American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

A.A.C., Alaska Section

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2011

Alaska Section. Our Section celebrated the summer of 2010 by commencing construction of the new hut on the edge of the Snowbird Glacier. Located in the Hatcher Pass area of the Talkeetna Mountains, the original hut was purchased by the Alaska Section in 2005 from a private party. This hut has been an important haven for hikers, climbers, and backcountry skiers in an area known for unpredictable weather. The original structure is now over 30 years old and has experienced a partial collapse from heavy snow load.

Harry Hunt, James Brady and “Hut Mistress” Cindi Squire have led the charge by actively fundraising for the last four years to fund the new hut construction. Rim Architects of Anchorage donated time and effort to design the new 18' by 18' building. The design utilizes the onsite natural granite boulders for a gabion foundation and features south facing windows providing panoramic views over the Snowbird Glacier and collecting solar heat during winter months.

An August 14 fundraising event at the Alaska Rock Gym celebrated the launch of the summer's construction efforts. A pig roast, locally brewed Moose's Tooth Beer, live music provided by “Back Acres,” a continuous slide show, and gym climbing rounded out the event. The next day several thousand pounds of building materials were helicoptered into the new hut site. Working weekends and a few five- to seven-day stretches, a host of volunteers made the four-hour trek into the site and donated several hundred man-hours of labor. Prior to the seasons first snowfall the new hut was weather-tight, insulated, sparsely furnished, and had an operable oil-heat stove. Progress and photos are available on the AAC Web site and snowbirdhut.com. A formal hut dedication and pig roast is planned for August 2011. All members are invited to join in.

Harry Hunt and James Brady, Co-chairs

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