Climb Mt. Matier's Northwest Face

Rate this Adventure Canada Mt. Matier Trailhead

Added by Tam McTavish

Mt. Matier offers entry-level Mountaineering with quality snow climbing with top notch scrambling. Enjoy spectacular campsites, views, and a beautiful summit.

Mt Matier is an excellent mountaineering route for newer mountaineers with glacier travel experience, and a lot of scrambling experience. In good condition the glacier is manageable with fairly straight forward route finding.

The Trailhead is a hard to find dirt outcrop on the side of the Duffy Lake Road. There is no signage. The pin in the description is accurate. 

The trail drops down to a log bridge river crossing and through temperate rainforest for a couple of kilometres. You reach abandoned logging road that continues for 2 kilometres until you dip back into the forest.

From there the trail is well marked. The trail is 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 of passing the hut off to a corporate group or parks. Please help keep this piece of West Coast Heritage independent. 

There is also a really great camping spot further up the ridge, gained by taking the trail heading north from the hut. The campsite site on the ridge prominence beneath Mt. Joffre, and 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 ascend the hiking trail up that goes up to the campsite. From the campsite you head across talus onto a snow bench. From this you work your way up the snow, between a cliff band, around 2050m. 

From here you move up the snow field, crossing a couple small crevasses until you reach the Joffre-Matier Col. There is an outcropping of rock that you can bivvy on as well. Good bivywalls are already in place. It also affords a good view of the NorthEast Ridge of Matier. 

Ascend directly towards the ridge, crossing a significant crevasse. It's too low to be the true Bergschrund, but it's got the size of one. 

For the Northwest head immediately west about 100 metres beneath the ridge line. Proceed about 250 metres, and head straight up the 40 degree slope for the summit. There is rock near the top, but it's solid 4th class granitic rock. 

The Northeast ridge has a small break, 5 metres to the west of where it touches down. From here you can scramble up extremely loose 30-40 degree talus. It gains the upper ridge onto much better rock and proceeds along a spectacular narrow ridge to the summit. 

Estimated time from the hut: 6-10 hours

GPX File can be found here: http://www.movescount.com/move...

Also, if you look up Mt. Matier on Avalanche.ca or AllTrails, the route is drawn in for both the Northwest face and the North East Ridge. This line is pretty accurate. 

Mountaineering is very dangerous if you do not have the proper skills. If you have not taken a crevasse rescue course, then I would recommend seeking the services of an ACMG guide. 

Pack List

  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Ice Axe
  • Crampons and Mountaineering Boots
  • Glacier travel kit (if you don't know exactly what goes in this hire a guide, or take a course)
  •  Rope
  • Map and Compass
  • Bivy Gear if you choose that option.
  • Sleeping bag, mat, stove, and food for the hut. 
  •  You could bring a Alpine Rack, but the terrain is at most 4th class. 
  • Pack (50L or 60L+ and a summit sack)
  • 4 part layering system appropriate for mountaineering (Base, Mid, Shell, and Belay layers)

In winter 

  • Avalanche Gear
  • Skis/Splitboard 
  • Be prepared to sleep outside on a weekend. The hut gets very, very busy. Snow cave gear like tea lights, recomended. 
  • Ice Axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier Gear
  • Picket
  • 10cm Ice screw
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Activities:

Rock Climbing

Skill Level:

Advanced

Season:

Summer, Winter

Features:

Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

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Added by Tam McTavish

Long time outdoor industry worker, based in Canmore, AB. Certified gear nerd, just trying to legitimize my addiction by actually taken them out. Mountaineering is my biggest stoke. I love being on glaciers, and experience the long hard days of big mountains.

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