Mountain huts don’t come from nowhere. Creating a new hideaway in the hills requires perseverance and the concerted effort of a group of people. The British Columbia Mountaineering Club (BCMC) has completed a new cabin at Watersprite Lake, east of Squamish, up the Mamquam Watershed. The location is in a stunning alpine backdrop just outside of Garibaldi Provincial Park, and presents an alternative to the area’s other popular huts.
The surrounding terrain makes for excellent scrambling and hiking during the summers, and moderate-challenging ski touring in the winters. There are also some promising looking rock lines, on Watersprite Tower on the far side of the lake. The prime motivator for the Watersprite Lake Cabin has been former BCMC president, David Scanlon.
Scanlon has had this location in mind since he first laid eyes on the terrain while hiking there nearly a decade back. The process to build a cabin was a winding road: eight years of investigating, the potential, securing tenure, refining the plans and a year and half of construction. In 2016, he put in 78 days over 18 trips up to the Lake.
The BCMC is a volunteer-run organization. Scanlon explains that the people doing the building aren’t necessarily trained in construction. “We’re volunteers so there’s always mistakes, but the efforts and collaboration makes up for it,” he says. All in, between 50 and 60 volunteers have put in time. Scanlon maintains that the efforts of the volunteers are the heart and what make projects like these.
Looking forward, Scanlon and the other members of the BCMC realize the inevitable dilemma of projects that bring more people to an area. “We’re pleased that people who otherwise wouldn’t get out to the back country are, but we hope that they all enjoy and respect the area.”
The Cabin will be used primarily by members of the BCMC, and is also avilable for the public to make reservations. Bookings are being done three months out. More information can be found here.
– Written by West Coast-based climber and writer Drew Copeland. Find more by Copeland at Squamish.com here.