This trip was an adventure. Yes, we have been to Brew Hut a few times over the years. But this trip was different. Being Neil’s first backcountry overnighter, we really didn’t know how it would go and even whether we would make it to the hut, and in fact we almost didn’t. On the morning of the trip, before leaving, I suddenly realized that with the warm weather we would probably need snowshoes. After making a phone call or two, I dashed over to Ron and Dana to pick up their snowshoes, which in retrospect were very much essential. We were finally ready to leave, sometime after 11am, not exactly an early start.
Maya has a habit of falling asleep when we cross the Lion’s Gate Bridge, and Neil seems to be taking after her. He slept the whole way, even on the bumpy logging road. When we couldn’t drive any further, we hiked an extra kilometer and a half on the gravel road. This was actually a bonus, since the views were quite phenomenal, due to the unfortunate logging practice of clear cutting, which really opened up the views. We could see Garibaldi Massif, Cloudburst Mountain and Black Tusk very clearly. After carefully navigating a maze of new logging roads, we arrived to the well marked trail head and entered the forest.
Some time later we hit some snow, at which point gaiters became necessary and then snowshoes. Even with the snowshoes on, the late hour and warm weather meant that we were sinking in quite a bit. Without the snowshoes we would probably have been sinking in to our knees and sometimes to our hips. We left the trees behind, passing by the flat white snow patch we know to be Brew Lake. Stopping for a break, feeding Neil and changing his diaper in the alpine, surrounded by snow felt surreal; new and special.
Arriving to the hut always seems like a surprise since one can’t see it until one is only a few minutes away. Its location, up on a high and remote ridge, means that spectacular views are the norm, at least when the common whiteouts are absent. Our friends Tricouni Peak, Cypress Peak and Mt. Fee were just where I remembered leaving them the last time we were there. At almost three months old, we wondered if Neil is the youngest person to ever visit the hut?
Although it was a weekend, we were lucky enough to have the hut to ourselves. We had wondered what would happen if someone else showed up: Neil is a quiet baby, but still, we would have felt a bit uncomfortable with him waking up unsuspecting strangers once or twice during the night. We slept late, and packed slowly while admiring the views. Just before leaving we signed the logbook, filling its last page. By chance we were also the ones to write the first entry in that logbook, on a sunny weekend trip, almost exactly three years ago.
As usual, the way down was much faster, and soon enough we were back at our car. When arriving back to the car, the first thing I do is always to circle it to make sure we don’t have any flat tires, but luckily we were spared one more time. On finishing a weekend trip, the subject of where to eat is a popular one, and we easily settled on our new favourite in Squamish, the Mexican Mag’s 99 on Urbanspoon, which was packed. It seems to have become a favourite for a few other people too…