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Spring Ascent of Mt. Matier from Joffre Lake
Timestamp Free: 2020.03.31 - 16:02:54
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Lillooet Ranges / Joffre Group
  (3 days)
Participants: Cory Hocking, Luc Tremblay, Gareth Evans
Difficulty: 3: Mostly difficult due to low visibility, high winds and a few thin patches of snow...
Early-spring hike to upper Joffre Lake with a successful summit of Mt. Matier in sketchy weather then unintended descent to Keith's hut.
[photo]b_icefall.jpg[caption]Icefall on Mount Matier[/photo]

After a quick breakfast in our luxurious snowcave, Cory, Luc and I started out just before 6:00 am Saturday morning from our camp on upper Joffre lake's west shore. [photo]luc_cave.jpg[caption]luxurious snowcave[/photo]

There were lingering blue patches of sky among the wispy clouds and light snow as we crossed the frozen field of the lake. The triangular headwall of Slalok looked bleak and imposing. We headed towards a snow-covered moraine running down from the left of the Matier icefall. Hiking up the ridge of the moraine, we marveled at the tenacity of the little rime-encrusted trees growing on it's thin spine. The snow had a frozen crust that was mushy in spots and our legs were warming up fast. We climbed the snow gulley between Joffre's lower bulk and the icefall on our right: large glowing-blue seracs jutting out at all angles - some like shark's teeth, some striated with rows of deep serrations. The sky was bright but cloudy with occasional sunny breaks. A small, dark band of cloud lay over the lower Joffre lake/parking lot area, but the cloud cover seemed to be burning off as the sun rose.

We reached the edge of the icefield at about 8:00am and dug a [px]b_spetch.jpg[c]snow-pit[/px] for shelter from the wind as Luc cooked up some classic chilli-mac for our second breakfast. We then roped up and headed out onto the glacier. Mt. Spetch's North face was visible ahead to the right, but Matier and Hartzell were mostly hidden in cloud. It started getting pretty windy, and it was hard to tell if there was light snow or just spindrift.
  The snow was powdery on the icefield and we sunk in about 15cm a step, but were making good progress with Luc in the front. We had a great view of Joffre's...

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