The Kees & Claire Hut
ABOUT THE HUT
The Kees and Claire Hut at Russet Lake is the first completed hut in a proposed system of 3 huts along the Spearhead Traverse. The hut is now in operation and we are accepting reservations for public use. Welcome.
- $45/night – Public ($15 discount for children under 14)
- $30/night – Members of the Alpine Club of Canada Vancouver, Alpine Club of Canada Whistler and the BC Mountaineering Club
Cancellations made after a booking has been made will not be refunded.
Changes to a reservation can be made up to seven (7) full days before reservation (such as reducing numbers or reducing days at a hut or changing hut). A $10 charge/fee will be levied for each change request.
Hut reservations are not transferable to another party.
Avalanche Hazard Cancellation Policy
- Note that the Kees & Claire Hut is located in the backcountry, in Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) Challenging terrain. The winter route is NOT marked, and you will be responsible for route-finding and navigating.
- If you are unable to make it to the hut because of navigation error or fatigue or group dynamics, we will not refund your payment.
- If the avalanche conditions, as rated by Avalanche Canada Sea to Sky bulletin on the days you are to be at the hut, are HIGH or EXTREME, in the previous evening’s forecast (after 18:00), we will refund you in full if you wish to cancel.
- NOTE: Your request for cancellation must be made before 24:00 (12 midnight) the night BEFORE you are scheduled to travel.
The Kees and Claire Hut has 38 bunks divided into 6 sleeping areas.
Provided at Kees and Claire Hut:
- Four 2-burner propane cooktops, complete with supplies and equipment for cooking and dining, such as pots, plates, utensils, mugs, glasses, bodums and tea pots. (Personal cookstoves are not to be used within the hut)
Items to bring to Kees and Claire Hut:
- 3 Season Sleeping Bag (Sleeping area is kept to 5-7 Celcius)
- Foamie/Thermarest (mattresses may be provided in the future)
- Hut slippers
Water At The Hut
While a water system is planned for the future, there isn’t currently water available on tap at the hut. At this time water must be collected from Russet Lake or from melting snow. Guests are asked to pitch in and obtain their own water from Russet Lake or transport snow as needed. Wastewater disposal is provided at the hut.
- Propane generator with batteries for power storage and LED lighting
- Twelve USB ports for recharging GPS units
- Free-standing propane stove in Brett’s Lounge
- Propane direct-vent heaters and a propane furnace
- Three urine/solid separating toilets with waste collection to minimize environmental impact
- Engineered dispersion field for urine and greywater
- Custodian Room
The hut is located just above Russet Lake (50° 1’ 20″ N / 122° 52′ 23″ W). It is accessible via the Musical Bumps from Whistler Mountain or by climbing up the Singing Pass trail from Whistler Village.
Hut Access – WINTER
There are 2 primary ways to access the Kees and Claire Hut in winter:
- Via Singing Pass from Whistler Village
- The less popular option. Most people take the lifts (see access #2 Via Whistler Mountain below), but Singing Pass is your only option in the event that Whistler Blackcomb’s backcountry access points are closed due to avalanche danger or control work. This access point also saves you from purchasing a lift ticket. However, to access the start of the Singing Pass trail you must first skin up the climber’s left side of the Lower Olympic Run on Whistler Mountain. Therefore, please review WB’s uphill skiing policy before you head out, and be careful and respectful of downhill skiers and WB’s safety rules.
- Via Whistler Mountain.
- Access from Whistler Mountain requires buying a day ticket or backcountry ticket. After riding Harmony or Peak Chair, you’ll ski to the designated Flute Bowl footpath and exit the resort area. Then enjoy a few ups and downs between you and the hut. Climb over Flute Summit and Oboe Summit to Singing Pass and then up to the Kees and Claire Hut above Russet Lake.
- RESPECT WB AVALANCHE CLOSURES:
- Note that WB Patrol will sometimes close access to this area due to avalanche hazard levels or active avalanche control work. In such cases, you will not be allowed to purchase a backcountry ticket, nor are you allowed to exit resort through a closed area. If they try to purchase a backcountry ticket, they will be denied if access is closed due to avalanche hazard. If they call the phone line and it says that access back into our tenure from the backcountry is closed, then so will access through our tenure via the current designated uphill hiking route. (Or via our alpine lifts once they are in operation)
- For closure status info call 604-905-2324. Option 1 is for Whistler, option 2 is Blackcomb and option 3 is the forecast.
- Returning to the resort? Same rules apply! Be sure to call the info line above to confirm if you can re-enter the resort.
- In case of closure there are two alternatives: the Singing Pass trail out of the valley, or the Harmony to Oboe Basin Traverse which is marked by a gate at the bottom of the Harmony Express, and by signage on trees where the trail comes out in the Oboe Basin drainage. This trail goes both ways so should WB’s tenure be closed, you can return via either of these routes. Unfortunately there is not enough snow on either of these routes as yet (mid Dec 2019), so until there is your only option during an avalanche closure is to walk out the Singing Pass.
The GaiaGPS tracks below mark the access routes that are always accessible. Blue marks the Singing Pass trail from Whistler Village. Purple marks the lower Harmony to Oboe Basin traverse.
Hut Access– SUMMER
The Kees and Claire Hut can be accessed in one of three ways:
- Musical Bumps from Top of Peak ExpressAfter riding the Whistler Gondola to Roundhouse Lodge hike down to the Peak Express and take that lift to the Peak. Follow Matthew’s Traverse and Burnt Stew into Symphony Bowl. Cross Symphony on a mix of roads and trail heading to the Flute-Piccolo Col. A trail leads over Flute Summit and Oboe Summit to Singing Pass and then up to the Kees and Claire Hut above Russet Lake.Approximately 9.4 km and 515 m of elevation gain, 2.5-4.5 hours.
- Musical Bumps from Roundhouse LodgeAfter riding the Whistler Gondola to Roundhouse Lodge a trail network can be followed past Harmony Lake and Symphony Lake to the Flute-Piccolo Col. A trail leads over Flute Summit and Oboe Summit to Singing Pass and then up to the Kees and Claire Hut above Russet Lake.Approximately 10.5 km and 760 m of elevation gain, 3-5 hours.
- Singing Pass Trail from Whistler VillageA trail leads from Whistler Village to Singing Pass and Russet Lake.Approximately 14 km and 1450 m of elevation gain, 4-6 hours.
Whistler Overnight Parking
Overnight guests of the Kees and Claire Hut are directed to pay park in Day Lot 4. There are 6 designated parking spots for Garibaldi Park on the west side of Lot 4 which should be used first, however other stalls in Lot 4 can be used once those are full. Payment is required during Peak Season (December 15 to April 15). Payment should be made on paybyphone.com (or using the paybyphone app) for Lot #4078 (this is the parking number of Garibaldi Park visitors) or in person at Municipal Hall during business hours. Guests must display a printed reservation for the hut in the windshield of the vehicle.
After April 1st, overnight pay parking is permitted in Day Lots 1 to 5 with a maximum stay of 24 hours. Overnight parking is also available in the Conference Centre underground and Whistler Public Library as well as some hotels.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler has also posted information about overnight parking.