Museum Musings: Brew Hut III ends the saga

Last week we introduced the Brew Hut, first constructed by the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club on Mount Brew in 1982.   

This first hut was moved and reconstructed due to snow creep and accumulation. With the reopening of Brew Hut II in 1985 the VOC thought that the saga of the Brew Hut was over, though this was not to be.

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At the time, Tim Booth wrote in the UBC VOC Journal Volume 28, 1985, “At sunset the Tantalus Range and Cloudburst Mountain were silhouetted, and although the lights of Whistler and Squamish could be seen shimmering below at night, the cabin has a feeling of isolation and tranquility despite being easily accessible.”

In the years to follow, trip reports and articles written in the UBC VOC Journal describe the challenges of finding the Brew Hut II, even in the best traveling conditions. Perhaps because club members forgot about the hut or because they were busy exploring other areas, the Brew Hut II went through a long period of disuse.

Nearly a decade after the hut had been reconstructed, the club invested in new materials to repair one end-wall that had been completely crushed by the snow as well as new roofing materials to replace the leaky roof. According to Markus Kellerhals’ article in the UBC VOC Journal Volume 37, 1994, “over 40 enthusiastic new and old VOCers had signed up to come out.”  

These renovations were completed over a weekend in September 1994 and the hut was once again on the club’s radar.

Five years later, in the winter of 1999/2000, over seven metres of snow fell and completely crushed the Brew Hut II. Roland Burton, who was responsible for constructing the first Gothic arch hut built by the club in Garibaldi Provincial Park in 1969, resumed his status as an active member and led the club in their investigation into a new site for a hut on Mount Brew beginning in the winter of 2000.

Near Christmas 2004, the club began the process of constructing Brew Hut III on a new site that had been well investigated. The club chose to build a hut using a new hut design modeled after a small car garage with an A-frame roof. By the fall 2005, the club had successfully completed the construction of Brew Hut III.

Brew Hut III has proven much easier to find even in poor weather conditions. The new location has not had the same snowfall accumulation and snow creep issues as the two previous locations and the Brew Hut III still stands in its location today. This concludes the Brew Hut Saga.

This won’t be the last time you hear about Gothic arch huts from us. Our exhibit with the Virtual Museum of Canada is nearing completion and we can’t wait for you all to get the chance to explore it.  

Huts will also be the theme for our upcoming Big Kids LEGO Competition on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Competitors will have the chance to build the hut or campsite of their wildest dreams, so keep an eye out for more details soon!

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