Excellent hiking, mountaineering and ski touring. Summer access is a 5-7 hour hike on good trails. Winter access is normally 2 days with an overnight at the Edith Cavell Hostel. Class A, sleeps 30 (24 in winter).
Tucked away in a corner of the spectacular Tonquin Valley, this large and well-equipped log cabin is a fantastic destination both summer and winter. There are a number of excellent alpine rock and mixed routes in the area as well as some delightful scrambles and many superb hiking opportunities. Something for everyone.
This third version of the Wates-Gibson Memorial hut was built in 1959 after two previous structures in different locations were found to be inadequate for various reasons. This should be third time lucky!
The most popular approach in summer and winter follows the Astoria river trail from the Edith Cavell hostel, a distance of about 18 km. In winter the access road to the hostel is closed, so one needs to add about 12 km to the total distance. Some people will use the hostel as a half-way point then continue to the hut the next day. Contact the Hostelling Association at (780) 852-3215 for more info if planning to do this. For detailed info on the winter access route one should refer to Chic Scott's excellent guidebook 'Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies'.
The potential for ski trips from the hut is huge. With imagination and a sense of adventure it is possible to spend many winter days doing new trips and returning to the cabin each evening to sit in front of the wood stove and relax in pure comfort! The propane system for lighting and cooking adds to the comfort and convenience that one will experience year round at the hut.
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