Brian Waddington Hut

Summer access: 3 hrs
Winter access: 6 hrs
Location: 50.63059, -122.67985
Hut fee: $10 per person per night

About Brian Waddington Hut
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About Brian Waddington Hut

Built in 1998, this spacious hut sits in a subalpine basin at 1715 m beside Long Lake. It sleeps more than 25 people. The hut is open to non-motorized, non-commercial users.

Backcountry skiers visit the hut for dry snow and challenging runs. In summer, Mt. Gandalf, Mt. Aragorn, and Mt. Shadowfax are fun scrambling destinations. The VOC discourages visits to the area between August 15th and October 15th, when it is sensitive habitat for grizzly bears.

The hut has a wood stove (winter use only) and an outhouse. Firewood should be used sparingly, because it is carried in by volunteers. A creek south of the hut is open year-round for drinking water. For more information, see the VOC Wiki.

How to get there

Blackwater Creek FSR is ploughed in winter up to the start of Phelix Creek FSR near km 13. This is the winter parking lot. In summer, drive 4.4 km up Phelix Creek FSR to the barricades at the second bridge and park (2WD accessible; keep left at the fork before the bridge). Walk up the road through a few cutblocks until the road becomes a trail and climbs through mature forest to Long Lake. If the lake is not frozen, walk around the north side to the hut. The total distance is 5.5 km and 600 m elevation gain (9.9 km and 1090 m in winter). In winter and especially in spring, there is overhead hazard along Phelix Creek FSR from large avalanche paths.

2021 Phelix GPS track

Last updated: Nov. 30, 2021

Conditions reports
New report
it's spring!  Cali McTavish 

Took us 6hours in. We were taking our time because of blisters and also this was the first overnight tour for one group member. The first 1.5km is dirt from where we parked our cars. Some of us wore hiking shoes, others just did it in ski boots. The snow is slushy and melting fast on the logging road.

The forest was icy and challenging due to the steepness of the trail.

We skiied Peregrine col, and Return of the King. Peregrine col was lovely. About 10cm of fluffy powder over more hard pack snow. We took the high entrance in to Return of the King. There were some lovely parches, but also some variability (cookies). We also did a run left of Cabin Hill Left that was great.

Other then some very large cornices which we avoided as much as possible conditions were stable.

The cabin itself was in good condition besides the mice scurrying around at night.

We also saw some bear track on the way out.
April 18, 2022

Soul breaking trail breaking  James Hawes 

Hard to get to the hut with over 60cm new snow. Skis on from Birkenhead Provincial Park Gate. Hut clean and warm. Skied laps on cabin hill, great time!! Remote triggered size ones on unsupported convexities. Witnessed size two loose wet on s aspect. Size two slab on Gandalf west col. Great skiing on mellow terrain. Skied out before warming until 1k marker! Great trip, first time in area.
April 4, 2022

Conditions report March 29, 30 and 31st  Charles St-Louis 

Hut is in good shape but seems a little saddened by seeing the end of the season! We were the only one at the hut.

Approaching the hut:
Do yourself a favor and bring ski crampon (minimaly boot crampon). Last 3 km up to the lake is in terrible conditions but still doable on skis. Open areas are soft enough but in tight trees, snow is hardpack, crusty and with lots of bumps to circle around. Skiing down was done slowly and safely but consider conditions in your planning.

Skiing from the hut:
Variable conditions but overall, very decent spring skiing. N aspect still offer some dry dust on crust.
We saw a lot of snow coming down from S aspect caused by solar radiation and warming. So far, nothing large, mostly small cornices, wind lips, point of release around rocky areas.
Best skiing was found on N-NW aspect in lower angle terrain. We stayed away from large steep S aspect slopes. Skiing was fast. Lots of debris in Return of the King.
Run of the week: West Peregrine col
April 1, 2022

Conditions March 26-28  Niko Peiponen 

Stayed at the hut between March 26-28. Initially had the intention to stay until March 29 but the days were getting warmer and snow worse so decided to head out early

Decent riding to be had at higher elevations and earlier in the day anyhow.
Signs of previous wet slides at all aspects.

The trail had a few bald spots around the 1km mark requiring hiking short distances.
Going up, the trail in the trees was icy.
Cut off much of the trail on the way down by riding the south aspect of Cabin hill. Snow had rotten on the trail to the point that the "snow bridges" on a few creek crossings collapsed.

Melt seemed pretty rapid between our day in/ day out. Without new snow/colder temps the trail will quickly require more hiking down low.

Plenty of firewood in the crawl space if you crawl far enough. Had a fire the 2nd night and stocked up the pile beside the stove.

As previous post stated there is one or more rodents so stow your food away and hang your bags.
March 29, 2022