Cutting Firewood July 6-7

There are some people in the club who are really quite tough. It’s good to know who these people are so you can avoid them.

Anyway, we were tough. We had ten people, two chain saws, three 4WDHC vehicles, and all sorts of fuel and chain oil and other chain saw stuff, axes and so on. Contrary to popular belief, ladies are not attracted to the sound of a chain saw. Nobody is. But for cutting wood, they sure beat the non-mechanized methods. OK, maybe Pagah and I weren’t very tough but the other eight were tough.

The tough people carried up their overnight stuff as well as the saws. They hiked up until they were about 700m from the hut and started cutting wood and stacking rounds beside the trail. The theory is, that cutting part is much less work than carrying the wood, so we wanted to make the carrying part easier. Pegah and I had light packs because we weren’t staying at the hut.

The cutting rules were very strict. They didn’t cut anything that wasn’t already lying on the ground. We didn’t want to drop a snag on somebody’s head, or mess with the life plan of some nesting bird.



When Pagah and I passed them on our way down from the hut, the crew already had a nice pile of wood. They estimate that eventually they cut two cords. The wood looked dry and some of it was split because the rounds were too big to carry. Later they trapped about a dozen mice at the hut, repaired the roof, carried down the money from the “donation” box, carried down garbage, and cleared a bunch of trees that had fallen across the trail. The next work trip happens July 27 – 28 and will involve getting lots of people up to carry the wood to the hut and possibly to split it if we have time. Then some time soon the heater carrying team will swing into action and carry up the heater. It is quite heavy but it seems to come apart so the plan is to take it apart and assemble the parts up there. Finally the chimney team will do their thing, and we will have a hut that is warm, dry, and not too moldy for the winter holiday this year. I’m looking forward to it.

There’s still some details to work out, such as how to prevent random people from burning our wood in campfires. We do not have authority to prevent people from making campfires, but if the wood is stored in our structure, either the hut or a wood shed, then it may deter most of the campfire-makers.

If this sounds like fun to you, or if you would like to make VOC great again, you can join one of the above work trips. The Phelix Hut is in a remarkably beautiful area and in the winter the powder snow up there is Rockies-quality. Our winter holiday trip should be extra-good, and you will enjoy it even more if you helped to make it warm up there.

Pegah and I got back to the Jeep and drove down the rough road, across the water bars, across the bridge which is rated for weight zero, and then Pegah drove for a couple of hours to practice driving with her “L” license. There is work being done on the In-SHUCK-ch FSR road, blasting etc, near the inlet end of Lillooet Lake and a bypass road has been built with a 20% grade to get past the work. Interesting. Eventually we arrived at Skook Hot Spring near midnight, and the hot spring pools were pretty deserted by then. During the night it rained very hard but we were dry in our tent, because we didn’t put up the tent in any of the big puddles. In the morning Pegah drove us back to Pemberton. She likes driving.




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One Response to Cutting Firewood July 6-7

  1. Alex Wharton says:

    I promised to write the trip report for time after Roland and Pagah left, so here goes:

    After Roland and Pagah left we continued to cut wood for a few more hours. We created three fairly large wood piles, and we were all ready to go to up to the cabin and call it a night after our day of cutting wood.

    In Phelix Hut as we were going to bed we saw and heard mice running all around the hut. We didn’t really want mice to be running all around us as we were sleeping, so we found some mouse traps and baited them with peanut butter. We were amazed by how many mice we caught. After about an hour of setting mice traps, we must have caught about ten mice! We felt a little bad about killing so many mice, but we figured that they would have been eaten as some point by animals anyways.

    The next day we split up into two teams. One team fixed part of the Phelix Hut roof, while the other team continued to chop more fire wood. We enjoyed a rainy walk back to the car and then what ended up being quite a late drive home to Vancouver.

    Hopefully the next group of VOCers to go up to Phelix to carry our wood to the hut have as much fun as we did!

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