Joffre Peak (Aussie Couloir) - Apr 28 16 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Default Joffre Peak (Aussie Couloir) - Apr 28 16

With a 2 am meeting time Vlad and I both tried to get some prior sleep with poor results (him not much/any, me 1 hour or so) similar to when we did Matier 3 years ago. We stop in Pemberton for gas and coffee for me then continue up Duffey Lake Road to the Cerise Creek Trailhead.

The foot bridge over Cayoosh Creek has a noticeable tilt as we cross by headlamp and continue up the summer trail (no snow/icy/hard and soft snow) with snowshoes going on a little beyond the end of the logging road section. Bypassing Keith's Hut we ascend to Motel 66 and take our first break. Plenty of clouds around early in the morning but the sun is making an appearance.


Me heading up to Motel 66 with Joffre above.

We drop down a little then head up/over to the Anniversary Glacier (in good shape) and follow it up to the Matier/Joffre col. Crampons are on by now and we dump the snowshoes to drop a little following the edge of the Matier Glacier around to the start of the Aussie Couloir. Somewhere around here big flakes of snow fall softly around us. Gazing up the couloir it almost makes things feel festive.


Hartzell, Spetch and Slalok across the Matier Glacier.


Vlad's frowning 'cause the Mountain-Forecast said full sunshine for this area in the morning.


Or he could be frowning as this is what comes next. I'm sure I was a little.

I headed up on pretty hard snow and I've never been able to kick in good steps on stuff like this. I find side footing can work well at times to change things up. My crampons had a hard time staying secured to my boots though and I had to re-adjust a lot and even pause on a 40 degree slope to remove and re-secure. I have a broken antibot on one (front) and I was wearing my old leather boots that have become very pliable to the point of arching.


Part way up.

Vlad plodded away doing fine whilst I went as quick as possible to get to the summit. It wasn't the most enjoyable of climbs but went well enough and I was hoping the sun would come around by the time we were to descend to soften up the snow.

After 350m or so of elevation gain I traverse over to the summit ridge and on to the peak. Other boot tracks up here and it looked like someone had skied down within the past couple of days.


Matier, Hartzell and Spetch.


Vlad nearing the summit. Taylor at left and you can just see Upper Joffre Lake below.

There's a good stiff breeze blowing up here, the snow squall is a distant memory and we are solidly in sunshine but there's plenty of clouds billowing around distant peaks.


2721m summit shot.


Matier with ski tracks.


Vlad retraced his steps to find some shelter from the wind whilst I took a work related phone call, updated FB and drank a Starbucks Frappuccino.


Vlad's shot of me on the summit.

I then followed Vlad and he went a little lower whilst I settled for a nice view with some wind.


Vlad in the upper part of the couloir.


Cayoosh Mountain emerged from the clouds for a brief while.


Matier again with Snowspider middle shot.

Vlad yelled up that he was heading down so I grabbed a few more pictures, checked the status of my crampons and followed him. The sun warmed slopes did help a little and Vlad was kicking in small steps. The problem was that he has long legs and I really had to stretch to reach down into each hole. Slow and steady for me, I had to make a few crampon adjustments but things went okay.

I found the bottom of the couloir the most difficult - with the angle and harder snow along with some scouring from previous slides.


Looking up.


Looking down, Vlad just about visible centre area.


Vlad's shot looking up towards me.


Vlad made good time downwards and took a break.


One last look.

I continued past the sitting Vlad to hike back up to the col wanting to take a break there after getting most of the uphill travel out of the way. More clouds were filling the sky and the wind was staying brisk.


Vlad heading back and Joffre Peak.

It was a toss up for the descent of the Anniversary Glacier to use snowshoes or not. I put them on whilst Vlad decided bum sliding was the way to do things.


He's now way ahead of me.


Vlad with the Anniversary Glacier behind.

We ascended to Motel 66 and take another break. Neither of us are feeling too tired, maybe a little weary. Back near the hut we see 4 skiers then no-one else as we follow the trail back out and across the tilted bridge to reach the vehicle where I drink a Starbucks Doubleshot as I'll be driving us back. The clouds that had been building throughout the day opened up and it poured just after we left the parking area to drive back so our timing was good. A quick stop in Pemberton for more coffee (I was getting tiredly wired by now) then we head for home.


The tilted bridge across Cayoosh Creek. Wire guy cable/handline comes in handy and I hope the spring runoff doesn't undermine things any further.

It was nice to finally cross this one off the list as we bailed on an attempt in 2014 (Scrambles route) due to rock fall (but we did get Hartzell and Spetch instead) and I got out yesterday on a nice bushy hike to break in my new (and stiffer) boots.
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martin, culater, Dru and 8 others like this.

Last edited by simonc; 05-02-2016 at 07:40 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 09:22 PM
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That couloir looks ok from a distance, not the place to have gear issues, don't know what boots you got, but i have the black diamond stainless steel crampons, which i find easy to use.

Would you say the conditions were good?, i'd like to try this or Matier soon
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskeeto View Post
That couloir looks ok from a distance, not the place to have gear issues, don't know what boots you got, but i have the black diamond stainless steel crampons, which i find easy to use.

Would you say the conditions were good?, i'd like to try this or Matier soon
The boots are Scarpa Terra GTX, full leather and comfy but they're over 1.5 years old (lasted longer than my previous 3 pairs) and the soles aren't that thick and the boot isn't very rigid (more so now after a lot of use). Not the best for steep terrain with crampons and trying to kick steps. They did okay on The Sphinx last year.

Both Matier and Joffre would be fine for the next while. Ideally, 8 inches of fresh snow on a nice base would make the ascent/descent easier.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 10:06 AM
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Wow - what a picture set, you must have been anticipating the download. Well done guys!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 11:47 AM
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I remember when I did Central (98?) we came down Australian and I was so happy to get to that final kink and be able to not worry about hitting a rock if I started sliding. I think I bum slid from there on down out of pure joy.
There were several guys on top who had carried their skis up the same day, decided it was too steep for them to ski comfortably, and then came down after us, carrying their skis back down!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for TR, Simon.

April 28 was an appropriate day to visit Joffre, after last year's Central Couloir accident.

Last edited by culater; 05-03-2016 at 12:09 PM.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 04:07 PM
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Nice one! I've been holding out on Joffre cuz I'd like to do the Scrambles route but your attempt last year made me think twice.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 05:17 PM
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Stein over night trips? mountains from the Scrambles book? you feelin alright? I remember your crampons were acting up on the Sphinx trip last year that made you have to catch up to us.



It looks like such a nice line, good choice guys!

Side note, even though I've done Joffre via the Scrambles route, if anyone wants to go do this route let me know, I'd love to check it out.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
Stein over night trips? mountains from the Scrambles book? you feelin alright? I remember your crampons were acting up on the Sphinx trip last year that made you have to catch up to us.
Yeah, that was on the flatter stuff. Michelle helped me out with some adjustments and they held up pretty good on that steep part.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 02:25 PM
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Is this route generally "in" July and August as well? Or only early season?
I have this one on my list this year, but can't make it until July at the earliest
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Is this route generally "in" July and August as well? Or only early season?
I have this one on my list this year, but can't make it until July at the earliest
I believe it would be mostly snow free by July and would become a steep, loose talus climb so the best bet by then would be the SW BC Scrambles route.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by simonc View Post
I believe it would be mostly snow free by July and would become a steep, loose talus climb so the best bet by then would be the SW BC Scrambles route.
Ah too bad, thats what I feared
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 05-25-2016, 02:00 AM
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@Spectrum: Count me in after your butt gets back from Peru!
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