ACC kicks in for Spearhead huts

 
 

Spearhead huts are taking shape

Summer is just around the corner and the Spearhead Huts Society has started up construction work for the season on the first of three huts on the Spearhead Traverse in BC’s Garibaldi Provincial Park.

At the ACC we know a little bit about huts – we know how they can bring communities together, how they serve as a way to introduce people to backcountry travel and how they can open up world-class mountain terrain so that more people can access it safely.

 

ACC National matching donations

We also know how much work they can be to build and maintain. Which is why we are so excited to see the amazing progress that Spearhead Huts Society has made and why we are so keen to support them by matching donations up to $120,000.

Read more about the Spearhead project below. Or, if you're just here to get your donation matched, click the button below and know that you have our thanks and that we've doubled you up.

 And we're off! This spring's team digs out the foundation of the Kees and Claire Hut that was poured last autumn. Photo by Stephen McVeigh

And we're off! This spring's team digs out the foundation of the Kees and Claire Hut that was poured last autumn. Photo by Stephen McVeigh

About the spearhead

The Spearhead Traverse is a truly world-class ski route, comparable to the best anywhere. The route is 35 kilometres long and crosses 13 glaciers. The horseshoe loop can be travelled in either direction and both ends of the route are accessible from ski lifts at the Whistler and Blackcomb ski resorts. The traverse can be done in as little as 2 or 3 days, although you can add in overnights to explore, ski and ski mountaineer along the way.

The traverse is a summer as well as winter outing, and all three huts will be accessible by trail in the summer via a new loop trail around the Fitzsimmons Creek drainage.

 Summertime in the high alpine of the Spearhead. The traverse and the huts will be open all seasons.

Summertime in the high alpine of the Spearhead. The traverse and the huts will be open all seasons.

The Dream

The traverse was first done on skis in 1964, well before the ski lifts that made access easier were put in, and has become popular in recent years. The addition of three huts will make the trip safer and more accessible along with concentrating and minimizing environmental impacts in the Garibaldi backcountry.

Volunteers with the Spearhead Huts Society (SHS) had a dream to share the rugged beauty of the Spearhead Traverse with all adventurers. They envisioned a series of three huts, built and run with a minimal environmental impact. After eight years of planning and thousands of hours of organizing, fundraising and now construction, this dream will soon become a reality. The first hut – the Kees and Claire Hut – is slated to be open for bookings in the fall of 2019.

More and more people are seeking to experience the majesty of Canada’s mountain backcountry, the Spearhead Project will serve an important role in providing access to a new generation of enthusiasts as well as reducing the environmental impact of backcountry travel. The ACC is excited to be a supporter of the project.
— Neil Bosch, ACC President
 Dreamy alpenglow on the Spearhead Traverse. Photo by Stephen McVeigh

Dreamy alpenglow on the Spearhead Traverse. Photo by Stephen McVeigh

The Project

Three huts will be built, with the Kees and Claire Hut overlooking Russet Lake well underway. The second hut, at Mount Macbeth was recently the recipient of a transformational gift from Vancouver’s Andrea and Brian Hill, ensuring that it will also proceed in the near future. The third hut will be located at Mount Pattison.

As the SHS continues with the build of the first hut, they are looking for volunteers to help them out at the hut sites. If you’re in the area and are keen to help out, they’d love to hear from you. Their website has details on how to get involved.

 The Kees and Claire Hut is under construction at Russet Lake. The hut at Mount Macbeth is on deck.

The Kees and Claire Hut is under construction at Russet Lake. The hut at Mount Macbeth is on deck.

ACC Involvement

Different levels of the ACC have been involved with the Spearhead huts project since the beginning. Our Whistler and Vancouver sections were involved in the visualization and the heavy lifting of organizing, fundraising, planning, permitting and construction. They’re also key partners of the Spearhead Huts Society – the non-profit group that will operate the huts.

Today, the national ACC club is very excited to announce that we will be matching all donations to the three huts, up to $120,000.

The ACC has been the pre-eminent advocate for responsible alpine recreation and mountain spaces in Canada for more than 100 years. Their support for what is the most significant and ambitious alpine huts system in North America is both generous and incredibly important.
— Jayson Faulkner, SHS Director

Update (July 17, 2018)

Congratulations to our friends at the Spearhead Huts Society!

The volunteers at the Spearhead Huts Society are already hard at work with the build of the first stop in their hut-to-hut initiative in Whistler’s backyard, the Kees and Claire Hut.  The ACC is proud be a supporter and has provided a gift of $120,000 to provide our mountain community with a new backcountry experience. They still need your support, please consider making a donation.

Photo: Janice Power


Get Involved

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If you are planning on exploring the Spearhead in the coming years, or if you are just keen on the idea of supporting a world class hut to hut mountain adventure in Canada’s Coast Mountains, now is a great time to do it.

 
 
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