Home Hiking Joffre Peak Snowshoeing

Joffre Peak Snowshoeing

by Aaron Wong
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MARCH 22, 2023

Elevation 2721m high from sea level
Prominence 331m
Elevation gain 1668m

Joffre Peak is located in Joffre Provincial Park area, 26 km east of Pemberton in southwestern BC. It is the second highest in the Joffre Group and the subset of the Lillooet Ranges. Joffre has been on my mind for a few years, so finding a good window day with good hiking conditions was crucial. 

After having a nice weekend with good snow; and successfully summited Mt Matier with Karlie, Joffre Peak is ready and the time to summit is now. So Daniel and I decided that it was the right time to conquer Joffre Peak.

We started the drive up the night before, car camped at Joffre Lakes parking lot at around 12 midnight, slept for a good 5-6 hours, woke up and drove 8 km along the Duffey Lake highway to the Cerise Creek Parking Lot, parked our car at the pull out, rucked up and started the hike at 6:45am.

The snow line began right from the start where we parked. The trail in the morning was frozen and stable. Although micro spikes or crampons would had been beneficial, we didn’t bother putting on our crampons until we reached the snow covered boulder field. 

With clear skies and sunrise opening up the views at the boulder field, we continued to hike along the Winter Trail passing Cerise Creek and wrapping around at the end of the tree line with views opening up to Mt Matier and Joffre Peak, and arriving at Keiths’s Hut at around 8:30am where we took a 15 minute break. Since it was a weekday, there were only a few skiers staying at the hut. So it was nice to relax and snack a bit in there.

Thereafter hydrating ourselves and switching from crampons into snowshoes, we began the 1.3 km plod up to motel 66 with Joffre Peak clearly visible and the strong sun rays beaming down on us. At this point, we were worried that the snow may get soft that we may start post holing along the way. So we hurriedly slogged up the Anniversary Glacier and onto the col in about an hour.

At the col, there were a few skiers who were heading towards Matier. With excellent weather conditions and the snow still stable despite the beaming sun, we kept moving along to the right, plowing down the depression and wrapping around behind Joffre Peak arriving at its Aussie Couloir at 11:30am. 

At the base on the right side of the couloir, we ditched our snowshoes and strapped our crampons on and off we went slowly boot packing up the 45° grade slope. We took 30-40 steps at a time with 10 second breaks in between to take the weight off our feet. It felt like going up the stairs of the Grouse Grind and the Chief in Squamish. However, the views from behind us was the main motivator. 

After almost 2 hours of grinding up the couloir and arriving at the short ridge of Joffre with the peak just 15m away, we changed into dry clothes and layered up as it was windy up there. The last 15m plod up to the true summit was a bit sketchy and lots of cornices around, so we cautiously went up. 

Finally at the top at 1:30pm. Majestic and heavenly panoramic views, we were mesmerized. Although it was windy and biting cold up there, it was nice to have clear skies and the sun at full blast to balance it out. We spent about a good half hour at the summit just spoiling ourselves with the incredible views.

Going down the couloir was quite sketchy for the first 100m as the snow was a bit unstable and there was wind slab. Half way down the couloir, the snow was thicker and we were able to plow down without any issues to the base where we ditched our snowshoes.

After changing from crampons back to snowshoes, we went back up to Anniversary Col. Instead of going back towards Motel 66, we skipped all the BS ridge and plowed straight down Anniversary Glacier avoiding having to go pass the hut. We got back to the trailhead slightly before 6:30pm with still sunlight.

Mission Accomplished! A day of success and rewarded ourselves at the end with hot food and a nice lager!


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