Folks in small-town B.C. just love to build stuff. In Powell River, a former forestry boomtown located on the aptly named Sunshine Coast, the Knuckleheads Winter Recreation Association (KWRA) consists of hardy, gregarious and highly industrious outdoor enthusiasts of both the motorized and non-motorized persuasion. The KWRA has been building attractive, low-impact cabins for overnight use in the local “Knucklehead Range” for the past 20 years. In 2018, KWRA members completed their jewel in the crown, the Vic Cole Lodge perched on Sentinel Ridge.
The idea to build a new cabin was hatched in the Townsite Craft Brewing Tasting Room. Once $75,000 in funds had been raised, with many times more than that contributed in free labour and discounted materials, the cabin was quickly built. The walls and floors were pre-fabricated down in town and slung up to Sentinel Ridge by helicopter, with assembly and finishing done on the mountain. Skilled and efficient tradesmen were able to erect the new cabin in less than a week.
Using even fairly liberal estimates, one club member pegs the number of backcountry skiers on the Sunshine Coast at fewer than 30. Alpine bowls and rugged, though short, lines of between 300 and 400m are skiable from mid-November until the end of May. The cabin sleeps 12, has a wood-burning stove and is pretty much (so far) vacant during the week.
by STEVEN THRENDLE in Fall 2020 issue