MOUNTAIN LIFE - Coast Mountains | Fall Winter 2018

FALL/WINTER 2018 MLCM 99 words :: Feet Banks The mountains are a beautiful and special place. Somewhere to find the deepest joys of your spirit, face your fears, and tap into the flow of life, nature, and the secrets of human potential. But those towering peaks and ridgelines can also be hard, unforgiving, and heartbreakingly random—shit happens in the mountains. It happens more often than we want, and it happens to the last people we’d expect. Which is why a memorial backcountry hut is such a special, perfect thing. A safehouse that can immortalize adventurous spirits taken too soon while also providing a haven for future travellers. A backcountry hut is a shelter from the storm so you can dry your boots, warm your soul, connect with others, and discover some of the most important parts of being alive. And the Kees and Claire Hut, resting beneath Fissile Peak on the edge of Russet Lake, will be among the nicest on the planet. The first of three huts to be placed along Whistler’s legendary Spearhead Traverse, the Kees and Claire took years of bureaucratic dancing to be approved, heli-loads of fundraised dollars to pull off, and thousands of volunteer work hours to build. But it’s almost finished, the first step in the realization of a dream that started back in the 1960s after Brett Port, Chris Gardiner, Alistair MacDonald and Whistler legend Karl Ricker first completed the 40-kilometre, horseshoe ski tour around the Fitzsimmons Range, connecting the summits of what are now Blackcomb and Whistler mountains. They were out there for nine-days. Long-heralded as one of the best high alpine traverses in North America, if not the world, the Spearhead is now typically done in two to three THE KEES AND CLAIRE HUT Creating A Legacy FromMountain Love, Life and Loss BACKYARD ABOVE Late light and a look at the hut on October 23, 2018. DAMIAN CROMWELL BOTTOM LEFT Claire Dixon, a trained ski racer, sinks a nice edge in. BOTTOM RIGHT Cornelius "Kees" Brenninkmeyer and Claire Dixon, enjoying another day in the woods. KEES & CLAIRE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION