Spearhead Soiree 2012_11_The audience settles in for the presentations

Mark the Date: The Spearhead Soiree, Oct 20th 2016

Clear your calendar on October 20th 2016 and make plans to join us for a lively evening of legendary guest speakers and unique activities in the remarkable vaulted ceiling heritage shipyard Pipeshop near Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver.

The new annual event will be an entertaining opportunity to mingle with the backcountry community, get updated and involved with the Spearhead Huts Project, and ultimately raise funds for the first of three huts.

When: October 20th, 2016. Time TBC

Where: Pipeshop at Londsdale Quay, North Vancouver

Tickets: More information coming this fall

Get Involved Now

Sponsors – If you can help with fundraising or know of a business interested in sponsoring food and beverages, marketing support, AV or other products or services please have them contact us.

Join our team of awesome planners and volunteers >>

Newsletter sign up >>

We are looking forward to seeing you soon in October,

Sue Drinnan

Spearhead Huts Fundraising Team


Substantial Donation Received From Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation

We are ecstatic to announce this week’s big news for the Spearhead Huts Project – a $700,000 USD (approx $900,000 CDN) donation from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. With it we have now secured a very large portion (over 70%) of the funding needed for the first hut, and can continue on a course to build the first hut by winter 2018.

The donation was made in honour of Cornelius (Kees) Brenninkmeyer, 25, and girlfriend Claire Dixon, 27 who perished in a backcountry skiing accident when their snow shelter collapsed in 2007. The donation was facilitated through the assistance of the American Friends of Whistler (AFOW) who have previously donated in excess of $1.4 million to various causes in the Whistler area.

“Facilitating the donation to the Spearhead Huts is a perfect fit with our mission statement and this project will add a tremendous benefit to the Whistler resort and for the many visitors. We are proud to be able to support this organization,” says Gary Raymond, President of AFOW.

The purpose of the Spearhead Huts project – to create three huts in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Whistler, B.C – hits home for the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation as it strives to support individuals who choose careers in mountaineering and guiding in Brenninkmeyer’s memory. At the time of his passing, Brenninkmeyer was actively pursuing a career as an alpine mountaineering guide, and he and Dixon were working as hut custodians on the Wapta Traverse in Alberta for the Alpine Club of Canada. The construction of these and all backcountry huts provides a safe alternative for travelers who wish to complete a similar traverse in the winter or summer. Kees and Claire’s friends formed the Kees and Claire Memorial Hut Society shortly after the couple passed away in 2007, and have been a central part of the Spearhead Huts Project since its inception. 

The hut near Russet Lake will be named the Kees and Claire Hut in memorial of the two remarkable young people whose lives ended too soon.

The plan remains for it to be the first of a three hut system approved by BC Parks after an extensive six year review process. We also consulted with the Lil’wat First Nations who have endorsed the first hut and the remaining two huts to be constructed at Mt. Pattison and Mt. Macbeth.

The Spearhead Huts project has continually received support from two local elder/celebrities: Karl Ricker, who was part of the first team to complete the Spearhead Traverse in 1965; and Werner Himmelsbach, who designed the original hut at Russet Lake.

“When we first did the traverse over fifty years ago, we knew this incredible area would become more popular with skiers and hikers. I for one couldn’t be happier to hear this announcement,” says Karl Ricker.

“We dreamed of a hut system being built in these ranges over fifty years ago and it is very exciting to see this project finally take flight after so long,” says Werner Himmelsbach.

The Kees and Claire Hut is currently being designed with plans for prefabrication to occur in late fall 2016 and on-site construction to commence in late May 2017. Opening date is expected to be January 2018.

The primary consultant for the hut’s design is Don Stuart Architect, and Equilibrium Consulting for structural engineering. The environmentally sustainable hut will sleep thirty-five to forty people and will provide year-round accommodation in one of B.C.’s most popular wilderness parks. All three huts will provide summer and winter travellers with exceptional opportunities to explore and visit some of the most picturesque and dramatic terrain in the mountains adjacent to the renowned resort of Whistler. The system will be a world class experience for families and mountain enthusiasts alike and will add a significant diversification to the outdoor experience of Whistler. With an anticipated 7,000 beds filled a year, the hut system is expected to generate a minimum of $1.4 million per year in additional GDP for Whistler resort.

