Alpine hut proposed for 5040 Peak Trail

The Alpine Club of Canada is hoping to build a wilderness hut for public use on the 5040 Peak Trail near Sutton Pass.

The Alpine Club of Canada is hoping to build a wilderness hut for public use on the 5040 Peak Trail near Sutton Pass.

The Alpine Club of Canada is a non-profit mountaineering and outdoors club that was formed in 1906 as an outfit to promote and recommend mountaineering training, safety, stewardship of the outdoors and just generally encourage people to pay attention to the world around them.

“One of the things that they have done over the more than 100 years that they’ve been in service to the country, and mountaineers in particular, is created a strain of huts across Canada,” Chris Ruttan, member of the hut committee for the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club, told Port Alberni City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

The club looks after about 36 huts across Canada none of which are located on Vancouver Island.

“We wanted to build a proper hut somewhere where we could promote wilderness use, skiing, back country skiing, hiking and climbing,” Ruttan said. “5040 Peak is at the end of Marion Creek forest service road which is off Highway 4, just past Sutton Pass. It’s a really popular destination and it’s becoming a lot more popular these days.”

So far, the group has gained a lot of community input and support.

“There’s four First Nations that are pretty closely involved in the territory that we’re looking at…it turns out that four of the First Nations land claims intersect almost exactly where the hut is proposed, Ruttan said. “We’ve gone and had meetings with three, that I’ve attended, and the support there has been really good.”

The proposed hut would sleep up to 12 people, include a wood pellet stove, a composting outhouse, propane stoves for cooking and solar panels for lighting.

The project is estimated to cost $135,000. After receiving first stage approval for a $90,000 Island Coastal Economic Trust grant, and a $15,000 donation from the Alpine Club, Ruttan said the remaining $30,000 will be raised through fundraising initiatives.

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