Following pioneering work in Norway, cirque glaciers have widely been viewed as rigidly rotating bodies. This model is incorrect for basin-filling cirque glaciers, as we have demonstrated at West Washmawapta Glacier, a small glacier in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Here we report observations at the same glacier that assess whether complex temporal variations of flow also occur. For parts of three summers, we measured daily displacements of the glacier surface. In one year, four short-duration speed-up events were recorded. Three of the events occurred during the intervals of warmest weather, when melt was most rapid; the fourth event occurred immediately following heavy rain. We interpret the speed-up events as manifestations of enhanced water inputs to the glacier bed and associated slip lubrication by increased water volumes and pressures. No further speed-ups occurred in the final month of the melt season, despite warm temperatures and several rainstorms; the dominant subglacial water system likely transformed from one of poorly connected cavities to one with an efficient channel network. The seasonal evolution of hydrology and flow resembles behaviors documented at other, larger temperate glaciers and indicates that analyses of cirque erosion cannot rely on simple assumptions about ice dynamics.