Mt. Matier - NW Face Conditions
A fit guest and I climbed Matier’s NW Face yesterday in an 11hr push and ~28km from the Joffre Lakes TH. Our first look at the Face showed evidence of past rockfall but nothing recent. We passed the bergschrund on the left via moat/rock shenanigans but an obvious and easy end-run exists to the right (see pic). We climbed the route in about ten 50m pitches on nice, sticky ice to 60 degrees. We passed through the upper crevasses easily on the right side. Throughout our climb we witnessed no rockfall but there are a number of sizable rocks resting on the ice near the top awaiting future warm days. The Face receives sunlight around 11am these days and you’d want to be off the route well before that.
We descended the NE Spur route which is half rock, half snow. That bergschrund is pretty easy to pass on climbers right and otherwise the Matier Glacier is in easy shape. We used the rappels near the Matier icefall but found no evidence of the “trail” down the moraine, seems like avalanche and rockfall have erased what was there in the past. It felt like the mountains were empty with nary a soul all day until we descended to the lakes and rejoined humanity en masse. Overall a day well-spent above the smoke!