February 04, 2009 | Tips from Us >
Radium Hot Springs, Outdoor Activity Tours
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We left Kimberley early on a chilly January morning and drove to the Fay Hut trailhead in Kootenay National Park (at Marble Canyon). The ski touring route to Fay Hut is fairly straight forward, follow the creek from Marble Canyon for the first 12 km, with the last 2 km ‘a grunt of a climb’, uphill gaining 450 m of the 600 m gain. The 2003 fires cleared out most of this valley, which was a little spooking at first gliding among the charcoal trees, giant match sticks in a sea of white with a hint of green from the trees spared from the flames.
The most difficult section of the trail was the climb over the 50 m headwall. With skis on your back, a useable summer rope, you had to climb on your own while falling (sometimes up to your waist) through this year’s acorn snow. But the effort was worth it, after the headwall the sight of the newly built Fay Hut, against the brilliant blue sky and stark white snow was all worth it.
The original Fay Hut, built in 1927 was destroyed in the 2003 (rebuilt in 2005). This is by far one of the nicest Alpine Club of Canada huts I’ve been to. This beautiful log building offers a kitchen/dining area, sleeping area for twelve upstairs and a living room area complete with wood stove to keep you warm and toasty! The cabin also has its own solar panels for lighting (very eco friendly)!
I absolutely love being at these backcountry huts! There is something about the remoteness that I enjoy. It’s an escape from the usual chaos of life. Out here, miles from civilization, I can completely kick-back without a care in the world. The stillness is comforting and at night (if it is clear) you feel as though you are one with the stars, they are brighter and closer than I’ve ever seen them before.
We spent two nights at the hut. And, since the hut offers a complete kitchen we didn’t have to carry much in, we packed in more food. Our dinners included appetizers and wine both nights; we lived like kings! During the day we built a sun pit to relax in the winter sun & catch up on our reading. Plus, we practiced our avalanche beacon searches just for fun. It was rejuvenating to leave the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life and truly experience ‘living in the moment’, even if it was only for a few days.
I can’t wait for the next hut adventure…