It’s the time of the Covid. Trips are severely hampered by regulations and by our attempts to avoid getting sick. Though most of the people in VOC are young enough and healthy enough to survive Covid, we must look after the others (me). Then there’s the Authorities. The Authorities allow us to visit our beloved Harrison Hut twice a year to maintain it but no recreational use is permitted. Why? To protect the ten grizzlies in the area? To keep the area in its natural pristine state? Because of geological instability, to protect us from avalanches? To protect the loggers, who do not want a recreational vehicle stuck under one of their logging trucks?
We were permitted to go there, but the conditions under which we were permitted were rather discouraging. Trip had to be before June 15, a max of four cars, cars must travel in convoy, we must report our position by radio on the road every two kms on odd numbered kms. Somebody needed to get the key in Squamish before the office closed Friday. A $100 cash deposit was required. Of course we were forbidden to visit Meager Hot Springs. In all, the regulations took five pages to print. We followed them all religiously.
There was a lot of uncertainty for us. Would Tom’s wheel bearings fail? (Yes). Would Spidery Creek be washed out again? Would the cars be stopped by snow? Or by logging? Would we be post-holing in thigh-deep snow? To give us more time, we drove up Friday evening and camped at the cars. We were tough, with the exception of myself. We carried tents because of the Covid. Most carried skis because we weren’t sure if they would be needed. I didn’t carry anything besides my sleeping bag, mat, a bit of food, my GPS, and my snowshoes, which weren’t needed.
The drive was pretty uneventful. We saw three bears, seven deer, and a lot of bear poop. We stopped to remove rocks on the road and the occasional windfall. Obviously the loggers hadn’t been there yet.
Our crew removing rocks.
Our crew removing windfalls.
When we got to the parking spot where we found a huge pile of logs waiting patiently to be transported to somewhere. Why were they waiting? Covid? Waiting for the price to go up? Getting washed in the rain? Who knows? At this point I left my camera in the car (too much weight) so no more pictures from me.
What did we accomplish? Because of extensive logging in the area, the route to the hut has been shortened considerably. We marked and cleared the new shortened route. Cassandra and the chainsaw cut a dozen windfall logs on the trail.
Clearing the trail
We tested the old Coleman stove, which works OK for me but it seems others may not have these ancient skills. We checked the solar LED lighting. We emptied the donation box. We tidied a bit. We removed the gallon of gasoline which had been stored in plastic bottles above the Coleman stove. The hut is in generally excellent shape.
Sunday three of us started down the trail together while the others went off to ski a bit before heading down, mostly to justify hauling up the skis. They said the skiing was good. The trip back was mostly uneventful. Joanna carried my snowshoes but I could have carried them myself. Honest.
There will probably be the second of our two permitted Harrison trips this fall. We might even dig a new outhouse hole. Watch for it. It’s a beautiful area.