Archive:Hut Bulletins

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This page documents bulletins for the Hut and Trail Conditions that are now older than 2 years. Five bulletins should always be kept on the VOC Hut Registration Page and can be permitted even if older than 2 years.

Brew Hut

2014 March 2nd
Lots of fresh snow! Vehicles with 4WD or AWD were able to get to the snowcat base (1.7km up Chance Creek FSR). Due to snow, the road is impassable to most vehicles beyond this point. There is a new clearcut (2013) just past the "old" trailhead on R200 that can make route-finding challenging when fresh snow covers any previous tracks. Recommended approach: Bring GPS waypoints if possible but otherwise from the "old" trailhead you can follow the new road R230 originally heading east for about half km and then climbing north between two small hills, skirting the edge of a band of trees through the clearcut. Look for orange markers at the base of the first rock bluff about 1km from the "old" trailhead. From the base of the rock bluff the route is well marked by orange markers all the way to Brew Lake. From Brew Lake to Brew Hut there are no markers but the route is fairly straight forward. Head WNW over mostly open slopes with sparse trees for about 1km before turning north to ascend a col just west of the hut. Brew Hut is in good shape. The lantern and stove are both working well and there is ample firewood in the wood shed. The outhouse is accessible (but quite full).
2008 September 1st
Road in good shape to the trailhead. Blueberry bushes are quite dense, but once through them, the trail in the forest is pretty good. Some chainsawing of stumps, to improve the skiing, was done this summer. Unfortunately the trail permit is for a "winter ski trail", and that's what we built. We are not improving the trail to summer standards, partially because that's not what the permit is for, and partially because of the amount of work involved.
2008 June 14th
The road was drivable all the way to the trailhead. No seasonal water bars were put in on the road. Bushwhacking through the clear cut then spring snow conditions on most of the trail, with about 20% of the below treeline trail melted out (mostly in the open boulder field sections). Still lots of snow in the alpine. Minor repairs needed to the seal around the bottom of the hut door.
2008 January 19th
Vehicles with 4WD or AWD were able to get up to the snowcat base and other cars were stopped at the highway. The road up Roe Creek was packed down by snowcat. Tons of snow at Brew, fantastic powder, and not too much to not have a hard time making tracks. The wood stove chimney was plug by snow, but we manage to dig a big chunk out. The evening/night was then nice and warm.
2006 December 27th
Vehicles with 4WD or AWD were able to get up to the snowcat base at 1.7km of Chance Creek FSR, other cars were stopped by the highway. 2wd and chains might do the trick as well but nobody tried that. The road up Roe Creek is now packed down by snowcat, and all cross ditches on Roe Creek mainline and on the R200 branch are filled in. Snow depth estimated to be about 3.5 or 4m around Brew Lake. The chimney for the lantern is broken but it still works, and the pumps on both the lantern and the stove needed a lot of oiling during our stay.
2006 November 25th
Chance Creek FSR plowed for heli logging, but Roe Creek road was completely snowed in. Trail breaking from the start of Roe Creek road to the hut took 7 hours, arriving just before dark. A half dozen or so open water bars on the road, but most will be completely covered over soon. Trail is in great shape, with over 1m of snow at the start and lots more at brew lake. Snow depth was 2.5m in the meadows just below the hut. South and West side windows are frozen closed but the north side ones work and so does the door. Outhouse was not buried, but wind seems to be blowing the door inwards, and it's supposed to open out. The old Coleman stove was replaced with a different old Coleman stove that does not suffer from the problem of the air intake catching on fire.
2006 November 12th
Did the inaugural boot pack in. Broke trail from the Roe Creek bridge at 11am. Only had made it to ther 2nd rock outcropping by 3:45. Very slow going. Decided to turn around and made it back to the car in about 90 min. Under the cover of trees, snow was appx knee deep with snowshoes on. In the boulder gardens/clearings snow was up to waist deep or higher at times. Trail well marked up to our turnaround point.
2006 October 14th
Cleared out ski trail from Roe Creek - much easier travelling now. Brew Hut boasts a new fire extinguisher and a new hatchet.
2006 July 22nd
Brew Lake trail is snow free, and there are only a few snow patches left above Brew Lake. There is still plenty of snow around the hut for drinking water. The outhouse has now been installed just NE of the hut.

