Harrison Hut during construction
|Caretaker||Varsity Outdoor Club|
The Harrison Hut was erected on the Thanksgiving weekend in the fall of 1983. You will find the hut on the northernmost part of the Pemberton Icefield (south of Meager Creek valley), in the headwaters of Barr (a.k.a. Madhorse) Creek and near the peaks of Overseer, Frozen Boot, Zygo and the Three Stooges.
VOC huts are open to all non-motorized users. A $10 per person per night fee applies to pay for hut maintenance. The fee can be left at the hut in the blue drop box or sent in to the VOC by mail.
VOC trips have priority during fall and winter holidays (New Years, Reading Week, Easter) so please contact the VOC before planning a trip during this time. Commercial groups are requested to contact the VOC before using any of the huts. There is a lost and found page for items in and around the VOC huts.
No reservations are taken, but please see the VOC Hut Registration page to help coordinate use.
The Harrison Hut is a large gothic A-frame, sleeping 15 friendly people. It has a very efficient wood stove, and is surprisingly cozy and warm. Clothes and boots may be dried. Dead wood for fuel can be obtained from a small forest 50 m away; the use of the stove for the past 15 or so years does not seem to have damaged the forest. A Coleman stove and a Coleman lamp are provided, but you have to bring your own fuel (white gas). There is an outhouse. Water may be obtained from a nearby creek.
- VOCJ '69 to VOCJ '07-'08, except VOCJ25 ('82), VOCJ28 ('85), VOCJ29 ('86), VOCJ43 ('00-'01) to VOCJ49 ('06-'07)
The purpose of the hut is to provide access to excellent backcountry skiing. There are several glaciers within easy ski access from the Hut, and several peaks are nearby, offering suitable destinations for day trips. The Harrison hut is often used as the start or end point of the Pemberton Icefield Ski Traverse
Hiking, scrambling and mountaineering
There are several possibilities for hiking, scrambling and mountaineering in the area. The most popular routes are on Overseer Mountain, Frozen boot, and the Three Stooges.
Frozen Boot (Mount Breshnev)
- The North Ridge is a nice scramble. Mostly hiking with a few class 2-3 steps.
- The South Ridge is also a class 2-3 scramble, accessed from the col at the top of the Roller Coaster Glacier.
Overseer is the highest summit on the Pemberton Icefield. There are two routes to get to the mountain from the hut. The first option is to ascend to the top of the Roller Coaster Glacier, cross over to the Madhorse Glacier and descend towards Overseer. The other option is to cross the north ridge of Frozen Boot (steep grassy slopes) and come up along the Madhorse Glacier.
- The South Ridge is a moderately difficult scramble with some loose rock. The rock is better on the ridge crest, but the climbing is more difficult (up to class 3). Difficulties can be avoided (at first on the left, then on the right), but the rock gets much worse away from the ridge.
Summer: Use the Harrison Hut route.
Winter: Access during mid winter is problematic. The Lillooet River (North side) FSR is usually not plowed, and commonly gated at km 9 (just past Hurley FSR turn-off) due to avalanche danger, and in any case doesn't get you back to the S side of the Lilloet River as the bridge is gone. The new South Side route is not plowed past the last farm. This makes mid-winter access a long and arduous affair, adding roughly 40-45km of travel along logging roads, but people have skied to/from the hut over the Pemberton Icecap from either South Creek or even the Brew Hut. Generally it is not accessed, in winter, as a simple weekend trip.
History of the hut
UBC Chronicles Archives (pdf file) mentioning the death of Julian Harrison (Fall 1983, p.14)
[http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13198402400/Avalanche-California-Mount-Shasta American Alpine Club accident Report on Julian Harrison's death]