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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    231

    TR: Kokanee Glacier Hut, Mar. 2017

    I was lucky enough to get invited on a weeklong trip to the Kokanee Glacier hut in mid March. The hut is about 30 km north of Nelson, BC in the southeastern Selkirks and sits at 1960m. It’s operated by the Alpine Club of Canada and weeklong slots are granted to groups on a lottery system. With indoor flushing toilets, running hot water, and electricity from a mini hydro-electric generator, it is less of a hut and more like a backcountry mansion.

    The heli ride in had me more than a bit worried for the week ahead, as we arrived at the hut to a full on rainstorm. But the temps dropped overnight, the sun came out, and we awoke to a beautiful morning.

    Skittles assembling on Kaslo lake just outside the hut, getting ready for our first tour


    Making our way towards Mt. Giegerich


    Looking up the ridge to Giegerich


    On top of Giegerich, looking down our run on the NE face


    Shredding the NE face. The freezing level during the rainstorm had been a bit lower than we had feared, so we were treated to about 5 cm on crust
    [

    The relatively bulletproof snow made for fast and safe travel, so we did a bit of a tour. En route to Sunset Mt., looking back at our tracks down Giegerich


    On the shoulder of Sunset Mtn. looking east


    We then headed back north to the hut, with a stop at Mt. John Carter


    The keyhole (notch in the centre of the frame) is apparently one of the better runs in the area. Didn’t get to ride it this trip, but it’s definitely on the hitlist now


    Next day, we got onto the Kokanee glacier. Looking up towards the Pyramid and the Battleship


    Ants making our way to the repeater and onward to Cond Peak


    Almost on the summit of Cond Peak, the highest peak in the area at 2800m


    Due to my accidental recording of 3 hours of what it’s like to be inside my pack (who knew it was so dark in there?), this was the only run I got on video. It was a pretty good one. 900m from Cond Peak down to Joker Lakes. Even at this altitude, the rain had done some damage to the snowpack before we got here but there was still about 10 cm of pow on crust, enough to let us open it up.



    Looking back up at our tracks on the top half of the run


    The lower half was a bit crustier


    Over the next couple days, clouds rolled in and it got progressively snowier, so we went back below treeline in the Enchanted Forest area north of Nansen Mtn.






    A day was spent in the Field of Dreams zone just west of the glacier. Some pics of yours truly





    Our second last day was probably the best of the trip. Heading up to the Pyramid and back onto the glacier


    We did a couple 800m laps on the glacier. They were pretty fun


    Our last day was a full on storm tree skiing day. Four of us did 9 short laps of N-facing trees. Deepest snow of the trip and a nice way to end.






    An amazing week with great people and great terrain. And I got to have a hot shower everyday and poo in a flushing toilet. What more can you ask for?
    Last edited by raypruit; 04-13-2017 at 12:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,195
    Sweet trip, thanks for putting this together. Do most people hike in?
    .....I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    16,889
    amazing pics. i think i need to work my way north one of these days

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    889
    Quote Originally Posted by ml242 View Post
    Sweet trip, thanks for putting this together. Do most people hike in?
    Spent a week up there a couple of years ago, there is an access road but hiking it would be a major slog... The custodian (is it still Kevin with his awesome avi dog Copper?) did say that on good years people have skied out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ogden
    Posts
    5,549
    Nice looking terrain. Any shots of the lodge interior? Do you know how many lottery entries your group put in to score a week?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    231
    yup custodian is still kevin. after the first day, he became a total recluse though. didn't see him again until the last day. his dog and wife were up there too.

    didn't take any shots of the lodge but there are lots online. it will almost certainly be the nicest backcountry lodge you've ever been in.

    i wasn't involved with trip planning but i think we entered the lottery for 2 different weeks, 10 entries each.

    in the winter, i think almost everyone helis in (how else can you bring a metric ton of alcohol?), but skiing in/out is apparently doable

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    889
    Quote Originally Posted by raypruit View Post
    yup custodian is still kevin. after the first day, he became a total recluse though. didn't see him again until the last day. his dog and wife were up there too.

    didn't take any shots of the lodge but there are lots online. it will almost certainly be the nicest backcountry lodge you've ever been in.

    i wasn't involved with trip planning but i think we entered the lottery for 2 different weeks, 10 entries each.

    in the winter, i think almost everyone helis in (how else can you bring a metric ton of alcohol?), but skiing in/out is apparently doable
    Weird to hear that Kevin was in hiding, we saw him a bunch when we were up there, dude is a fountain of knowledge. It was Copper's first trip as an avi dog and he was still a pup, had this bad habit of bringing your gloves from the drying room any chance he could. Seeing him in the heli was something...
    I don't want to hijack your thread, are you cool if I post a couple pics of the inside of the hut?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    231
    go nuts Boissal!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    889
    Outside of the "hut". You can see a bit of the outhouse (not in use unless somebody is murdering the toilet inside the hut) which is also propane & trash storage.
    The heli landing pad and beacon park are out of view on the left.

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    More "hut". The lower level houses the drying room, the sewage treatment plan, the micro-hydro, etc... Mid-level has the custodian living quarters, kitchen and living room, toilet & shower (no running water in the shower, there is an MSR outdoor shower bag at the hut). Upstairs is a giant dorm with several private-ish nooks.

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    Kitchen + sit around area. Two stoves, huge amount of counter space for food prep, tons of storage.

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    Drying room:

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    More drying room, probably bigger than my house, heated base board + gas stove.

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    Beer storage space is adequate. There is a 2nd one of these on the other side of the door

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    Copper the helicopter dog:

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Den/Baltimore
    Posts
    5,129
    Nice photos! Terrain and accommodations look super rad. Another trip to add to the ever-growing list. Thanks for posting.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ogden
    Posts
    5,549
    Wow, sweet terrain and lodge. Now I just need to win the lottery.

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