Brian Waddington Hut

2015 February 15th
Road is okay until landslide. Landslide itself has worsened since Oct, and large (30cm diameter) tree crosses road about .5km above (with cut in it possibly allowing snowmobile access, NOT wide enough for passenger vehicles). Intermittent deep snow and bare road. All small creek/drainage crossings exposed. Attempting to ski in would be about equal mix of skinning and boot-packing (at best).
2014 October 11th
Road, including slide, is in good condition. Stucco mesh on "one log bridge" needs to be replaced and nailed down, as it is a hazard at present. Solar air heater still works. Two Coleman stoves are fussy, but work. No Coleman lantern up there. Coleman catalytic heater shoud not be used as it is damaged and gives off poisonous fumes. Outhouse works, but deposits a stream of runny shit on the trail to the outhouse, and is not up to Canadian standards. And marmots are eating the outhouse.
2013 January 21st
The Coleman white gas lantern no longer works, otherwise the hut is in fine shape. Spent 3 nights, beautiful weather and tough snow conditions, variable snow with hard crust mixed with softer sections and breakable crust. Lots of wind affected snow on Cabin Hill and other places that normally have powder stash :( Will need at least 1 m of snow to cover it up.
2011 July 14th
Big VOC trip to replace the four biggest windows ($1300) and do a little more work. Windows were carried in and replaced successfully and look good. They can be opened and closed to control humidity in the Hut, and being properly double glazed, should help to trap some of the negligible heat in the winter.
2010 August 14th
Big thanks to Jim's group for clearing the deadfall! Road was easily 4WD HC accesible. Found a dead mouse in the trap, removed and reset.
2010 August 12th
Large boulder has been rolled out of the way, but the slide is still only 4WD HC accessible. Jim's group has also cleared the deadfall all the way to the trailhead (Thanks!).
2010 July 13th
Tree down (2-3 foot diameter), blocking road a few minutes beyond slide area with large boulder.
2010 February 8th
Blackwater Road plowed and recently graded. Good coverage on logging road and trail. Soft snow to second bridge, but firmer above and through forest. Great snow quality and coverage on northern aspects. South facing aspects are tree bombed and crusty. Some minor natural activity related to cornice falls. Otherise very stable conditions. Ski out was fast (2 hours) and uneventful. New reflective blazes are well positioned and helpful. Perpetual slide at km 0.5 would make access for even HC 4x4 difficult in summer. Snowmobiles were having difficulty getting around it. Did not use any heaters (brought lots of friends) or stoves (brought our own). Coleman lantern needs new mantles. Left one lantern full of fuel (~1L). Temperatures relatively warm at -5C from Feb 5-8. No new snow during our stay. Sunny during the day and clear at night. Cleaned hut and took out garbage that others left behind. No water buckets, but one stainless pot and one kettle.
2009 March 9th
Blackwater Road plowed but sheer ice all the way through, graded but not sanded, don't brake! Ski in was fast, icy and hardpacked sections in the forest. Ski-out was via col between Peregrine and Frodo, a bit crusty below the col and powder afterwards, almost all the way to the clearcut. No water buckets in the cabin, used the large stainless steel pot (8 L) and 4 L milk jug instead. White gas supplies low, the newer larger heater is hard to get going, the old one is easier to light. The heater warmed the upstairs to about 11°C but it was back to 0°C by 4 AM. Warm sleeping bag definitely recommended. Skiing was awesome. Slideshow: Skiing at Phelix Creek -- runningclouds 18:01, 10 March 2009 (PST)
2009 January 17th
Blackwater Road plowed to end. Low snow year (approx 0.5m on logging road) with slide alder still poking through in places. Very tough, crusty conditions through the forest, but skiable all the way. Good skiing in the glades on cabin hill, and better stability than expected. Cabin in good condition. Supplies of "left over" white gas in the hut are very low; everyone is encouraged to leave left over fuel in the containers provided for refilling the lanterns etc, rather than carry it out, and maybe bring in a little extra. -- Matthew 16:28, 20 January 2009 (PST)
2008 January 1st
