After a full winter of immersion in backcountry telemark skiing, time has become one of the most important elements I am conscious of. Learning to climb, to hike, to ski big peaks is in some senses all about coming to terms with distance and the time involved in human-powered movement over a huge landscape. It is a good and healthy thing to have trips that remind one of why one does these things – that it is not about the sense of accomplishment, but rather that enjoyment should be processual. With patience comes the ability to feel time slip by in the knowledge that one is doing what one loves, with those one loves.
This past weekend (April 21-22) a whole gaggle of folks from UBC’s Varsity Outdoor Club went to the Brew Hut just north of Squamish. Brew Hut can be found up the Roe Creek FSR set atop an intersection point where several ridge lines all come together to form a sort of small pinnacle. With views in every direction and beautiful bowls for skiing, or alpine meadows for blueberries in the summer, it is my favourite VOC hut.
In the winter, access involves a bit of s-logging road at the beginning, and then some fairly moderate skinning (there are a couple of slightly steeper bits), before you enter the alpine meadow at which point it is a beautiful skin through the bowl up to the hut. In the summer this is the best part of the hike in, affording great views and excellent swimming opportunities and blueberry-picking.
When we reached the hut, the weather was starting to turn (the forecast called for heavy rain on saturday night and sunday), so while some of the group skied a few lines in the bowl, the rest of us retired to the hut to warm up, dry out and melt some snow for water. A leisurely dinner followed, with rain and snow hammering at the windows. As darkness settled over the Brew Hut, we lit the stove and settled down to some ibuprofen-red wine cocktails, sips of fortified wine and some intense crayon drawing. Should you ever be looking to entertain a group of exhausted/food-comatose/sun-burned/fun-burned/drunk folks and all you have to hand is crayons and paper then here is the game for you:
1. Have someone write a sentence or draw a picture(either one or the other -but which one doesn’t matter). When they are finished they hand the paper on to the next person who then has to either draw an image or write a sentence describing what they see.
2. When this second person has finished, they fold over the first sentence or picture and pass the paper to the third person. Thus the process begins again.
3. When the paper is full you can unfold it, and you will have a hilarious visual record of the broken telephone effect produced by people’s attempts at visual representation.
Waking on Sunday to a freshly decorated hut, we breakfasted then proceeded to ski laps on the bowl before heading back to the hut to pack up and head out. After a ski out that was much drier than anticipated – I could not believe it was not pouring with rain the whole time! – we reached the cars happy and exhausted.