George Hill is the current 2016-2017 Huts Coordinator for the VOC. To get in touch please leave a message on the discussion page or send an email to [email protected]
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Crew of 9 organized by Roland drove, hiked, snowshoed and skiied up to Brew Hut to replace the solar panel that had been ripped off during the winter previous. Once up at the Hut Phillipe, Arron and I worked on installing the solar panel while Harlin taught Shu Yu and Chelsea how to split large logs. Harlin and I both expected to be getting wet that afternoon with rain; we were horribly mistaken. Brew had clear skies and the sun was brilliant. Soon enough, so was our skin. I don't know about Harlin, but I look a tomato and feel like a potato.. I have a feeling he might feel the same way.
Roland with his infinite wisdom (and hobbies) had bought and prepared all the materials to fix the system, He had crafted a wooden board such that the solar panel could be secured using washers compressed onto the edge of the solar panel frame via screws embedded in two lengthwise pieces attached to the wooden board. Roland had thought to drill holes around the edge of the board such that it could be secured to the metal plate which the old solar panel resided. The old solar panel had no "mechanical" fastening, but instead relied on some sort of black tarrish roof sealant or cement. This was scraped off before we attempted to fit the wooden board. Unfortunately the holes Roland had drilled on the wooden board did not line up with the holes in the metal plate and some improvising was required. Phillipe drilled some holes through the wood with some pointy screws such that each of the four corners to the metal plate could be connected to the wooden board. There were 10 holes in the metal plate that could potentially be bolted to the wooden board but the lack of screws and the difficulty of drilling the holes with the screws without splitting the wood made us decide that four was enough. Unfortunately again, the screw in the bottom left corner didn't have a hole punctured into aluminum corner paneling of the Hut and so once again we had to punch the hole with some amount of effort. The right top side of the board, connects an aluminum strip that sticks out from the Hut. This allows the solar panel to face directly south rather than flush with the Hut, south-south-west. This is a favourable position as it captures sunlight during peak hours at a favourable angle and as such, can generate a fair amount of electricity on a clear day.
Right now the solar panel produces about 20V but the led light in the Hut requires 12V. According to Roland, this discrepancy in voltage means that a significant portion of power is lost. From what I understand, the current set up includes a 1 hr timed on/off switch as two buttons, eight AA Panasonic batteries, and a transformer to protect the batteries from the voltage difference. Without the protection, water is deconstructed into gases and then lost, thereby reducing the charge of the batteries. On the ceiling there are metal reflectors that help to redistribute light that shines upwards back down and around the Hut.
On the back of the metal plate, a small plastic cable box is present. The cable box holds the connection between the wires of the solar panel and the main wire to connect to the batteries. The connection is formed by twisting the exposed wires together slightly and then twisting them further with an electrical connection cap to ensure a good connection. After the solar panel was fully in place and tested to be working, DAP Silicone Plus was used to seal the cable box back (which could be removed with two screws) and the edges of the solar panel along the wooden board. Unsure how much is left and if more will be needed to be purchased for the Harrison installation.
While we were busy with the solar panels and Chelsea, Shu Yu and Harlin were busy chopping wood Lucy and Alberto were inspecting the outhouse. When we arrived at Brew it was quickly apparent that either something was gravely wrong with the outhouse, or weather had been so bad with winter trips this year that no-one has been able to find the outhouse when the need (or get there in time?). Excrement was scattered in the snow off the West side of the Hut. As most who have done glacier trips know, what goes in the snow, typically stays in the snow. Lucy and Alberto were able to clean some of it up, but it is likely there is still more to be cleaned up. At the outhouse, they discovered that the pit was filled with liquid. Over the winter the contents of the pit, continually freezing, increased the volume of contents within the pit. With the warm temperatures, the liquids were melting and resting in a 3' layer above the frozen layer with no path for escape. In this sense, the outhouse is nearly full. It is expected that with the arrival of summer that the contents of the pit will re-liquefy, the liquids will be able to drain from the pit naturally and it will no longer be full. A probe was used to determine some of this information - it was not able to reach the bottom of the pit. It further was noted that people had been burning their toilet paper in the plastic poop bin used for emptying the pit rather than the proper metal bin. I am thinking that maybe we should hide these "poop tools" underneath the Hut such that they won't accidentally be used for things they shouldn't (such as drinking water...yes...apparently this has happened according to Roland). The general consensus reached was that the Scottish Outhouse Brigade should be consulted on further steps.
