Fairy Meadow Hut - Trail 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, including clearing the trail to Fairy Meadow Hut.
Remote maintenance poses its own challenges, as described in the story below.
Fairy Meadow is a hut relatively few have accessed on foot. During the summer months, it is possible to reach the hut by driving 63km down an active logging road followed by a challenging hike over about 8km and 1000m elevation.
In August of 2017, the ACC maintenance team along with help from volunteers, spent two days clearing the "trail" down to where a team of volunteers had stopped the previous year. The alders were trimmed, deadfall was bucked and cleared and additional trail markers were added at key points.
Carving out a "trail"
However, despite the work we've done, we are hesitant to refer to it as a "trail" but more like a "way." Alders grow quickly and avalanches will continue to cover the route with snow and other debris which creates challenges for route finding and potential danger in certain locations. It is still very much a "climbers trail" — steep and direct.
If you're planning to hike in on foot next summer, be prepared for an adventure. Do your research, bring a map, compass, GPS, radio for the road if possible and necessary gear for spending an unplanned night outside.