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
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 (2WD accessible with low clearance). 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 with moderate clearance; 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: Oct. 15, 2022

Conditions reports
New report
Lake seems frozen over  mona yu 

The upper parking lot is accessible with 4wd / 2wd + chains. Trail in the forest is quite icy and not fully covered in snow. Boulders still aren't covered. We didn't put on our snowshoes until ~100m below the lake. Lake seems to be fully iced over now. Our group walked right over the center in the morning.
Nov. 19, 2022

Still early season  Connor Jakes 

With 5-10cm of snow at the base, the upper parking was still easily accessible with 4WD or 2WD+Chains. Enough snow to skin didn't start until 50-100m below the hut, with 60-80cm of snow measured at the hut. Boulders are definitely not covered yet, but reports from above the hut suggest upwards of 1.5m of snow. The lake was frozen over with tracks on the ice staying near the edge, but there was still some open water, and cracking from the lake during mid-day sun. It's still definitely early season conditions, but a few more dumps and the skiing should be considerably improved. At present though, expect to boot pack most of the way to the hut.
Nov. 13, 2022

skin and ski @ cabin.  Kate VK 

Parked at upper lot, already with a few cm on snow on the ground. Skinned up the first few km and then transitioned to boot pack. Just shy of the lake, we put on skins on again. There was about a meter of snow up at the cabin. Not much skiing due to coverage but there were still turns to be had.

On Friday night, we shared the cabin with two other parties. On Saturday night, we shared the cabin with four other parties, including one dog. There was less coverage on the trail coming back down on Sunday, presumably packed out with the multiple parties with snowshoes who came up on Saturday.
Nov. 12, 2022

Covered in snow but doable with snowshoes/microspikes  Marina Vineta 

We were able to drive up ~4km of the trail. You definitely need a 4WD or chains to get there. If not you can park at the bottom and start hiking from there.
The trail is easily accessible but need snowshoes as there are lots of powder snow. We were not planning on skiing but some other people mentioned there were still too many rocks to do so.
In the hut, we felt very comfy and warm.

Super recommendable! Magic valley covered in snow
Nov. 12, 2022