Alpine Club of Canada

Summer2016Gazette

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by Jayson faulkner T he spring months were exceptionally busy for the Spearhead Huts Committee (SHC), whose members include representatives of e Alpine Club of Canada's Whistler and Vancouver sections, the BC Mountaineering Club (BCMC), Kees and Claire Foundation and the Brett Carlson Memorial Group. With seven years of work behind them, the SHC members were presented a Park Use Permit to construct three huts along the Spearhead and Fitzsimmons ranges adjacent to Whistler Resort in BC's Garibaldi Provincial Park. is was a huge milestone given that 50‑plus years have passed since some BCMC members submitted the first proposal to build the huts. e approval of the PUP triggered a flurry of activity to move the project to the next phase—construction. is is, in all ways, a very, very significant addition to the backcountry infrastructure of British Columbia and Canada as a whole, servicing what is arguably the most popular ski traverse in Canada that also has some exceptional summer terrain that will be accessed via the huts. In many ways, this is the most ambi‑ tious and largest project of its kind ever undertaken in Canada and it is only through the collaboration of the many groups that this was able to achieve this success. Community support and Lil'wat First Nations support has been exceptional throughout the process and that continues today. Spearhead Huts Project subsequent huts at Mount Pattison and at Tremor Mountain will be constructed in the following three years (contingent on funding, of course). To date the SHC has raised the funds necessary for construction of the first hut (a cost of more than $1M). e ACC National Board has identified this project to be of strategic importance for the Club's national membership, and the expectation is that when completed, it The Spearhead Huts will provide accommodation on the popular BC ski traverse. T he first hut will be located at Russet Lake and will replace the small aging shelter— Himmelsbach Hut—and the design is getting close to the final concept, which has been presented to BC Parks. Construction will begin in the summer of 2017 with the expected opening date of winter 2018. is will be a four‑season destination for backcountry users with the Russet Lake Hut accommodating approximately 35 people per night. e will service as many as 7,000 overnight guests per year! e SHC is looking for more fund‑ ing, donations, volunteers and the like, so if you are interested, please visit spearheadhuts.org and sign up for the updates. See you at the huts! ACC Whistler Section member and founding president Jayson Faulkner is Chair of the Spearhead Huts Committee.

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