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Will Whistler Get Its Own Hut System?


You think Whistler just might about have it all as far as ideal outdoor venues are concerned. Over 5,000 vertical feet of terrain on two mountains connected by a gondola that connects the two peaks while cruising 1,500 feet above Fitzsimmons Creek. Tons of snow and world-class terrain. Legendary nightlife, heli skiing, summer glacier skiing, and the best mountain bike park in North America. Lakes, glaciers, and the city of Vancouver a quick two-hour hop away. But what about a hut system?

Currently, about 4,000 people each year cross the Spearhead Traverse, a 35-kilometer ridgeline jaunt that loops off the back of Blackcomb Mountain, through Garibaldi Provincial Park to Flute Mountain, and then back along the Spearhead Range to Whistler Mountain. There's currently no hiking trails along this route, so hikers have to bushwhack most of the 2-3 day hike over steep meadows, talus, and many of the 13 glaciers that cross the route. As the photos show, the skiing possibilities along the way are tremendous, and so many extend the journey in order to take their time to ski them.

However, currently only the tiny Himmelsbach Hut offers refuge along the way, and a small tent city ends up forming outside it during busy summer weekends. The Spearhead Huts project is proposing the construction of 3 separate environmentally-friendly huts along the route that will house 35-40 people each for $20-30 a night. The project currently has proposal in to the regional parks system and is seeking to raise roughly $1.6 million for construction from donations, with the hope of having all three huts in the ground by 2017.

· The Spearhead Huts Project [Alpine Club of Canada]
· The Spearhead Huts Project Homepage