Phelix hut
Cougar sightings may be rare in B.C.’s backcountry, but coming across a guy with a fluorescent orange steel door strapped to his back? That’s unheard of—almost.

This August, a team of seven volunteers from UBC’s Varsity Outdoor Club carried the door and necessary installation hardware and tools 2-3 hours to Brian Waddington Hut (commonly referred to as Phelix Hut) near Pemberton. The project was funded by an FMCBC Member Club Grant.

According to VOC member Cassandra Elphinstone, the door installation went smoothly overall. “We were prepared and had planned everything out prior to taking the door up to the hut. The door frame filling pieces were cut at precisely the right length and we practiced assembling the door handle before installing it, which was very useful.”

phelix hut 2However, a few miscalculations when it came to measuring and cutting the aluminum doorstep led to some improvisation with a drill that “wasn’t exactly up for the job” and “a few little friends finding their way into the hut” before they were able to get the sweep on.

As for the door itself, Cassandra said it wasn’t the transportation that was the challenge—although we can’t imagine it was easy—but having it snag on trees and throw the carrier around. Thankfully, in true VOC style, they had ample people power, and were able to have a spotter walk ahead of the carrier to clear branches and other objects out of their way.

We think the new door looks great, and we imagine it sets off the bright pink gable on the Phelix Hut outhouse nicely. If you want to go check it out for yourself, Phelix Hut is open to all non-motorized users for a $10 per person per night fee. No reservations are taken, but the VOC has a hut registration system to coordinate use.