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Mount Matier: North Face

Squamish-Lillooet Area, British Columbia

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Mount Matier: North Face

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  • On the approach up Cerise Creek.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Cerise Creek hiking.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Gaining the ridge above Keith's Hut.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Along the ridge on an alpine start.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Open views above the inversion en route to Mount Matier.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Bivy site at Motel 66. There are no washrooms here, so be sure to bring Wag Bags.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Bivy site at Motel 66.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • The summit of Mount Matier looming above.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Gazing up at the route.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Beautiful views above the inversion.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • An early morning approach amidst smoke from nearby forest fires. Crampons should go on just beyond Motel 66.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Heading up to the main section of the Anniversary Glacier.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Crossing the Bergschrund.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Moving up the Anniversary Glacier.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Evening views above the inversion.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Approaching the base of Mount Matier at the col.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Moving up the lower flanks of Mount Matier.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Walking across the bergschrund.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Anchor point.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Boot packing up the face. It's much steeper then it looks in this photo, particularity when you're standing beneath it. - Mount Matier: North Face
  • Scrambling up onto the ridge.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Final sections of third-class climbing.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Mount Matier summit ridge.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • Gaining the summit ridge of Mount Matier.- Mount Matier: North Face
  • The going on the descent is easier with mushy snow. Beware of the weakening crevasses. - Mount Matier: North Face
  • Back on the talus.- Mount Matier: North Face
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easier mountaineering. Beautiful area. Good camping options.
Cons: 
Increasing crevasse risk. Long approach. Must pack out all human waste.
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Region:
Squamish-Lillooet Area, BC
Access: 
Hike-in
Climbing:
Snow / glacier / ice route, Non-technical rock
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Site characteristics: Drinking water: 
Unfrozen water
Recommended Equipment:
Helmets, Harness / rope / anchors, Ice axe / crampons
Highest point: 
2,738.00 m (8,982.94 ft)
Distance: 
7.50 km (4.66 mi)
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade II
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer
Primary aspect: 
North facing
Total Distance: 
6.20 km (3.85 mi)
Total elevation gain: 
1,200.00 m (3,937.01 ft)
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,970.00 m (6,463.25 ft)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

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. The pin in the description is accurate. 

The 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 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 the campsite. From the campsite you'll head across talus onto a snow bench. 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 small crevasses until you reach the Joffre-Matier Col. There is an outcropping of rock that you can bivvy on as well. Good stone bivywalls are already in place, making for decent shelter if you want to stop for lunch or use this as a launching point to climb a couple of different peaks. It also affords a good view of the northeast ridge of Matier. 

Ascend directly toward the ridge, crossing a few significant 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: http://www.movescount.com/move...

 

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

Pack List

  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Ice ax
  • 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 an alpine rack, but the terrain is at most fourth class. 
  • Pack (50 liter or 60 liter and a summit sack)
  • Four-part clothing layering system that is appropriate for mountaineering (base layer, mid layer, 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 is recomended. 
  • Ice ax
  • Crampons
  • Glacier gear
  • Picket
  • 10-centimeter ice screw
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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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(24 within a 30 mile radius)

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