I really need to keep up on the blog posts. This one should have been written closer to November 2013, when we actually did this winter hike.
The Wendy Thompson Hut is up near Pemberton, just off the Duffy Lake Road in the Marriott Basin. It’s run by the Alpine Club of Canada’s Whistler Section and, unlike most, is a fully reserved hut. $10 per person per night. Well worth it.
Since you will have seen my last (rather popular I must say) post about map making, I have a few maps for you:
- CalTopo map I made (using ClubTread waypoints if I recall and GPS track that I cannot find the source of).
- The print configuration I used – and here is a direct link to the PDF: Wendy Thompson Hut Winter Route Map.
- Further directions from ACC Whistler.
- Wendy Thompson Hut is located at 50.4299, -122.4746 (decimal degrees).
- Avalanche Forecast area is South Coast Inland.
The way up in early November was rather deep snow. Quite strange to be on snowshoes for the first time that year. The FSR wasn’t too bad, slight uphill incline. When you find the trail head marker (there is a photo below but it’s further away from the FSR than you think), you start more tricky footwork.
As you progress through the forest, there is more incline. The way is marked and not hard to follow. I found myself just pushing through here and minding my footing. Jesse (Hannah’s Dog) of course was having a great time.
Eventually you come out of the forest and onto what initially looks like a meadow, but you soon work out a lake it nearby. In winter people were crossing it (I wouldn’t, you don’t know how thick the ice is) but we went round the shoreline (as best we could work out). The areas around the lake are quite rocky and we found ourselves pushing through snowdrifts.
The final leg is an uphill to the hut. Traversing left and right and through some light trees. We didn’t really see the hut until it we were right on it.
The hut is well equipped. The paraffin/white gas heater is a welcome sight (bring your own fuel and read the instructions). Remember to take off your shoes in the entry way to keep snow out. The upstairs (ladder accessed) is very spacious so quite a few people could sleep there, but the downstairs is smaller, two tables and benches.
We had it completely to ourselves that night!
Many games of cards were played. Kind of wish we had brought a portable speaker for a bit of music. I would say you can haul up a bit of extra weight as it’s not an extremely far location. Do remember your warm coat and booties though.
- ACC Whistler’s Page for Wendy Thompson Hut
- VOC Wiki’s page
- A great post by Sam McKoy on his trip, and details and maps skiing in the area
- A TrailPeak trip report on the Marriott Basin.
- Hint: if you’re looking for info, search for both “Wendy Thompson Hut” and “Marriott Basin” as they give different results but usually guide you on the same trip
And let’s not forget the photos: