After another week in the backcountry, I’m starting to settle into the day-to-day of writing in a mountain hut. First, leaving the city is exhilarating (as much so as coming back to it and hot showers, or more). The roads are familiar: the logging roads peeling off into one valley after another recall memories of their twists and turns and the peaks they promised. By nearly forgotten dreams of summits not yet reached call out after more than two years away and two more years of lazy cragging. The trailheads are dubious pullouts that look far more promising during the weekend (and during the ski season) full of cars. The approaches range from open logging road + well maintained trail (eg. to Keith’s hut) to a mild bush whack up an overgrown logging road (not sure I’m willing to strike out on into full on bush whacking for rumours of a hut).
The huts are amazing. Log + plywood buildings, insulated and cozy, with a wood stove for heating in the winters, an elevated level for sleeping, and this place even had a two-sleeping-padded ski couch (see the ski tips peeking out of left of the couch). At the very least, when using a mountain hut, leave it as you found it — no, always aim for better1.
Morning: wake as far after dawn as manageable given the lack of curtains (far better than a tent!); brew coffee2, breakfast; think/stare into space and take the odd notes, reading when frustrated/bored (good nook). Lunch (bread, butter, peanut butter is roughly equal portions), more of the same; soak dinner of dehydrated goodies so cooking is faster. Cook dinner, burn paper waste, eat, read, think, read, etc, until nightfall or earlier. Sleep — oh wondrous sleep and dreams! Seriously: averaging 10-12 hrs up there must be good for creativity.
After another weekend in the city, it’s back to the backcountry on Monday!
1. The horror of molding dishes and heaps of semi-decomposed TP didn’t last around the last hut I visited. I’m extra glad to be using a wood burning stove to burn through the evidence.
2. Habit has become be taking fatty greek yoghourt to finish after the hike in, leaving a pot to steep coffee in; then, using a homemade ‘sock’ cotton filter, pour/filter and presto! coffee. Said yoghourt pot doubles as a garbage receptacle for the hike out.