Kirwan Hut

The Kirwan Hut was built in 2023 and sits in the Icefall Brook Canyon. It is at the base of the dozens of waterfalls that spill over from the cliffs above, up to 600m high. In the summer it is a hiking destination. In the winter the waterfalls freeze making it the perfect base for ice climbing. There are 30- 40 established routes in the Canyon, all within an hour walk of the Hut.

The Hut sits at 1250m 51 52' 37"N 117 04' 26"W

The Hut is 2 stories with dorm sleeping upstairs and kitchen dining and living room areas downstairs. There are 10 beds with mattresses and blankets provided but we ask that people bring a sleeping bag liner as there is not regular laundry service. It is heated by a propane heater and has a 4-burner oven and all cooking and eating supplies. There is an indoor pee toilet (urine only please) and an outhouse. Water is from the nearby Icefall Brook. There is a solar panel and 12 volt LED lights. You can charge small devices from a USB port. There are 4 pairs of snowshoes at the hut that can be used for approaches.

Access to the hut is normally by helicopter. Expect about $2000 each way for the helicopter. The helicopter seats 5 and the weight limit is  about 1500 lbs. They will not typically have time to do an exchange on Saturdays. For baggage there are 2 ski baskets and a tail boom. Bulk is often more of an issue than weight.

The cost for the hut is $50/ person/ night + tax. To book, a deposit of half the trip price is required. This is non-refundable. The balance is due before the start of the trip. You can wait until just before the start of your trip. If you don't like the look of conditions you can cancel and not pay the second half.

In terms of the ice climbing season, there is usually good ice from late November to late March. In terms of avalanche hazard some of the walls such as the Icefall Wall are under large avalanche slopes with the start zones over 1000m above. The Lyell Wall has steeper slopes on the approach than above. The Popsicle Wall and Mons Wall have mature forest above and less hazard. General avalanche conditions can be obtained from avalanche Canada. They don't specifically forecast this area but the North Columbia is the closest in terms of conditions.

For communication at the lodge it is recommended that you have InReach type device. Icefall Lodge is about 6 km away and there are groups skiing out of there for most of the winter. Radio communication with them through the repeater is possible. You will need to bring your own radio. Guides at the lodge may be able to give you some updates on avalanche conditions at higher elevations but groups going into the Kirwan Hut should be able to make all decisions on avalanche and other safety issues on their own. We will not provide recommendations on which routes are safe to climb.

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