Road to trailhead was partially plowed. May have to park further back and prepare for a little extra distance. Lots of snow to cover 95% of the shrubbery on the trail. Snow bridges are stable across the creek crossings now. Conditions were powder at the time. There are snow mobiles using the logging roads portion of the trail. Cabin is in great shape except the water bucket became a puke bucket during the trip. Advised to give a good wash-down before future use. Notice one mouse scurrying at the bottom of the hut and climbed the ladder to the top. Traps were set and one mouse was caught. Ensure food is stored properly.
2007 October 22nd
New west side trail is complete. Follow orange and pink flags. Ignore yellow flags
2007 July 14th
Road is as per below. Flagging is sparse on the summer route, especially near the top. Counted about 40 blowdowns from the clearcut to the lake, making progress slow. Be prepared for a "full body hike" and a few scratches! Creek crossings are a bit dicey as well... Still a metre of snow or so at the cabin, which is in fine shape save for a broken window frame on the south side. This could be mended with a screw driver and 1/2 hour.
2007 June 24th
Logging road is driveable by 4x4 to 300m (?) from the end where there are two blowdowns blocking progress. Lots of snow, starting not far beyond the end of the road. 1.5m snowpack still remains at the hut. Orange flags on the west side of phelix creek mark wet areas and creeks for future trail construction. Please do not remove these flags. Scott Nelson 10:08, 27 June 2007 (PDT)
2007 February 24th
12 VOCers tested out the new flagged trail, and hauled in a catalytic heater as well as replacement globes and mantles for the lanterns. On the way in we met 2 non-VOC ladies who had been staying at the hut. Skiing conditions were truly phenomenal, lots and lots of fresh snow above the previous melt/freeze crust but bonding well. On the way out (a warm, sunny afternoon) we saw (and heard) recent avalanches on South facing slopes in the valleys above the logging roads. We forgot to take in the new hard-backed log book, and the guitar is missing a top E string (there are spares for most other strings). If the next party could take those in, that would be superb. -- Matthew 11:58, 26 February 2007 (PST)
2007 January 28th
Party of 4 flagged the west side ski route from the final clearcut to the lake by the hut with yellow flags. Hut is in good shape except for the lanters which need new mantels and glass. Good skiing conditions only in the narrow band between wind slab up high and melt/freeze crust down low. Contrary to the previous report, the Matterhorm puzzle seems to be ok. A previous party had assembled it on the table.
2006 December 31st
circa 20 VOCers warmed up the Hut over New Years. The hut was found on the 29th with the N window wide open and snow drifts inside (the picture puzzle was one casualty of this). Windows are a little tough to shut. Several non-VOC groups also showed up.
2005 November 13th
We had a party of 10 in over the long weekend. Hut was cosy enough with 10 in it. The two vents and periodic door-opening sufficed for ventilation, we never cracked the windows. The south vent is letting water drip in along the cable from the solar panel to the LED battery. A bit of caulking could fix this, maybe. About 1m of snow at the cabin. One 4x4 made it to the second bridge, another one to the last creek crossing before the cut block.
2005 October 22nd
We also managed to drive a HC 4x4 without difficulty to about 300 meters before the first cut block. Brought up a new log book but lo and behold there was one already there. The weather was very warm at the cabin (5-7°C). No snow. We ended up wading Phelix creek at both crossings; logs were too slippery and wet to cross safely. The creek seemed high. Saw Moose prints, and Grizzly dirt but not the animals. Watch the top rung on the outhouse ladder, looks like it is about to go. Cabin is in great shape, nice and clean inside though there were a few mice type rodents that kept us company over night. We didn't use the Kerosene heater. --Troy 11:06, 24 Oct 2005 (MST)
2005 June 30th
We drove a HC 4x4 without difficulty on the access road. M. Gunn's Scrambles book provides a good description of the drive up. The trail is also well described in the book, well marked and easy to follow. Just remember to go as far as possible to the (very very) end of the cut blocks before crossing east over Phelix Creek. if you cross early, you will bushwhack in Devils club. Unfortunately, we forgot a log book.

