The Keith Flavelle Memorial Mountain Hut is located near treeline at 1,650 meters above sea level on the East Ridge of Mount Joffre, and it is accessible from Highway 99 via Cerise Creek. This hut is comfortable, has easy access, and rewards visitors with a great location near nice big skiing and snowboarding lines. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the more popular areas in the region and gets very crowded during peak times.
Keith Flavelle passed away April 29, 1986 at the age of 22 in a climbing accident on Mount Logan. The hut was built in 1988 by his friends and family with the hopes of helping people get out and enjoy the mountains in his honor. Building on Keith’s legacy, 20 years later in 2008, the Nihaxten/Cerise Creek Wilderness Conservancy was established to preserve the area for low-impact wilderness activities, partly in response to the increased traffic and popularity of the area since the hut was built.
Accessing Keith’s Hut is relatively quick and easy. The trail ascends up the Cerise Creek drainage from Highway 99 for about 5.5 kilometers with 450 meters of elevation gain. Along the way there are a few turnoffs heading up Vantage Ridge to the east and Mount Chief Pascal to the west, but it’s fairly easy to follow the main trail up Cerise Creek. After two creek crossings in the first 600 meters, the next 4 kilometers of the trail are fairly flat, easy walking before the slope gets a little steeper as it approaches the hut. Situated among huge glaciers and the iconic peaks of Matier and Joffre, which feature some legendary local couloirs and descents, the hut provides access to some fantastic skiing, snowboarding, climbing, and scrambling.
The 600-square-foot cabin is comfortable and rustic, designed to sleep 14 people in the loft, although there have undoubtedly been many more than that on some nights. It comes equipped with a few amenities such as a wood-burning fireplace, solar powered lights, a sink and dishwashing area, a large snow-melting pot, and a few games, books, and maps. Users are required to carry their own sleeping and cooking gear and of course pack out what they pack in.
Always remember to leave the hut in better condition than you found it; overnight visitors should consider making a donation to the Keith Flavelle Memorial Hut Society. The ongoing upkeep of the hut is done by volunteers and relies on donations from users and local businesses to provide things like helicopter-delivered firewood and building supplies. Contributions can be made in cash at the hut, by mail, or at keithshut.ca via credit card or PayPal. For individual users, the hut operates on a pay-what-you-can basis; however, large or commercial groups are expected to pay a $20 fee per person per night.
For more information visit keithshut.ca.