The Spearhead Huts Committee is set to build three new year-round backcountry huts after the provincial government issued the group a park use permit earlier this month.
“We’re extremely thrilled to finally get the green light on this project,” said Jayson Faulkner, Spearhead Huts Committee chair, in a release. “This moment has been several decades in the making and to have our permit application approved means now there’s nothing in our way from seeing this vision come to life.”
The huts will be built on the 40-km Spearhead ski traverse, connecting the Spearhead and Fitzsimmons ranges behind Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
The committee submitted the application for the project back in December 2014, which included a description of the project, a risk management plan as well as avalanche, geotechnical and environmental assessments. However, the committee first submitted a proposal in August 2010 and have been negotiating with BC Parks since April 2015.
According to the group, they had strong public support as well as the backing of Lil’wat First Nations, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and BC Parks.
The first hut the group will construct is the Russet hut, which will replace the Himmelsbach Hut. They expect to be finished in winter 2018.
“With stunning alpine meadows in the summer and breathtaking views in the winter, coupled with its proximity to Whistler, the location is a logical choice for the first hut,” the release said.
After that project is complete, they plan to build huts at Mt. Pattison and Mt. Macbeth. The total cost of the project is $3.5 million. To that end, the group plans to hold fundraisers and seek skilled volunteers in the coming months.
For more information visit spearheadhuts.org.
RMOW holds budget community meeting
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is holding an information meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 23) for residents to learn more about the 2016 budget.
“They will have an opportunity to hear further detail about the budget process and corporate planning process,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “They’ll see lists of projects for 2016 and beyond.”
The presentation will include information on upcoming potential projects like the gateway loop, phase three of the skate park, the cultural connector and the investigation into an artificial turf soccer field.
“It’s important (to get feedback) because every $350,000 worth of spending could result in a 1 per cent property tax increase,” Wilhelm-Morden said. “We value close scrutiny by the public.”
Residents will be able to offer feedback at the meeting or send in emails at a later date. “This is a real opportunity for community members to ask questions and make comments,” Wilhelm-Morden added. “They can let us know what they think about how the budget looks for the upcoming year.”
The meeting will take place from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre. There will be displays and a discussion from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., a presentation by CAO Mike Furey as well as a question and answer period with staff and council from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Then the information will be on display until 7 p.m.