After the completion of all these various tasks, Roland revealed a "sacrificial religious rabbit" (chocolate Easter bunny) which was devoured fervently. While consuming copius chunks of clerical chocolate, Phillipe, Alberto and I began to talk about attempting Keg Peak. Alberto attempted to convince Lucy to join us, but she was reluctant due to fatigue. I granted her a way out when I realized my stock of AAA batteries had been depleted by a friend who had forgotten his batteries on a previous trip... Oh how much fun Roland had when his exact words to me before heading out on this trip were "You better not forget your batteries for this toy". Lucy lent me her transceiver, or as Roland might refer to them confidence boosting doohickeys, and the three of us headed out. We traversed across from Brew to the North West and decided to ascend Hops Peak and follow the ridge line rather than traverse through Brandywine Bowl; The cornices were quite large still and significant crack lines were visible. We found a safe route under the North West ridge of Hops Peak and skied down to the saddle between Hops Peak and Keg Peak. The snow all throughout was hard but very beautiful. Rain run-off lines ran in roughly equal spaces down the slope and showed off the minute but smooth contours of the slopes. From the saddle we continued up the South East Ridge of Keg Peak with some amount of difficulty as the slope was treed, steep and undulating near to the top of the ridge. We would later realize that if we had stayed further to the South West while ascending the ridge we would have had a much easier time skinning up the more open and more gentle slope. At about 7:40pm we reached an elevation of 1770m we knew we were close to the peak but we didn't know what the terrain would be like for the last ascent and we were nervous about losing daylight. Little did we know that we were less than 100m horizontally and 40m vertically from the top, but alas we turned around. In hindsight it might be easy to say we should have pushed to the top, but I think with the information we had, we made the right choice. You can see in the map below just how close we were.
The sun had been shining upon us while skinning up and so on our descent we were pleasantly surprised with soft spring snow and a wonderful ski back down to the saddle between Hops and Keg. From the saddle we entered into Brandywine Bowl and skinned back up to the Hut. Where I sat outside, made dinner and watched the mostly clear horizon; the sun positioned behind Keg had also decided to hide behind the only cloud in the sky. Although this darn cloud obscured the sunset, it did not obscure the beautiful colours that light up the rest of the sky. Checking the time after dinner revealed the surprise that it was already 9:30 - a due reminder that the longest day of the year is fast approaching. Back in the Hut, Chelsea, Harlin and I enjoyed a game of crib to the tune of the now functioning solar powered light. Aaron, Shu Yu and Lucy dutifully read VOC journals past and Roland had cozied up in his sleeping bag awaiting the light, which he brought everyone up to fix, to go out. At 11:00pm the light went out coincidentally after 1 hour of service. The timer is set to shut off the light automatically after one hour but in this instance, the 1 hour mark also happened to coincide with the depletion of about 1-2 hours of sunlight from the new solar panel. Chelsea won her very first game of Crib and shortly thereafter the Hut fell silent.
I was first up at 7:00am. Soon thereafter the Hut started to come slowly back to life. Fog had rolled in overnight and while searching for the outhouse I pretty quickly came to understand what it must be like to find Brew in a white out with no GPS and no previous knowledge; mighty difficult. Roland had mentioned the day previous that the Brew Hut door was a residential steel clad door that eventually should be replaced with a steel door similar to Phelix, Sphinx and soon Harrison. With that in mind, I took detailed notes and drawings to determine the opening: 82-3/4" by 34-7/8". These dimensions are representative of the bare frame opening from the top plate to the side 2x6's. The current door in place is an 80" x 32". The metal framing will extend 1-1/2" past the door and so with an 80" x 32" steel door the framing would just be able to cover up the gap between the top plate and the door. One thing different about the Brew Hut door than the Harrison Hut door is that the opening depth is 6-1/2" from the outside aluminium frame to the inner plywood cover. This makes sense as the 2x6's are really 5-1/2" then add the 3/4" plywood, 3/16" for the aluminum paneling and a 1/16" space between all the different parts. The frame would need to be expandable to fit this depth. There is currently trim around the outside of the door that would have to be removed to install the door but could be utilized again afterwards to cover any space left between the frame of the door and the edge of the bare opening. Currently the door uses spring loaded hinges to keep the door closed. The hinges work well enough to close the door 95% of the way, but they are not strong enough to completely shut the door. When a new door is ordered it will be worth it to install a good quality closer to ensure the door shuts completely behind people passing through it. See my full drawings in the below three images:
By the time I had mostly finished my notes while concurrently going through my porridge, everyone was up and Lucy had finely detailed everyone's exit strategy from the Hut down to the minute. At about 9:15, Alberto, Lucy and Phillipe were ready to go summit Brew and I tagged along. Their plan was to first summit Mount Brew then find a way over to Malt Peak. I decided to head back down to the Hut to finish my notes while Lucy did laps on the Bunny Hill and Alberto and Phillipe explored Mount Brew. While we were ascending Brew, Aaron, Harlin and the other non-skiiers applied the silicone sealant to the solar panel. Soon after they started their trek back to the Jeep. I stayed behind at the Hut and made soup while waiting for the skiiers to return.
