The Wendy Thompson Hut of Marriott Basin.
Note: the hut has undergone a renovation, including addition of a wood stove and greater capacity.
This hut was built in the memory of Wendy Thompson --a paramedic and resident of Whistler-- in 2000, after a tragic accident took her life and that of all other occupants of an air ambulance on a mercy flight off Masset on the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1995.
Built by the Whistler Section of the Alpine Club of Canada this gothic arch hut might be undergoing some renovations in the near future.
As one of the most popular huts (after Keith's) on the Duffey for ski touring and hiking you should book the hut well ahead through the ACC Website
The access is easy, straightforward and and there are lots of powder skiing opportunities with and beautifully wild drainages that are easy to access. In the summer, the area is renown for alpine meadows and fantastic scrambling.
Located on the Duffey Lake road near Pemberton, BC, this hut sits in a beautiful, convenient location providing great comfort to backcountry users. Sitting at an elevation of 1850m/6070ft, there are a lot of skiing options right out the door and a huge amount more with some more effort.
From the Snowshed parking lot on the Duffey Lake road, the access is easy and straightforward.
From the parking lot at ~1280m, there is a cut trail through the new growth in the logging slash. This will lead you to the logging road. If you can't find this trail, retrace west (100m) along the highway west till you reach the logging road. Follow this logging road and remain on the lower spur. At the end of the road you'll note a sign for the hut at the trailhead.
The trail is marked but hard to follow in the winter. Continue NE climbing up through the forest. Make sure not to get sucked into the creek canyon. You'll maybe run across a sign pointing you to Rohr Lake it may confuse you because it points towards "Aspen". Take the Aspen route.
At about 1570m the forest flattens and opens up. This is a great camp spot for storm skiing near Rohr Lake. From here continue NW up the valley. You'll follow meadows and the creek until you climb through smaller avalanche scarred trees to the lake. Note that from the open meadows you're approaching through large run-out zones. From the lake you'll ascent jumbled terrain (easiest to go climbers left or right but not directly). The hut sits at the highest knob with forestation.
The Lat Long of the hut is: 50°25'46.30"N, 122°28'28.66"W
Total elevation gain is approx 560m. Distance from the road is roughly 6km on skis. Depending on conditions it takes anywhere from 2-6hrs getting in from the road for the average avid ski tourer.
The hut fits 16-20 people comfortably. The cabin is equipped with a wood stove, pots, benches, chairs, shovels, sink, books, an upstairs sleeping quarters, an outhouse. Cost is 10-12$ depending on wether or not you're an ACC member. The money goes towards flying out waste and hut maintenance.
Here are some google earth screenshots where I’ve marked routes to different areas around the hut. Note that depending on the angle, it may be hard to see ridge lines or steep features from pictures. Most of these routes are unmarked and not guaranteed precise.
Red lines: Skinning Routes
Blue lines: Ski Routes
Black lines: Bootpacks/scrambling/technicalities.
Here are some ski lines and up-tracks within Marriott Basin. This is where the bulk of people ski around the hut. There are some pillow lines, cliffs for those that huck, smaller slopes and astounding views from higher up.
Spruce Creek Drainage
In decent avalanche conditions this drainage offers a great loop with some ski lines along the way and a great ski run down into Marriott Basin to finish. Skiing into this drainage feels likes stepping into deep wilderness
Marriot Lake Drainage
This lake is unnamed but for our intensive purposes I've dubbed it "Marriott Lake". This drainage like Spruce Creek makes you feel like you're jumping into the wilderness. It offers dramatic views of Mt Marriott's N face which hold some great ski descents. This area requires good avalanche conditions to get in and out. You can also connect into the Spruce Creek drainage and loop out for a bigger day. This is the best way to tackle Mt Nequatque.
Seven Mile- Cayoosh Creek Drainage
Some great long descents with some nice glade shots exist here. The climb up to the top of the run Rock N' Roll often requires good avalanche conditions but getting to the softer entrance to the 7 Mile Bowl is often overlooked. You can follow a somewhat safe route down along the marked skintrack to reach the glades. In good conditions some nice long runs exists there.
Interested in a ski touring basecamp?