Joffre/Matier/Slalok triple crown

South Coast Inland

hik , Saturday 16th April, 2022 12:20PM

We tackled Joffre, Matier, and Slalok in one big day. We started EARLY to try and avoid solar radiation ruining the day. The climb up from the third lake to Matier glacier in the wee hours of the morning was extremely icy and ski crampons were absolutely necessary for skinning. We climbed lookers left of the ice fall and had to cross numerous old slide paths. Aussie couloir is filled in with deep snow and a slaby crust on the surface. We were boot packing through up to waist deep snow the whole way up. The cornices are massive on the summit of Joffre and we gave them a wide berth. The ski down was a lot of work in difficult conditions. We were glad we got up and down it before it came into the sun. The skin up the north ridge on Matier is also icy and wind affected. Ski crampons were helpful. The boot pack involved up to waist deep trail breaking through variable snow conditions. The North West face is quite wind affected at the top and gets progressively better lower down. We did not see any signs of instability and the whole route is in good condition. The ski down Slalok was also wind affected and crusty from the summit to the lake. The ski out on the summer trail is sporty. Overall conditions in the Joffre range seem quite stable for mountaineering objectives. The ski conditions are highly variable from wind slab to crust to the odd rare pockets of blower powder. Travel was slow due to both icy or deep snow. On Friday the sun was obscured by high clouds most of the day so slopes did not get baked by direct sunlight. It was also really cold but with hardly any wind. We only saw four other parties the whole day.

Snow conditions were: Crusty, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Cold, Sunny. We rode: Alpine slopes, Convex slopes, Steep slopes, Sunny slopes. Riding quality was ok.