On the way down,
When we got to the
> Hut I explained all about the solar setup and then went in for a nap and > the crew put the solar thing back together. After two hours of sunlight > we were able to get an hour of evening lighting in the hut, which is > about what I would expect. We emptied the money box (about $865), > looked in the woodshed (about empty, or at least all the low hanging > fruit was gone),
> Committee taught Chelsea how to play cribbage, and she won, but that may > just have been beginners luck. We sacrificed the Religious Rabbit > (chocolate Easter bunny) and ate it even though I did not bring my > special religious vestments. We saw two teeny frogs down in the puddle > where we saw the snake last year. George and Harlin both got quite > impressive sunburns. The skiers saw a coyote. Brew was climbed, maybe > twice. People seemed happy.
- Completed Hut Measurements including loft, main floor and door.
- Rip-rap and wire mesh around hut working. Place new floor over old floor. May have to take out edge trimmings
- Multiple logs across the 2nd part of the trail and low wood stock at the Hut warrants the need for a chainsaw
- Still need to haul out old Coleman stove. Coleman Lamps working well and should be left at the Hut until an alternative can be put in place (solar).
- Plywood floor must be flat edged for a perfect fit. 2' x 4' x 4' x 2' wide
- need to do Floor Measurements
- Upstairs Railing (measurements) may have necessary material at the Hut. Need to do inventory.
- New stove hauled up. Need to haul old stove down. Leave gas for lanterns.
- Running low on wood for the hut. Could use chainsaws on trail portion from end of logging road to barr creek bridge.
- Use chainsaws up at hut to cut more wood. -> is this necessary? Could an axe do the work? Do we have an axe at the hut?
- Nice guitar and case up to the hut with the helicopter? Need case to protect from moisture.
- Plywood in old outhouse.
- Have two bow-saws at hut.
- There will be standard door frames. Non-standard door frames will be expensive. Want 1/2" to 1/4" door frame for steel door.
- Want door to extend right to wall. Need to put aluminum to fit to door.
- 2x3 wood
- aluminim paneling on outside of hut
- Chicken wire and rip-rap around seems to be working against the marmots.
- Would be nice to have signage along logging road for directions to hut and to the springs
- signage for the springs is more important because of the turn off on the logging road.
- some sections of the trail could use brushing. Mostly the first 6km. 2nd part is in good condition with exception of the fallen logs.
- would be nice to have poker chips & a nice set of cards @ the hut. Maybe a rumoli matt
- bridge right next to hut seems unnecessary for all seasons (may not spring? idk, need to see pictures)
- hay wire and duct tape for all huts
- for harrison put floor ontop of old floor. 2' x 4' x 4' x 2' to overlap cracks
- will want to rip in vancouver
- make sure door is hollow. & talk to someone about fit.
Harrison Hut Improvements 2017
Phelix Micro Hydro
- Media:Phelix - 2016 Hut Issues.odt
- File:Harrison - 2016 Hut Issues.odt
- File:Brew - 2016 Hut Issues.odt
- File:Sphinx - 2016 Hut Issues.odt
- File:Lizzie - 2016 Hut Issues.odt
- File:Phelix - 2016 Trail Issues.odt
- File:Harrison - 2016 Trail Issues.odt
- File:Brew - 2016 Trail Issues.odt
- File:Sphinx - 2016 Trail Issues.odt
- File:Lizzie - 2016 Trail Issues.odt
- File:LizzieOneLogBridge Layout1 (1).pdf
- File:LizzieOneLogBridge Layout2 (1).pdf
Hut Registration Page Thumbnails
Lizzie Creek Cabin
Inventory October 1st 2016
Stock Photos Tool Inventory