WINTER TRAVELLERS: Make certain you have read about the winter travel particulars on the Wendy Thompson home page and below. Be prepared to routefind and navigate.
Useful Navigation and Routefinding Tools for Winter:
- Compass and/or GPS and skills to use either.
- An area-specific map. We recommend “Duffey Lake”1:50 000 by John Baldwin ISBN 978-0-9691550-5-8. Available from any fine outdoor store in the locale. The Wendy Thompson Hut is marked on this map.
- An area-specific guidebook. We recommend Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis: A Guide to Ski Montaineering (Third Edition) by John Baldwin ISBN 978-0-9691550-3-4. Available from any fine outdoor store in the locale. See pages 128-131 specifically for hut details and recommended ski tours.
- Avalanche training. Minimum appropriate levels would be CAC AST1 or equivalent.
- Weather forecast and avalanche forecast. See South Coast Inland Avalanche Bulletin.
Map of General Pemberton-Duffey-Western Cayoosh Area
All driving directions to the Wendy Thompson Hut Trailhead begin at the Petrocan Station in Pemberton.
For up-to-the-hour remote weather station reports for the Duffey Lake Road, near the trailhead, navigate to the Cayoosh Summit MOH Remote Weather Station. To access recent weather data, click on the weather button below the photo.
- From the Petrocan Station, drive east 6.9 km on Hwy 99 to Mount Currie (intersection by white church building)
- Turn right just north of church to remain on Hwy 99 (to Lillooet); follow this road for 10 km until a dirt road branches right (Lillooet Lake Road)
- Ignore right and stay on Hwy 99, which begins to switchback up into the hills above Lillooet Lake for 16.9 km.
- Continue past Joffre Lake parking area on Hwy 99 about 7.7 km to a bridge which crosses Cayoosh Creek.
- Just past the bridge, Hwy 99 hooks left and then curves slowly right until it comes to a Ministry of Highways salt shed.
- Park across the road from the MOH salt shed. This parking lot is no longer cleared daily. Highways has been informed, but apparently there is a contract dispute between the contractor and highways.
Winter Access Route
A note on WAYPOINTS and WINTER TRAVEL: Please note that winter access will be different than the summer GPS waypoints posted. The easiest winter route to the cabin is rated ATES Challenging: users should be aware that they are responsible for navigating the easiest route to the hut in winter conditions and that this still puts the party in Challenging terrain. Avalanches can and do cross this route periodically, so all precautions for travelling in avalanche terrain should be in place. For information on the ATES Rating Scale please click here.
The orange-marked route into the Wendy Thompson Hut marks the summer hiking trail only. No winter route is marked, though portions of the summer route might be appropriate for access under favourable winter conditions.
If you don’t feel able to navigate and routefind in avalanche terrain under forecast conditions, you might consider the use of a guide to lead your group to the hut. We would be happy to recommend ACMG Assistant or Full Ski Guides or Mountain Guides for you if this is the case.
Directions for Winter Travel:
- Follow the north edge of Hwy 99 west for less than a hundred metres to an obvious three metre wide clearing that turns right and heads north into second growth forest (re-brushed Fall 2012).
- Follow this clearing up about 100m: this brings you to a landing on a forest service road. Stay on the main trunk which heads generally north for a few hundred metres until you see a sign (currently being replaced) indicating that this is the route to the Wendy Thompson Hut, continue on the main trunk (generally north).
- About one km up the main trunk, a branch heads to the right uphill. For hut access, ignore this branch, staying on the main trunk (the main trunk has been brushed recently).
- At about two km, the road ends, but a narrow track heads into mature forest directly ahead. Less than 50m in there will be a plaque on a tree to your left noting that this is the route to the Wendy Thompson Hut.
- Continue into the forest tending north. Avoid getting into the main creek drainage to the west and only use the obvious slide path on the right on the east if snow stability is good and there is little likelihood of the icefalls above melting.
- There are orange markers on trees that indicate the summer route through this lower headwall. Do not try to follow the steep summer route directly, but we suggest that you keep a general track of these markers as you climb.
- Note that a summer trail forks to the east near the top of the first headwall—this leads to Mt. Rohr, another destination. Both trails are marked with orange markers–do not assume following orange markers will take you to Marriott Basin.
- As one continues up and to the north-northwest, a large meadow complex is reached. This is the runout of a climax avalanche path and is the bottom of the Climax ski run. This turns the route to the northwest. Be aware that the route travels through avalanche terrain during this part of the trip. We recommend that groups do all they can to minimize their exposure during this part of the trip. Our suggestion is to keep to the west of the avalanche scar, climbing through steep forest slightly above the runout to gain the top of a moraine that is fully forested. This will lead to a small lake (Marriott Lake)
- After passing by Marriott Lake (300m long) climb a short distance to surmount the first bump NW of the lake. The hut is located on the top of this bump in an meadow area resulting from an old burn.
- Please note that in a normal winter snowpack, the hut may be very difficult to pick out in poor visibility. This is because the roof may accumulate substantial amounts of snow and blend in well.
Summer Access Route (Note that significant changes were made with trail work upgrades this past summer, so the waypoints below are in error near treeline)
Summer trail waypoints are available below.
We would appreciate being contacted about any errors in this description.