The total design, development, and construction cost for the Kees and Claire Hut will be $1.5 million. The generous donation from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, in combination with $150,000 from the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) through the Resort Marketing Initiative (RMI) Program and other private donors brings the SHC close to the estimated $1.5 million needed for the first hut. Fundraising is ongoing for both the huts on Mt. Pattison and Mt. Macbeth – each with a similar budget. Once the Kees and Claire Hut is complete, building will commence on the next hut.

Multiplicity Event / Fundraiser A Success

Thanks to everyone who came out to Mountain Life’s Multiplicity show at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler last week. The event was a huge success and highly entertaining. Tickets sold out so every seat was occupied as some 700+ people enjoyed presentations by a variety of inspiring adventurers. We haven’t done the calculations yet but we are confident the event was a very successful fundraiser for the project.

The tickets sale profits yielded over $6000 from Mountain Life to the Spearhead Huts Project!

Also pecial thanks to everyone who donated to (or participated in) the silent auction. Thanks to gear donations from some of our most loyal supporters – Surefoot Whistler, Escape Route, Extremely Canadian, Helly Hansen, and G3 Genuine Guide Gear – the silent auction raised over $2000 for the Spearhead Huts project.

But beyond the dollars and cents it was amazing to see such strong support and excitement from the Whistler community. Thanks to all of you for attending and participating!

Setting up the auction table.

Setting up the auction table.

New project info display.


New Spearhead Huts Project Video

Be a part of the legacy. Get involved in the Spearhead Huts project by donating your time, money, or skills and help make this dream a reality.

Special thanks to Anthony Bonello for creating this promotional video.


Join Us At Multiplicity – Sunday April 10

Don’t miss this great event. Get entertained, and help raise funds for the Spearhead Huts Project while you’re at it! Win win. Get your tickets and please help spread the word.

MULTIPLICITY — Elevation. Imagination. Inspiration.

Presented by Mountain Life Media – A special flagship fundraiser for the Spearhead Huts Project.

Like a TEDTalk® on adrenalin, MULTIPLICITY is adventurous visual storytelling at its finest, delivered by unique and passionate personalities in the mountain world. This event has become one of the crowd favorites in the WSSF’s line-up due to its immense inspirational message. A multimedia extravaganza designed to resonate as much as it entertains, the event premiered in 2013 and was immediately pegged “the most underrated event at WSSF.” Presenters use a mix of photography, slideshows, video and intriguing anecdotes to bring the audience into their world.

mul•ti•plic•i•ty noun \ˌməl-tə-ˈpli-sə-tē\
1a : the quality or state of being multiple or various.
Jimmy Martinello
Dr. Pushpa Chandra
Bruce Kirby
Lynsey Dyer
Norm Hann
Tamo Campos
Rory Bushfield
Jasmin Caton
and more
Show Details
When: Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 
Time: Doors 7:00 PM, Show 8:00 PM 
Ticket Price: CAD $20.00
Where: Whistler Conference Centre 4010 Whistler Way 

Get Tickets >>

Facebook Event >>

Skiers approaching the future site of a backcountry hut on Mt Pattison on the Spearhead Traverse.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2016

Whistler, BC – If you build it, they will come. After a lengthy approval process, the much-anticipated Spearhead Huts project was given final approval by BC Parks on February 12, 2016 and granted a Park Use Permit in Garibaldi Provincial Park, allowing committee members to build three year-round backcountry huts on the popular forty kilometer Spearhead ski traverse, uniting the Spearhead and Fitzsimmons ranges behind Whistler and Blackcomb.

“We are extremely thrilled to finally get the green light on this project,” said Spearhead Huts Committee chair Jayson Faulkner. “This moment has been several decades in the making, and to have our permit application approved means now there’s nothing in our way from seeing this vision come to life.”

