Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
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Climbers first visited this area in 1957, Dick Chambers, Joe Hutton, Cyril Scott, Roy Mason & Paddy Sherman flew from Vancouver to Duffey Lake in July of that year. They bushwhacked from Duffey Lake up what is now Cerise Creek then ascended the valley to the 5,000 foot level where they camped. From there they ascended Joffre Peak, Mt Matier, Vantage Peak & Mt. Howard. After 6 days climbing they spent two days making their way down to Pemberton to catch the train back to Vancouver.
The area remained off the radar for climbers due to the hard access but in 1970 a logging road was pushed up the Joffre Creek valley. During the winter of 1970/1971, John Howard (1946 -1977?) and Roger Griffiths (1946 - ) visited several areas around Pemberton with the idea to find an area that would be suitable for a climbing school. The Joffre Lakes area seemed to suit the purpose. In the spring of 1971 they started to cut a trail from the road up to the Upper Joffre Lake. After a month of cutting bush and hauling loads a camp was established located up from the lake at approximately 5,400 feet. The company was called Alpine Crafts Ltd. and over the next 5 years climbing courses were run, although John Howard left the company after one year due to injury, other guides joined Roger Griffiths to run beginner and intermediate week-long climbing courses. All the peaks in the Joffre range were climbed with new routes on many that included the north face of Mt. Matier, south ridge of Joffre Peak and many others.
Although the park is primarily a climbing area, due to the increasing number of visitors the area was designated a Recreation Area in 1988. This meant that the climbing school and camp had to leave and in 1996 the area officially became a Provincial Park.
Access to the area from the parking lot is up a 4 km trail that this year is being upgraded by the Parks Service and they hope to get the upgrade as far as the middle Joffre Lake. The upper lake is dominated by a glacier, this can be ascended on the true left and leads to a large ice cap from which ascent can be made of the surrounding peaks. Summer access of the glacier requires knowledge, proper equipment and experience. Winter access on skis or snowshoes can follow the trail or the creek. On reaching the upper lake further travel up the glacier and side valley leads to potential avalanche areas.
Mount Matier Tom Matier of Vancouver who covered this total area as a prospector.
Joffre Peak Commander-in-Chief of the French Armies in World War I, General Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre.
Slalok Mountain First Nations name for village at Mount Currie.
Mount Spetch Bill Spetch established Pemberton Post Office & store.
Mount Hartzel Carl Hartzel early settler, farmer & postmaster.
Tszil Mountain comes from the Ucmalmicwts word for the majestic mountain.
Mount Howard John Howard who helped open up the area for climbing.
Anniversary Glacier In 1957 the glacier between Joffre and Matier was named "Anniversary Glacier" by climbers with the BC Mountaineering Club, to commemorate their club's 50th anniversary.