometres until you dip back into the forest.

From there the trail is well marked, rooty, but well maintained.

Just beneath the treeline is the Keith Flavelle Memorial Hut.

It is a voluntary donation hut, but it's maintenance is expensive, as is the firewood that is flown in by helicopter.

Recently fewer and fewer people have been making donations, and there is talk that the hut will be passed off to a corporate group or to a park.

Please help keep this piece of West Coast Heritage independent by donating as you pass through. There is also a really great camping spot (Motel 66) further up the ridge, which is gained by taking the trail heading north from the hut.

The campsite sits on the ridge beneath Mount Joffre, and it offers quick and easy access to the glacier.

It saves you about an hour of approach in the morning, and it's spectacular place to camp.

For the climb proper you'll ascend the hiking trail that goes up to Motel 66.

From the campsite descend to the talus and traverse the side of Joffree, aiming for the snow field.

From here you'll work your way up the snow between a cliff band around 2,050 meters.

Continue up the snow field, crossing a couple of smaller crevasses until you reach the Joffre-Matier Col.

Beware the east side of this face as the crevasses are larger.

There is an outcropping of rock that you can bivvy on at the col.

It also affords a good view of the northeast ridge of Matier.

Ascend directly toward the ridge, crossing a few significant crevasses.

This lower section is often well covered, and it is common for legs to punch through.

Move cautiously even if there is no evidence of crevasses.

For the northwest route, head immediately west about 100 meters beneath the ridge.

A slight ridge runs down and separates the north and the northeast face.

Proceed about 250 meters and head straight up the 40-degree slope for the summit.

There is rock near the top, but it's solid fourth-class granitic rock.

The north ridge has a small break 5 metres to the west of where it touches down.

From here you can scramble up extremely loose 30- to 40-degree talus.

It gains the upper ridge onto much better rock and proceeds along a spectacular narrow ridge to the summit.

The estimated time to reach the summit from the hut is 6 to 10 hours.

You can find a GPX file for this adventure here: Mountaineering is very dangerous if you do not have the proper skills.

If you have not taken a crevasse rescue course, seek the services of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.