Phelix Creek 15/11/08

Chris at Phelix Creek:
“Andrew, Cara, Gloria, Lucy, Midori and Ribeka joined me on a rather wet trip up to the Brian Waddington hut in Phelix Creek. The Blackwater Road was in good 2wd condition with minor potholes and a small amount of slick mud. The Phelix Creek Road is rough 2wd for a couple hundred metres before it becomes fully 4wd at the remains of a rock slide – park 2wd vehicles at a sign warning about mudding about 200 m up the road. We all piled into Andrew’s Jeep and drove to the end of the road (almost as fun as the Lone Goat trip). The trail is well marked with reflective orange metal tags and snow patches started early (1200 m). It took almost 3 hrs to hike / slog / snowshoe to the hut (only 4 km). There was up to 2-3 feet of snow in places but the lake was slushy and not yet frozen (1700 m). Temperatures never dropped below freezing even at night and it rained / drizzled almost continuously. The cabin is outfitted with only a small (size of a large pot) portable white gas heater which did little but fill the hut with fumes so it was soon extinguished. The hut was clean and, because the surrounding hills often have high avalanche danger, provided with much reading material (check out the outhouse log book) and many sets of playing cards. By morning about 6″ of snow had melted off and several people headed up the valley for a bit of exploring before we headed back to the trailhead. The hugely variable freezing level makes this time of year tricky to go hiking.”

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