Lyell Hut is the highest elevation ski touring hut in Canada. Perched on a rock outcrop and surrounded by glaciers on all sides, the Lyell Hut offers access to some of the best mountain terrain anywhere in the world. Situated at 2860m (9400′), it sits on the shoulder of Christian Peak (Lyell 5). You can be on the summit of Christian Peak, watch the sunset and ski down to the hut in the last light. The amount of terrain the Lyell Hut opens up is mind-blowing. All five 11,000′ Lyell peaks can be skied in a day trip from the hut. There are over a dozen glacier runs right out the door. It offers access to monster 7000′ runs that descend from the summits of the Lyells into Lyell Creek to the north. The hut is well equipped, allowing you to travel with a small pack and save your energy for skiing.
The hut provides dorm-style accommodation for up to 12 people. It is supplied with a propane stove, all cooking and eating utensils, mattresses, blankets, propane heater and solar lighting. While blankets are provided, guests are required to bring sleeping bag liners. There are hut shoes and a couple pairs of rubber boots.
Lyell Hut is the mid-way hut on the Icefall Traverse. It is normally accessed by the South West Lyell Glacier after a descent from the Mons Hut. This route takes you past the rim of Icefall Canyon. This chasm drops 600m from the rim above. The alternative high route from the Mons involves traversing along the crest of the Great Divide for 5 km to arrive at the hut. This has spectacular views but is usually only done in good weather.
Mons Hut offers some of the best high alpine skiing anywhere. The hut sits at the toe of the Mons Glacier and has quick access to at least eight different glaciers, including the North Glacier of Mount Forbes. Ski mountaineering includes peaks such as St Julien, Cambrai and of course Mons Peak.
The hut sleeps 12 in dorm-style accommodation. It is supplied with a full kitchen setup, including a propane stove, cooking and eating utensils, mattresses, blankets, propane heater and solar lighting. While blankets are provided, guests will need to bring a sleeping bag liner and food. There are hut shoes and a couple pairs of rubber boots. It is similar in design to the Lyell Hut but about 30% larger.
Mons Hut is the starting point for the Icefall Traverse. In the summer or on skis, this is a spectacular high alpine hut-to-hut traverse. The hut is normally reached by helicopter but, in bad weather, the helicopter may have to land up to 400m below for better reference. From the hut you can see the broken Icefall of the SW Lyell Glacier and the top of the Icefall canyon.
This cabin was completed in the summer of 2020. It is set on a small rock rib tucked between the lush treeline meadows. Towering above the cabin to the west is Rostrum and Icefall Peaks, with their huge broken tumbling glaciers. The sound of serac fall is common, and you can comfortably watch the show from the deck.
In the summer, the Tempest trail takes you from the cabin to the blue ice of the glacier in 40 minutes. There is a 9 km hiking trail between Icefall and Rostrum, and these can be linked up with the Waterfall Cabin for a three-night hut-to-hut hiking trip.
In the winter, it is normally used by groups staying at Icefall Lodge to offer more variety of terrain for the week. Spending a night at the cabin while based at Icefall for the week lets you get an early start and a more relaxed day for skiing some of the dramatic glacier lines. You will be up on the glacier early to catch the morning light on the Tempest and Diamond Glacier. It also allows access to glacier runs off the north side of Icefall Peak that were seldom skied. In the spring, it is the perfect base for the early start required for a ski ascent of Icefall Peak.
In bad weather, it has an entirely separate tree skiing area from the lodge and can be reached from Icefall Lodge in almost any conditions. Even on a snowy week, you will have great variety in terrain that you ski.
There are 12 guest beds on the upper floor of the cabin and a comfortable living room with a woodstove and dining area on the first floor. The view out the front window and the deck is of the arching couloirs of Mt Arras.
Coming soon! The canyon in Icefall Brook is a one-of-a-kind geological feature. It is like a huge pipe going down 600m into the surrounding limestone. The high peaks that surround it have massive glaciers going right to the rim of the canyon. There are dozens of waterfalls spilling over the edge of the canyon. It is impressive in sunshine but even more spectacular in bad weather when every small stream is running.
It is a day hike from the lodge making for nice variety on a hiking week. You can hike around the base of the waterfalls on the relatively flat valley bottom. You will hear the thunder and feel the mist of the falls tumbling from above. Nearby there are caves to explore.
In the winter, all these waterfalls freeze, making for one of the best ice climbing destinations in the world. There are over 25 established routes in the canyon, some of them as long as 600m. These are all within an hour of the cabin. The cabin will sleep 12 people. It will have a full kitchen setup with a four-burner propane oven. There will be a wood-fired sauna to shower in. There will be an indoor pee toilet and a drying room. Scheduled for completion in the spring of 2023.