Let the only thing you hear be the gliding of your skis on fresh powder for three days straight. At the Kees and Claire Hut, that’s what you can expect—along with incredibly varied terrain and untracked snow. Located at 1,950 meters in the Fitzsimmons Range on the edge of Russet Lake, the hut provides unbeatable access to backcountry powder as soon as you step out the door. Let your guides show you the secret places and never worry about bad weather—explore high alpine lines when the sky breaks blue or find refuge among the trees if it’s stormy!
Meet your guide at 8 a.m. at the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Base. Upload a gondola and ski to the Kees and Claire Hut, which will take around 4 hours. Leave your gear and go out ski touring for the day. The Kees and Claire Hut is located at 1,950m (6,398 ft) behind Whistler Ski Resort in the Fitzsimmons Range on the edge of Russet Lake. First of the three huts that will create a hut system along the popular Spearhead Traverse, it features 38 sleeping spaces divided into 6 sleeping areas. It’s a state-of-the-art energy-efficient backcountry hut with composting toilets, wood-burning stove, and water from the lake and snow. When you’re not out skiing, rest at your cozy hut and let your guides take care of the cooking.
Take advantage of the hut’s ideal position and ski a ton of pow for the next two days. With its incredibly varied terrain and 11 meters (36 ft) of snowfall a year, the area around the Kees and Claire Hut offers a ton of easily accessible ski touring. It’s a great zone for storm days as it features open tree skiing in the subalpine glades, but you can also reach big alpine peaks like Mount Fissile. Carve turns in fresh snow, shred the powder on the ridges and descend from high alpine peaks. Let your guides show you all the secret powder stashes that only the locals know! As the sun goes down, retreat to your hut.
Have a hearty breakfast before your final day of backcountry skiing. There’s a whole day ahead of you, so ski some more and enjoy the solitude, as the only thing you’ll be hearing is the gentle glide of your skis. At around 4 p.m., ski back to the Whistler Mountain Base and recharge before saying goodbye to Whistler!
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced, ACMG-certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Three days of backcountry ski touring
- Group equipment
- Hut fees
- 5% GST
What’s not included:
- Personal ski & safety equipment (transceiver, probe, shovel, etc.)
- Transportation to Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Base
- Backcountry lift pass (can be arranged for $55)
- Sleeping bags
To enjoy the backcountry skiing tour at the Kees and Claire Hut, you need to have at least a moderate fitness level. This backcountry skiing adventure offers intermediate to advanced difficulties, which means that some previous skiing experience is required but no backcountry or avalanche experience is necessary. Keep in mind that for this adventure, you have to be able to walk uphill for a few hours.
Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner-friendly, meaning anyone with solid blue or black level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.
For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:
- Touring skis or splitboard with skins
- Touring boots and poles
- Ski and boot crampons
- Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
- Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
- Lightweight snow shovel and avalanche probe
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
- 40-50L ski pack
- Sunglasses and ski goggles
- Sun and lip cream
- Face mask
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Down jacket or vest
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
- Mid-insulation fleece of puffy jacket
- Warm outer puffy jacket
- Toque (wool or synthetic)
- Brimmed cap
- Face warmer (scarf, neck tube, face mask, buff, etc.)
- Light gloves and insulated gloves or mitts
- Water bottle and 1L of water
- Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
- Lunch for day 1
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- First aid kit
- Camera — optional
For the Kees and Claire Hut, you will need to bring:
- Comfortable clothing for lounging around the hut
- Sleeping bag (about 0 to +5 degree range)
- Sleeping pad
- Small pillow
- Phone charging cord
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent an avalanche safety pack (transceiver, probe, and shovel) with your guide for $30 a day or $100 a week.
Other mandatory gear, such as skis, poles, boots, or skins are available to rent from the following companies in Whistler: Whistler Blackcomb Rentals or Escape Route. Your guides can pick up the rental ski equipment if needed by clients, but please let us know at least a week in advance.
Group sizes and pricing:
- For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 6:1. All prices are per person.
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
Ski touring at the Kees and Claire Hut can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.
If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
With state-of-the-art equipment, homey atmosphere and majestic vistas, this charming backcountry alpine oasis is bound to win you over. The hut is even more unique once you learn that it was built in homage to Cornelius “Kees” Brenninkmeyer and Claire Dixon, a couple that tragically passed away in 2007. Hundreds of volunteers donated and built this stunning backcountry shelter where their names and legacy will continue to live on forever.
The Kees and Claire Hut is an energy-efficient backcountry hut with 38 sleeping spaces divided into 6 sleeping areas. It is heated, so all you’ll need is a light sleeping bag (and mattress, for the time being – the hut hopes to provide mattresses in the not too distant future).
The hut is fully equipped with propane stoves, equipment, pots, plates, utensils, etc. Only food needs to be carried in. The hut has electricity and lights and USB ports for charging phones, etc. There is also cell phone service at the hut. The hut has indoor composting toilets for your comfort and to minimize environmental impact.
Secure your spot for next year with a 10% deposit!This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you will be the first one to know about any new upcoming dates. Pick your preferred dates without the risk of your bucket list adventure selling out!
- Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure any time in case the dates don’t suit you.
- You can confirm your booking by the end of August 2023 by paying another $400.
- The final balance is due 2 months (60 days) prior to departure.
- Once the trip has been confirmed, the regular cancellation policy applies.
For this year’s dates, a $500 deposit is due upon booking. Final payments are due sixty (60) days prior to the departure date unless otherwise specified. Failure to make this final payment by the deadline will result in forfeiture of the trip and deposit. If booking a trip within 60 days of the departure date, full payment is due upon booking.
Once the trip is confirmed, the followinfgcancellation policy applies:
Deposits are non-refundable, but transferable at the discretion of your guiding company as long as the cancellation is made more than sixty (60) days prior to the trip or is initiated by your guiding company.
Cancellations to trips made less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the departure date for any reason are non-refundable, but potentially transferable to another trip or date at the discretion of your guides. Any such transfers are subject to a 25% administrative fee and recovery of any sunk costs. No more than one transfer will be offered. Your guiding company will accept a substitute guest should you not be able to attend, provided they meet the skill level requirements for the trip. Your guiding company reserves the right to determine if the substitute guest meets these requirements. Any such substitutions are subject to a 10% administrative fee.
Your guides reserve the right to modify or cancel a trip at any time due to unfavorable weather conditions, injury/illness, or other reasons without penalty. Clients will be notified as soon as possible and refunded less any sunk costs. If the weather doesn’t permit flying into the hut/ lodge, the client would not be refunded for the day. However, the guides would still take clients skiing somewhere. On the other hand, if the weather doesn’t permit leaving the lodge on schedule, the client would not be charged for the extra lodge day.
The nearest village to the mountain base you’re meeting at is Whistler. To get to Whistler, most people fly into Vancouver International Airport. From there, it’s a two-hour drive to Whistler by car or with a shuttle service.
On day 1 of your Kees and Claire Hut backcountry skiing adventure, you’ll meet your guide at 8 a.m. at the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Base.
If you are ready to experience more of Whistler’s backcountry, make sure to visit other amazing backcountry ski huts in the area.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Canada, please refer to British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!