Alpine Club of Canada

SpringGazette2017

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Le Club Alpin du Canada Gazette printemps 2017 27 design is in direct response to the won‑ derful Coast Range views that surround this magnificent location. Once completed, the hut will pro‑ vide overnight accommodation for 40 and feature a lounge area, dining tables with windows open to the view, self‑ serve kitchen facilities, propane cooking and heating, a solar power system, and urine‑diverting toilets. Foundation work will begin in late spring and poses perhaps the site's most challenging issue due to unknown factors surrounding the soil. Framing will take place in July, roofing, cladding, windows and doors will be installed in August, and the interior will be worked on right up until the snow flies in early November. All of this, of course, is hugely dependent on weather for flying in materials and the amount of volunteer labour that can be mustered. In winter, most day skiers utilize the Symphony chairlift to ski many fine slopes in the Oboe Creek drainage and on Cowboy Ridge at the north side of Singing Pass. e Kees and Claire Hut will be a great place to stage trips to major objectives such as Overlord and Fissile Peaks. It's expected that the hut will also be utilized by mountain guides leading clients onto nearby slopes; having trained professionals nearby will be a huge asset should emergencies arise. Needless to say, the "heavy lifting" to make this project succeed is only beginning. Special thanks goes out to the Kees and Claire Hut Design Team, who have been either donating their time or working for huge discounts. e hut won't become a reality without them! and Claire Hut to honour the memory of Kees Brenninkmeyer and Claire Dixon, experienced mountaineers who died on the Wapta Icefield in 2007. Another $150,000 has been committed by the Resort Municipality of Whistler. Other funds have been raised thanks to direct donations, a crowdfunding campaign and numerous special events over the past five years. All in all, over $1.3 million has been raised. e Kees and Claire Hut is estimated to cost approximately $1.8 million, so there's still significant fundraising to be done. e Society will be hiring a Project Manager and Site Supervisor to oversee the quality and safety of the work but hopes to keep construction costs down through the use of volunteers as much as possible. e Society is also reaching out to the construction industry for donated and discounted materials. Further cost savings will likely be realized by hav‑ ing loads of building materials flown from a staging area close to Whistler‑ Blackcomb's lifts, rather than the Whistler heliport in the valley bottom. A good working relationship with Whistler Blackcomb will be hugely beneficial to the huts, since there's easy summer access via their extensive lift network. is new hut is a timely replacement for the aging Himmelsbach Hut on the shores of Russet Lake, one of Garibaldi Provincial Park's most loved mountain playgrounds. In the winter, it's a short ski tour from the top of the lifts on Whistler Mountain and in the summer, a popular hiking trail leads to its flowery meadows. e new hut is set on a ridge overlooking Russet Lake. e curving segmented by steven threndyle N o one ever said it was going to be easy. It's been seven years since a committee of Coast Mountain enthusiasts—including members of e Alpine Club of Canada—first came together to plan and build huts in the Spearhead and Fitzsimmons Ranges adjacent to the internationally renowned Whistler Resort, 120 kilometres north of Vancouver. After a lengthy assessment of the project by BC Parks planning staff, the go‑ahead was finally given in February, 2016 (Gazette, Spring 2016). Pending final approval of the detailed architectural plans drawn up by Vancouver architect Don Stuart, con‑ struction will finally commence on the first of three huts once the deep coastal snowpack melts near Singing Pass in B.C.'s Garibaldi Provincial Park. Given the desire to build these huts to a high environmental standard, it's not an exag‑ geration to say that the Spearhead Huts will be the most ambitious hut project ever to be undertaken in Canada. e huts will be operated by the Spearhead Huts Society, which is a partnership between the ACC Vancouver and Whistler sections. e Society board also includes representatives from the B.C. Mountaineering Club and the Kees and Claire Memorial Hut Society. e Society recently received charitable status to enable tax‑deductible donations to contribute to the estimated $5 million that needs to be raised in order to see all three huts through to completion. In 2016, the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation made a huge donation of more than $900,000 towards building the first hut. It will be known as the Kees Spearhead Huts set to break ground

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