5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
Whether you're a fan of Lord of the Rings or not, the Brian Waddington hut is pretty unreal.
The access can range from a good adventure to a blistering experience depending on conditions, but once you get in there it's pretty easy to forget the suffering.
Maintained by the VOC club at UBC it's a pretty special hut in a pretty special area.
The hut is separated into two floors, a living floor with a wood fireplace, replenished by the sweat, blood and tears of club volunteers in the summer so use sparingly.
The hut is first come first serve and can fit about 12 comfortably or 31 people in a “MAX SARDINES” arrangement! It's a $10 fee per night (2023) that can be sent to VOC directly or into the money box at the hut.
The approach is 10km in total mostly along an fsr, but eventually, you get to the Phelix Creek Trail.
The trail has a 27-degree maximum and can be icy and pretty hard going with multiple nights' worth of food on your back, not the most forgiving for those fresh to touring, but a good adventure for those happy with a pack on their back.
It's an 1127m elevation gain and should take a reasonably fit party 6-7 hours.
However once you into the hut itself the zone is incredible.
Rich with history, the peaks of Gandalf, Aragorn and Tolkien tower over the area.
The runs are near inexhaustible with stable conditions and everything from a great day out to a long sloggy mission can be found to lead back to the cosy hobbit hole of the hut.
Cabin hill, Return of the King and Peregrine are great favourites but plenty of less obvious runs can be found to lead back to the lake for an incredible day in the hills.
Channel your inner Frodo and go have a great time! Tough snow conditions can make this very challenging, ski crampons are advised.