Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hutt'n on The Duffy

In October I had a few mid week days off and had the itch for an bit of an adventure so I loaded up the dog, my bike and some hiking gear and headed up to the Duffy Lake rd to look for a hut that I could use in the winter to ski out of.  I'd only scratched the surface of this area without snow and I was looking forward to seeing what else it had to offer. When the weather is good in October I think its the best time of year to be in the mountains; no bugs, fall colours, and a crisp feeling  in the air.

I'd wanted to head here for a few winters but had never found the time. Stories of people not being able to find it because it had been covered in snow up to the stove pipe discouraged me from trying, so why not a summer recon trip. The summer route involved a fair amount of time on logging roads so I thought that bringing my bike might be a good idea - that ended up being debatable.

After a 8km drive up a logging road, involving some significant racing stripes being put on the van and a quick hop over a creek. I hopped on the bike hoping for nice clear logging road to bike down. That wasn't  the case. Alders had overgrown on the road from the side and in the middle between the tire tracks, making it very difficult to make much progress on the bike, the slight up hill grade didn't help. Of course in my head the road was going to miraculously clear up around the next corner so I kept pushing the bike just in case...after about an hour of slogging I made it to the second river, where I would stash the bike having ridden it for less than 5 minutes.

Crossing this creek was numbing, made worse by the fact that the dog would not follow me as its terrified of water so I had to go back and carry it across. The creek came up to my thighs, it would be very difficult to cross in the spring. It was 3pm  by this point and I was only marginally concerned that I wasn't going to find the hut by dark.
About 45 minutes of walking through clear-cuts and forest later I made it to the first of a series of alpine meadows 
Annnnnd my keen sense of direction and hours of preparation  (more likely dumb luck) paid offf - It took a little less than three hours to find this five star hotel.
Mags finally relaxing a bit after I tricked her inside. I had a small fire to warm me up. 
Thanksgiving leftovers, heated by fire and a good nights sleep. 
 I spent the evening enjoying the thanksgiving dinner, some Howe Sound Lagers and reading the guest book, a lot of good adventures in this hut, 90% of which are in the winter. The hut was built by a group of people volunteers from whistler who politely request that those wishing to use the hut in the winter access it by non-motorized means.
Starry Night
Morning Light
and Delight

Sunny skies, this was a great October
A throne with some character
I wanted to get into the alpine a bit on the way out so I clambered up the nearest ridge. This took a lot longer than I thought it would, the slippery grass was a bit of a challenge. This area on the Duffy is known for the occasional Grizzly sighting which had me looking over my shoulder for a lot of the weekend. When I got to the pass that I was aiming for there were some bear tracks which of course I assumed were grizzly. It was interesting how the bear used the pass to travel between valleys just as I would have.  

Mags following the bear tracks, my favourite shot
Next drainage over, I could have sworn that I saw a grizzly near the lake, then I zoomed in on the photo and realized that it was a rock
The sled dog in her element
Finally tired!
Get me out of here. See alders + bike.  Bike out was better than the way in as I had gravity on my side but certainly not a walk in the park. 

1 comment:

  1. That's a nice cabin. I know the area. Planning to visit it myself also this season.