Burton Hut

2007 April 20th
Two friends and I stayed at Burton hut as part of our Garibaldi Neve traverse. The traverse was great with good visibility and just the right amount of soft snow for the long decent to the lake. The snow pack is deep up high and seemed very stable. We spent a night in the cozy glaciology hut after coming off the traverse, enjoying the chance to go barefoot on the warm exposed rock in the afternoon sun. The next day we managed little more than a ski over to Burton, which required a full dig-out, and a nap. Russ and I rallied around 6pm for an evening tour, making it 3/4 of the way to Sphinx col for sunset and a ski down on firm, but reliable snow.
The hut is in great shape, very tidy and well put together. A note on the Coleman stove reports a leak. We didn't try it since we had a camp stove. Nor did we, or the other group of five guys, test the heater or lantern. There are a couple snow melting pots and a 5gal bucket for collecting creek water, but no cook pots or other utensils. The creek is open and the water sweet, but don't venture there in your booties.
The next morning we bid farewell and waxed for the lake crossing, very scenic and enjoyable with the big peaks all out. Still plenty frozen. The top part of the trail was fun, with some pow in the trees, then a little fast and firm, then icy, beat up and downright nasty. We walked a couple km of the worst of it before hitting dry trail, about 4.5km of walking total. We had arranged a ride with a nice young woman who works at the Discovery center in Squamish who we contacted by cell phone (OK signal at both trail heads). A little grueling but were on the road to Seattle by 4pm.
The skiing possibilities above Burton had my eyes pooping out of my head. Two full days with the hut as a base are warranted. It won't be long before we return to this beautiful area.
2007 February 17th
Garibaldi Lake is now frozen all the way across. The newly renovated hut proved to be very warm inside with 14 people. The stream near the hut was frozen solid so we had to melt snow for water.
2006 February 19th
Nick Cowan's party of 5 left Elfin early on the 19th, heading across the neve, so they likely spent the night at Sphinx.
Nick's story: I somehow convinced 3 others (Sam, Clemence, Rok) to drive up to Garibaldi Park and try skiing over the Garibaldi Neve. This classic traverse is on most Vancouverites' checklist. Sam, Rok and i headed up to Vancouver Friday night in Sam's burly truck. We met up with Clemence, did some groceries and crashed on her floor. Woke up nice and late to avoid the early-morning Whistler traffic on the Sea-to-Sky. Set off from the Diamond Head parking lot around noon. The route up to Elfin Lakes Hut was super crowded due to the spectacular weather and, not surprisingly, we had to settle for floor space in the huge hut. Rok and i, having skinned up to the hut in pretty good time, headed up Columnar Peak to try out new gear (his splitboard, my helmet). We reached the summit at sunset and enjoyed some surprisingly juicy snow on the NE aspect. Made it back to the hut (just) before dark.
We woke up at 5:00 on Sunday and did our best to not wake up the 50-something other people in the hut as we ate breakfast and packed up. Sunrise saw us traversing the avalanche slopes underneath The Gargoyles. Crossing Ring Creek turned out to be a bit spicier than expected but by noon we were on the Garibaldi Glacier, just North of Opal Cone. The slog up the glacier was hot and heavy and we wondered when we were going to experience the frigid alpine weathers that had been forecast for the weekend. We reached the highpoint (about 7000 ft) below Mt Garibaldi in the early afternoon, and as some clouds were showing up, winds picking up and the temperature dropping, we decided to leave the summit for another day and simply ski down the Warren Glacier towards Glacier Pikes. Once again, we were pleasantly surprised at the good snow. We easily avoided crevasses and never came close to roping up. From Glacier Pikes we skied down Sentinel Glacier to Garibaldi Lake. From there it was a short jaunt up the lake to the Burton Hut, maintained by the Varsity Outdoors Club. Unlike the night before we were the only people in the (much smaller) hut. We enjoyed the peace and quiet and another delicious dinner.
Awake at 6:00, Rok, Sam and i headed up Guard Mountain shortly after sunrise. We skinned and kick-stepped up to a sweet-looking East-facing bowl and absorbed sick views of the surrounding glacier-draped mountains before skiing back down to the hut. Once again, the snow was way better than the rock-hard crust everyone had been expecting. After lunch, packing and cleaning up, we set off across the lake. By eschewing skins we made excellent time. From the NW corner of Garibaldi Lake we skied and hiked down the trail, past Rubble Creek parking lot, right down to Hwy 99. At this point we were in a bit of a jam, since Sam's truck was back at the Diamond Head parking lot. We had laid beautiful plans involving friends picking us up and taking us back to our car, but none of these panned out so we found ourselves hitchhiking down the Sea-to-Sky in the dark with lots of gear. Incredibly, one brave soul named Charlie drove up in a big-ass van and offered to drive us all the way up to the truck! An our later we were at the truck, marveling at our good fortune and changing into luscious cotton. A huge dinner at the Howe Sound Brew Pub has us in carb coma for the rest of the drive back to Seattle. Got back in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
The trip was everything it was hyped up to be. For those who go out for the sick mountain views, this is about as good as it gets.
  • Clemence's Touque (lost somewhere below The Gargoyles)
  • Nick's Nalgene (lost somewhere on Warren Glacier)
  • Sam's Cables (snapped on Garibaldi Lake)
  • Rok's Nalgene (lost somewhere on the side of Guard Mtn)
  • Sam's Pole (bent while gawking at The Barrier)
2006 February 18th
JP's party of five were seen crossing the neve around noon on the 18th so they likely spent the night at Sphinx.
2006 February 16th
Lake is frozen very solid. Big winds and Hut was cold first night, but for second night we got the catalytic (naphtha!) heater going and partially buried the exposed parts of the hut to insulate it, and it wasn't half bad. Some urbanites had filled the Coleman lamp with kerosene, so this had to be dumped and washed with naphtha a couple of times before it would work. Did not investigate the Coleman stove or the kerosene heater, but likely the heater is rusted up and won't work. I am putting together a proposal to insulate the Hut, and take out the kero heater. Anybody interested in this one way or another, contact Roland.

Harrison Hut

2014 August 21st - Christian Veenstra
As of mid 2014 hiking season the route is continuous, but it is not yet complete as a trail. Footbed work continues in various areas. But it's brushed out, most of the worst sidehills have a good footbed, Barr Creek has a bridge, and there are sufficient markers that you should have no problem finding the way if you're careful.

Lizzie Creek Cabin

Keith's Hut

Snowspider Hut

Sentinal Bay Glaciology Huts