Mount Matier/Northwest Face

A pleasant 4 to 5 pitch ice climb with easy class three scramble to the summit. This is an excellent ice climb in British Columbia's scenic southern mountains. The approach is a short hike on a heavily used, but rough trail to the upper Joffre Lake.

getting there

Drive to the well signed Joffre Creek trailhead 37 miles north of Whistler, BC on Highway 99. 


The approach to camp at the third, and largest of the Joffee's lake, is 4 km of rough but well used trail.  Camping is plentiful on the west side of the lake as are the mosquitoes from July onward. 


From camp traverse around the south side of the lake to gain the steep moraine to the left of the tall rock cliffs capped with the Matier Glacier.  Ascend the scree, rock bands and slabs finding the easiest route up the steep slope.  Angle up and right (southeast) to a break between the Matier Glacier seracs and the rock face of the west side of Joffre Peak.  You may encounter some loose 3rd and 4th Class steps.  Alternately you can often skirt the rock to the right by a short pitch of easy ice climbing to gain the upper flat Matier Glacier.  

Ascend south to the the steep glacier on the right (west) side of the face of Mount Matier.  This route is often guarded by a large bergschrund near its base.  Crossing the bergschrund can be the crux of this route, especially later season.  Climb 4 to 5 pitches to the summit ridge and scramble Class 3 rock up and left to the summit.  Note that this will be hard ice by late season. 


Descend via via the Northeast Face Spur (Class 3) to the lower glacier and continue to Joffre Lake.


  • An alternative approach is from Keith's Hut which is northeast of Joffre Peak.
  • Book Reference: Alpine Select: Climb's in Southwest British Columbia & Northern Washington by Kevin McLane (High Col Press/Elaho 2001).

information for leaders

Considerations for international travel

  • Start by reviewing the latest regulations.
  • Everyone will need a passport or other valid ID such as a NEXUS card.
  • NEXUS cards can save a lot of time but only work if everyone in the car has one.
  • Make sure your vehicle insurance is valid for Canada.
  • Make sure your health insurance is valid for Canada.
  • Border crossing regulations are strict in both directions. Know what you’re allowed to take and declare everything to avoid problems.
  • You may be able to save time by checking alternate border crossings. Find apps that show updated times and other good tips.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Intermediate Alpine
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Ice Climb
  • Length: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,600 ft
  • 9,130 ft
  • CNTS Duffey Lake 92J/8
  • John Baldwin Duffey Lake
  • CNTS Pemberton 92J
  • Red Marker
    50.369705, -122.498846
    50.3697051698 -122.498846054
  • Red Marker
    50.326357, -122.443571
    50.3263571025 -122.44357109

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