Nov 16, 2007

The Hunt for the Harrison Hut

ADVENTURE? Count me in!!!!

I was a last minute addition to the crew, excited and eager to join in on the adventure in finding the Harrison Hut. This hut had been built by the Varsity Outdoor Club many years back but had been standing vacant for nearly 4 years as the bridge to enter the Meager Creek had been washed out in a flood a couple of years back.

This was going to be my first attempt on skis since last season and my first multi day backcountry ski trip ever. Needless to say I was pumped for the entire experience.

Saturday morning we left Pemberton and began our journey towards the hut. It was pouring rain when we left but it did not dampen our spirits and energy. Once the locked gate was opened we were all on a high. Driving over the newly built bridge was exhilarating and finding out the second bridge wasn’t washed out made our day and saved many extra kilometers of hiking up a logging road.

A flat tire on Pete’s truck caused us to park the cars and start hiking. When we left the trucks there was little to no snow on the ground…a much different look upon our return to be told in future paragraphs.

The hike/ski in was long; it included some steep bushwhacking, ski whacking, skinning and some boulder hoping. It’s difficult to explain the emotions that we all felt when we first noticed the hut. It seemed so close yet it was still a couple of hours away….We eventually made it to the hut as darkness filled the skies. We settled ourselves in and spend a relaxed night, singing, chatting, and eating.

Sunday we hit up a nearby glacier and shredded some gnarly pow pow until wind and snow made it difficult to see and therefore to avoid any injuries we headed back to the hut a little earlier than we hoped but just before the storm hit.

I’ve never experienced such loud scouring winds. It was difficult to sleep through the night as the howling winds did not let up. Monday morning we awoke to snow in the hut and a complete white-out outside. After s solid group discussion and eventual concensus we decided that it would be wiser and safer for us to spend the day in the hut and leave the following morning. Thankfully Pete brought a satellite phone and we were able to get a weather report and report to Dan (the man of the hour) our repective work numbers and friends names to inform everyone that we would arrive a day late but that we were all okay. We spent the day fixing the door, shoveling a trench to get to the outhouse and water but mostly just relaxing to conserve energy as our food sources were low and we had to ration our supplies.

Tuesday turned out to be a brilliant day. It was a long haul to get back to the cars. We managed to sneak a couple of good turns in but mainly had to do some serious steep skiing in some seriously thick bush…Snow greeted us at the trucks but luckily did not cause much delays as the two vehicles were beefy enough to plow right through it all. We finished the day off with a fantastic dip in the hot springs and a delicious meal at the Pony.

Thanks for a fantastic weekend full of my favorite word..”adventure!”

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