Harrison Hut during construction
|Fee||$10/night (PAY ONLINE HERE)|
|Access||Harrison Hut Trail|
|Caretaker||Varsity Outdoor Club|
The Julian Harrison Hut is a large gothic A-frame located 50km north-west of Pemberton, BC at 1,725 m (5,659 ft). The Hut rests in a subalpine meadow at the northern most part of the Pemberton Icefield (south of Meager Creek valley), in the headwaters of Barr (a.k.a. Madhorse) Creek. Typical Access via the Meager Creek Valley is a 12.3km hike that starts at an elevation of 900m and traverses for 6km before beginning the final 825m of elevation gain. The total elevation gain on the trail is approximately 1200m due to the overall undulating nature of the trail. The Hut is currently maintained by the Varsity Outdoor Club of the AMS.
- 1 History
- 2 Fees and Current Condition
- 3 Access
- 4 Facilities
- 5 Activities
- 6 Maps
- 7 Gallery
- 8 External Links
Initially called the Meager hut during the planning phase in 1983, the hut was renamed the Harrison Hut shortly after Julian Harrison (VOC President 1973-1974) was tragically killed in an avalanche in California in April of that year. The Hut was finally erected on the Thanksgiving weekend in the fall of 1983. To read more about the construction of the Hut see the 23rd VOC Journal
Fees and Current Condition
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, non-commercial users. A $10 per person per night fee applies to pay for hut maintenance. The fee can be sent in to the VOC via our Showpass Donation Page or can be left at the hut in the blue drop box. If neither of these work, you can send it 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. Note that this is a bear-active area. Follow the proper bear aware procedures when hiking in this area.
The hut is accessed via the Harrison Hut Trail. Harrison Hut is zoned for non-motorized use with air access use, however, the VOC would like to kindly remind visitors that the hut is intended for non-motorized users only. In the winter when the hut becomes inaccessible to most self-propelled ski tourers, the VOC permits air access to the hut with certain conditions as outlined below. Aside from the winter air access described below, air access to the Hut is explicitly for hut work related trips (such as providing firewood or renovation materials) and not permitted for any other purpose. For further details on recreation zoning see the page on Winter Recreation Zoning near VOC Huts and the latest VOC Hut Management Plan.
Winter Air Access
Harrison Hut is the VOC's most remote hut situated on the far north end of the Pemberton Icecap. Winter access requires up to 40km of travel on an unplowed forest service road, potentially a river crossing, and a 6km bushwack skin. Alternatively, it can be access through a multi-day traverse of the Pemberton Icecap from the Rutherford Emergency Shelter, or from Ring Lake in Callaghan Provincial Park. Due to the extremely remote and difficult nature of accessing the hut in winter, the VOC accepts entry and exit access by Helicopter. This is the ONLY INSTANCE of motorized access at ANY of the VOC huts which the VOC accepts and only if there are no non-motorized travelers in the time frame you wish to access the hut. If you intend to access the hut via Helicopter, you MUST register and accept that you are second in priority to any non-motorized travelers. Include the full details of how many are in your party, the dates and times of helicopter access, contact information, and the company you flying in with. In addition, please bring with you your own firewood. The firewood at the hut is collected from treeline alpine and is a very limited resource and by bringing in your own wood we can preserve the wood at the hut for non-motorized users and reduce our overall stress on the environment. If there are ANY conflicts as a result of motorized users willfully abstaining from the procedures set out herein, the VOC will not hesitate to revoke this policy.
The information on this page is just a snapshot. See the Hut Inventory Page for complete information on tools and materials at the Hut
|Lighting||Two Coleman White Gas Lanterns|
|Cooking||Two Coleman White Gas Stove and One Propane Coleman Stove|
|Fire Safety||One Fire Extinguisher (1981) with good Pressure and Weight|
|First Aid||Neck Brace, Spine Board, Very Very Old Wall First Aid Kit (don't use the Mercury)|
|Sleeping||Open floor loft. No pads.|
|Drinking water||Nearby creek (boil or filter)|
|Human Waste||Outhouse (Use the Aluminum North Outhouse)|
|Greywater||Downhill of hut|
|Garbage||Pack it out|
The Hut can sleep 15 friendly people. It has a very efficient wood stove, and is surprisingly cozy and warm. Clothes and boots may be dried. Dead wood for fuel can be obtained from a small forest 50 m away; the use of the stove for the past 15 or so years does not seem to have damaged the forest. If you are using the hut during winter season (usually accessed by helicopter or snowmobile), please bring your own firewood. A Coleman stove and a Coleman lamp are provided, but you have to bring your own fuel (white gas). There is are two outhouses. The one made of plywood is the decommissioned and has been called the "Home Depot" as it is now used to store old timber and plywood that might be useful for projects later. Try not to use what could be useful wood for firewood. Please use the Aluminum Outhouse to the South-West rather than the Home Depot. Water may be obtained from the nearby creek to the North of the Hut. The Logbook is almost full and a new one needs to be brought up. All of the furniture and baseboards were rebuilt in 2017 with the door and floor replacement renovations.
A collection of books are available at the Harrison Hut for your enjoyment:
There are several glaciers within easy ski access from the Hut, and several peaks are nearby, offering suitable destinations for day trips. The Harrison hut is often used as the start or end point of the Pemberton Icefield Ski Traverse
There are several possibilities for hiking, scrambling and mountaineering in the area. The most popular routes are on Overseer Mountain, Frozen boot, and the Three Stooges.
Frozen Boot (Mount Breshnev) (2579m)
- The North Ridge is a nice scramble. Mostly hiking with a few class 2-3 steps.
- The South Ridge is also a class 2-3 scramble, accessed from the col at the top of the Roller Coaster Glacier.
Overseer is the highest summit on the Pemberton Icefield. In his scrambles guide Matt Gunn describes a route skirting the edge of the Madhorse Glacier and up the South East side as moderate, not to mention giving it three stars (out of a possible three). There are two routes to get to the mountain from the hut. The first option is to ascend to the top of the Roller Coaster Glacier, cross over to the Madhorse Glacier and descend towards Overseer. The other option is to cross the north ridge of Frozen Boot (steep grassy slopes) and come up along the Madhorse Glacier.
- The South Ridge is a moderately difficult scramble with some loose rock. The rock is better on the ridge crest, but the climbing is more difficult (up to class 3). Difficulties can be avoided (at first on the left, then on the right), but the rock gets much worse away from the ridge.
For climbers, Alpine Select describes a route up the central couloir on the Southwest face and up the headwall as 5.8, with many variations possible (read: possible routefinding difficulties or choose your difficulty, depending on how you look at it)
The Three Stooges (2441m)
The North ridge of The Three Stooges, glaciated on either side, points straight at the hut. Matt Gunn says: two stars, moderate.
Volition (Two Doctors) Peak (2368m)
SW from the hut, a scramble. Bivouac has some beta
Zygo Peak (2623m)
SE from the hut, another scramble. Bivouac has some beta on it too.
Uriah's Heap (2621m)
Another scramble with enough beta from bivouac to make it go.
The Meager Obelisk (2260m)
A 40m rock tower near Volition (Two Doctors) Peak offers a 5.9 fist crack. The first ascent involved two mountaineers luring two craggers from Squamish to act as rope guns. Upon completing the first ascent the craggers immediately top-roped some harder climbs on the same pillar.
- Harrison Hut Trail and Surrounding Area Map
- (notated) google map
- UBC Chronicles Archives (pdf file) mentioning the death of Julian Harrison (Fall 1983, p.14)
- American Alpine Club accident Report on Julian Harrison's death