Steep Skiing – Aussie Couloir

Last weeks major storm system left a ton of new snow that settled down nicely on the South Coast. An upper ridge coming over the region on Friday and Saturday meant it was game on for some real skiing. I was still recovering from my christmas cold so we took things easy on Saturday and headed up to Whistler that night and crashed with friends.

Sunday morning we got an alpine start and picked up Adam on our way to Pemberton. We parked at Joffre Lakes on the Duffy Lake Road with our sights set on the Aussie Couloir on Mt. Joffre; a classic, moderately steep descent in SW B.C. We skinned up the skiers left side of the Matier Icefall and had a quick bite to eat on the flat part of the Matier Glacier.

The couloir proper is a straightforward bootpack from the glacier to the summit ridge. We also booted up to the summit for a few photos. An axe and crampons were nice for a few steep spots where the snow was harder but not essential. Skiing down we had a bit of crud to deal with but got to make decent turns. A good intro to steep skiing where you could tumble down the whole thing and survive.

(Click the pics to see the full version)


  • 8 hrs 45 min
  • 16.1 km
  • 1650 meters ascent


There are no major obstacles to skiing the Aussie. I can’t imagine using a rope aside from glacier travel. Here’s an overview of my basic ski mountaineering kit: Ski Alpinism Basics

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