Fairy Meadow Hut Maintenance - 2017
Editor's note: The Alpine Club of Canada maintains 26 backcountry huts – plus another 6 that are maintained by local sections – which range from family-friendly cabins set in alpine meadows to backcountry powder paradises and remote climbers’ refuges. ACC huts provide basic, rustic shelter for backcountry travellers, offering protection from the elements, and communal cooking and sleeping areas. All of this requires year-round maintenance to keep the wood stocked, the outhouse barrels fresh, and everything in between.
Remote maintenance poses its own challenges, as described in the story below.
A serious undertaking
In August 2017, the ACC maintenance team spent nine long days at the Fairy Meadow Hut renovating the kitchen, staining exterior structures and giving the hut a much needed deep clean. After arriving, half of the team spent the first couple of days clearing the route into the hut — the "trail" in to Fairy Meadow becomes quite overgrown every year, like clockwork — while the other half started renovations on the kitchen.
It wasn't long before everyone realized this was going to be a much bigger job than originally planned. One section of the kitchen counter and shelves were torn out and re-built, the counter tops were replaced, all shelves were sanded and stained and a new section in the kitchen was created for a second oven.
Unfortunately, rain also created a delay with staining of the exterior buildings. Despite these setbacks and unexpected amount of work, we finished the work just in time. The photos below really show how much of an upgrade was accomplished over our time at the hut. It's looking fresh and ready for another epic ski season!