One of the first public backcountry huts on Vancouver Island opened for skiing in January. The 5,040 Peak Hut sits at 1,350m on a subalpine ridge above the highway between Port Alberni and Tofino. Most winters the area receives huge amounts of snow—the average snowpack at the hut is more than four metres. And it’s only 12 km from the wettest place in North America. Which also speaks to snow quality; this close to the open Pacific, the snow is rarely light and dry. Access is probably the biggest hurdle. Depending on the snow line, it’s as much as 12 km and a 1,000m elevation gain climb from the highway to the hut. Making up for the knocks is the location. Ridgelines connect the hut to several skiable summits and many alpine and tree runs.
The Alpine Club of Canada, Vancouver Island section, built the hut. Reserving a bed is managed by the national section. More at: accvi.ca