Staying at a hut now poses us with a dilemma: is it right for us to subject other hut-goers to spending a weekend with our toddler (as great as he is)? On the one hand, surely we should not be constrained to stay away from huts just since we have a toddler. Don’t we have as much right as anyone else to share a mountain hut? then there’s the fact that there are plenty of hut-goers that are even less polite or considerate than a toddler. On the other hand, it’s perfectly understandable if other people would like to spend a quiet weekend out in the mountains, away from their kids or other people’s kids. After all, we were once those same people, who would grimace when a kid cried, criticize their friends for using their kids to excuse anything, etc…. and the debate goes on.
On this particular weekend, no one else had signed up on the voluntary hut registration page. On the Friday before our trip, I was contacted by another party who was planning to head up to Brew Hut (see 1, 2, 3) as well. They inquired if sharing the hut with them would be comfortable for us. I replied that of course we’d be ok with sharing the hut, but that I was more concerned with their comfort… In the end, when we arrived to the hut, we found them already camped right by the hut, four people with four tents, four stoves and three dogs! Quite the party. Not only that, but another party had apparently showed up at the hut, assessed the situation and decided to camp on a nearby hill instead – we’ll never know what scared them, the dogs or the toddler.
Anyway, for once we managed to drive up to the summer trailhead with no trouble, and started hiking up the very familiar trail at the civilized hour of 1pm. The other dilemma on this trip was whether to bring snowshoes with us or not. Based on previous spring trips to Brew, and the high snow year, the decision was clear to us. But the aforementioned group had brought their snowshoes up in their cars but left them there, just to later be sorry they hadn’t brought them. Before long we had reached snow, put on our snowshoes and kept going to Brew Lake, which looks like a snow-covered football field at this time of year. From there we were in the alpine, and the views got better and better – back over our shoulders towards Garibaldi Park, and later over to the neighbouring peaks, Cypress, Tricouni, and Mt. Fee, familiar faces from our previous trips to the area.
Once at the hut we got comfortable, and had our dinner outside, enjoying the sweeping views and a mega orange sunset. On the way up to the hut I told Neil about the great fun we would have with the snow sled once we got there, and he got very excited about it. So, it was with some relief that I found the snow sled still there, in mostly useable shape (it has a large crack). Neil and I spent some time running up and down a small hill, and throwing snowballs to one of the dogs who caught and ate most of them, which we both thought was hilarious. We then built a “snow dog”, in honour of the obviously tired three dogs napping nearby.
Neil was very excited about sleeping on the second floor, what with having to climb up a ladder to get there. He slept until 9:30am, despite the others constantly slamming the door which kept waking me up, a chance for us to catch up on sleep as well. There was no dilemma for us on whether to wake him, we adhere closely to the “don’t wake your baby” rule. After a leisurely breakfast, a few more runs with the sled, and lots of admiring of the views, we headed back down, thanking our foresight again for having brought the snowshoes since the snow was even softer than on the way up. We made it back to Vancouver in time for dinner at Stepho’s, somewhat surprised at the fairly short lineup – it’s a rightly famous Greek restaurant.
Neil’s first time to the Brew Hut was when he was 2.5 months old, his first overnight hike. Now he’s almost 2.5 years old, and weighs about 2.5 times what he weighed then. So, naturally we will continue to look for ways to ease the load, including driving higher, staying at huts and so on. The dilemmas will still be there, but hopefully they won’t stop us from heading into the mountains!