Burton Hut

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Roland Burton Hut
Burton Hut (Spring 2004)
Overnight Capacity 10-15
Elevation 1475m
Fee VOC: $5/night (PAY ONLINE HERE)
BC Parks Fee $10/night (PAY ONLINE HERE)
Reservations No
Locked No
Built 1969 (renovated 2006)
Caretaker Varsity Outdoor Club

The Roland Burton Hut, also known as Sphinx Hut, is the VOC's oldest current hut. It is located in Sphinx Bay, on the east side of Garibaldi Lake. Access is easiest in winter when the Lake is frozen. In late spring, it seems that the hut occasionally floods with water due to ice jamming the nearby creek where it flows into Garibaldi Lake.


Try asking Roland Burton. The hut was built back in 1969 making it the VOC's oldest standing hut. Roland received the Gold Pin in 1970 for his contribution to building the hut.

For many years, the hut was the site of an annual Sphinx Spring Ski Camp. This used to be a huge event with dozens of people trekking across the lake around easter to ski in the basin. There's even an old 8mm movie from the 1962 trip in the clubroom archives about it.

The Burton Hut has seen relatively low activity over it's lifetime, primarily because it is only easily accessible for only 3 or 4 months every year. This pattern of relatively low use kept the hut in reasonable shape for many years.

In August 2006 the Burton hut was renovated with a new door, windows, floor, end walls, insulation and a vapour barier to help keep things warmer in the winter. The hut furniture was completely rebuilt to provide a large cooking area and a 30 inch wide bench for sitting, sleeping or gear storage. The old kerosene heater (and all remaining kerosene) were removed and replaced with a white gas catalytic heater.


No reservations are taken, but please see the VOC Hut Registration page to help coordinate use.
For the most up to date information on the Hut see the Bulletins on the Hut Registration Page.

VOC huts are open to all non-motorized users. A $5 per person per night fee applies to pay for hut maintenance. The fee can be 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.

A BC Parks Wilderness Camping Permit must be purchased for any overnight stay in Garibaldi Park that is not at one of the established campgrounds (such as Garibaldi Lake Campground). The Wilderness Permit must be purchased regardless of whether you are a VOC fee-paying member, or not and it is in addition to any other fees. Wilderness camping is only permitted if you are at least 2km away from any established trail or reservable campground or, you are in the designated wilderness camping zone. All overnight stays at Burton Hut or the Sentinel Bay Glaciology Huts require a Wilderness Camping Permit. This applies to any member of the public including VOC members. Permits can be purchased from Discover Camping up until 5pm the day you intend to arrive. The penalty for not paying $144 per person. The BC Parks Wilderness Camping Permit comes into effect 2018 April 10th


Access to the Burton Hut is complicated by the fact that there is no trail for access in summer, and that Garibaldi Lake is so huge that it doesn't usually freeze until sometime in January, for access in winter. For complete details for how to access the Hut, view the Burton Hut Centennial Trail.


The information on this page is just a snapshot. See the Hut Inventory Page for complete information on tools and materials at the Hut

Heating Catalytic Heater
Lighting White Gas Coleman Lamp
Cooking White Gas Two Burner Coleman Stove
Fire Safety
First Aid
Sleeping 6 in the Loft, sleeping platforms and floor space on the main floor.
Capacity 10 (15 tight)
Drinking water Stream to the South, Lake to the West (it's really big)
Human Waste Outhouse to the NNW of the Hut

The Burton Hut accommodates about 10 people comfortably and up to 15 with a bit of squeezing. There is a lot of sleeping space (attic (6), sleeping platform (5), sleeping bench (2), on the floor underneath the sleeping platform (5) ) but space for cooking, socializing and gear storage / drying is more limited. The Coleman stove was been replaced in 2012 with one that will hopefully be more reliable. It may be advisable to carry in your own stove and not to rely entirely on the hut stove working. In summer 2006 it was renovated, and is now weatherproof and insulated, making the hut far warmer than it was before the renovation.


Winter Activities


Avalanche serious.gif Avalanche Hazard
The route and terrain described here is capable of producing avalanches. Safe travel requires the skills and equipment to assess and mitigate avalanche hazards. A professionally taught training course is highly recommended.

The Burton Hut is an awesome base for fair weather skiing, with amazing long glacier descents all around. There are few trees however, so it is a poor destination in bad weather or in unstable conditions. The hut is often used as a stopover on the Garibaldi Neve Traverse.

The Garbage Pile
When the visibility is so bad that you cannot tell if you are about to be avalanched if heading for the Guard-Deception Col, then you can instead go up the pile of volcanic rubble on the N side of Sphinx Valley (approx. 1570m elevation), below Polemonium Ridge, and get a few short runs down to the valley bottom. A few trees provide some hints of visibility.
Guard Glacier
Ski up to Guard Pass (the Guard - Deception col) and then continue on up to near the top of the north end of the Deception Pinnacles. An amazing ski descent of 2500ft back to the Burton Hut awaits. A safer ascent route, although less direct, is to climb the Sphinx glacier then cross under Deception near the top.
Bookworm Corridor
On a clear day you can't miss it; get onto the steep nose of the glacier and work your way up the corridor to the Bookworms. Avoid crevasses at the top of the corridor. You can either return the same way, or swing past the Bookworms towards Sphinx, descending to the valley parallel to, and east of, the Guard-Deception route.
Sentinel Glacier
The Sentinel Glacier in Sentinel Bay is just around the corner. Get there by traveling along the lake, or up over Sphinx Pass. Guard Pass is slightly lower, but the south side of the pass is steep and rocky. A long ski run descends from near the summit of Glacier Pikes to Garibaldi Lake.


There are good nearby climbs on Castle Towers, Sphinx, Deception Pinnacles and Guard Peak. Short, alpine rock routes can also be found on the Phyllis Engine and the Bookworms.


The hut is on NTS map sheet 92 G/15 but most of the approach is on 92 G/14.


External links

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