In December 2014, the Spearhead Huts Committee (SHC) submitted their application to BC Parks for the Park Use Permit. The application included the SHC’s management plan, a description of the project, a risk management plan, and several assessments, including avalanche, geotechnical, and environmental. Negotiations between BC Parks and SHC commenced in April, 2015 with the first proposal by SHC in August of 2010.

The proposal was supported by an overwhelming majority of the public, Lil’wat First Nations, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and BC Parks.

The SHC can now begin building their hut system, with the first hut expected to be the Russet hut will replace the aging Himmelsbach Hut, a popular winter and summer destination for skiers and hikers. With stunning alpine meadows in the summer and breathtaking views in the winter, coupled with its proximity to Whistler, the location is a logical choice for the first hut.

Estimated opening date for the hut at Russet Lake is winter 2018. The subsequent huts at Mt. Pattison and Mt. Macbeth will be built following completion of the Russet hut, when funds, timing and resources allow.

The SHC has been vigorously raising funds and seeking skilled volunteers and with the approval comes the work of raising the approximately $3.5 Million to complete the entire system. There will be numerous events and initiatives in the coming months as the SHC and its supporters begin the next stage of this project. Donations can be made thru the website and by contacting the Andre Charland (Chair of the Fundraising Committee) to get involved in this remarkable legacy project.


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About the Spearhead Huts Committee

The Spearhead Huts Committee is comprised of several different interest groups and clubs all sharing a common goal – to create a world-class backcountry hut system in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The shared objectives of the hut system itself are to increase the comfort and safety of backcountry travelers, minimize environmental impact on the area, leave a lasting legacy for passionate local skiers who have lost their lives in the mountains, and enable other backcountry enthusiasts to experience this outstanding region.

The Spearhead Huts Committee members and member organizations include:

Kees and Claire Memorial Hut Society

Active committee members and avid skiers Jamie Bond, Karen Newby and Tobin Seagel are all directors of the Kees and Claire Memorial Hut Society; a group of friends devoted to building a lasting memorial legacy for Cornelius ‘Kees’ Brenninkmeyer and Claire Dixon.

Brett Carlson Memorial Foundation

Whistler/Squamish based skier/photographer/bon vivant Damian Cromwell acts as representative for the Brett Carlson Memorial Foundation; a group formed in 2000 to raise funds for a memorial hut dedicated to passionate Whistler skier Brett Carlson.

Alpine Club of Canada – Whistler

Long-time Whistler skiers/guides/residents Mitch Sulkers, Jayson Faulkner (founding President of the ACCW) represent the Whistler Section of the Alpine Club of Canada. As current Chair of ACC-Whistler, Mitch Sulkers and his Section along with the Vancouver section, will be ultimately responsible for the operation and maintenance of the hut system. Jayson Faulkner is the founding Chair the Spearhead Hut Committee and serves as liason with the public and BC Parks.

Alpine Club of Canada – Vancouver

A number of important members of the ACC-Vancouver Section are contributing their valuable experience to the Spearhead Huts Committee. Past-chair Rob Brusse brings extensive vision and financial management skills, Manrico Scremin offers his business writing and project management expertise, while Liz Scremin and Colin Boyd apply their design and construction experience from the Jim Haberl Hut Project to this exciting endeavour..

British Columbia Mountaineering Club

Past President David Hughes and current President David Scanlon represent the BCMC on the Committee, and bring the BCMC’s many years of outdoor advocacy, environmental stewardship, hut development and management experience to the table.

Media Contact

Jayson Faulkner
Founding Chair – Spearhead Huts Committee

Jamie Bond
Spearhead Huts Committee


Andre Charland


Visit Us at Banff Film Fest – Whistler – Feb 12-13

Our friends at Escape Route Whistler have invited us to display the Spearhead Huts Project information booth at this weekend’s Banff Film Festival event at MY Millennium Place Whistler. Come say hi and learn more about the project.

Date: February 12th, 2016.  Doors at 6:30pm, Show at 7:00pm
Where:  Maury Young Arts Centre (Formerly Millennium Place)
Click here for Film Line-up

Date: February 13th, 2016.  Doors at 6:30pm, Show at 7:00pm
Where:  Maury Young Arts Centre (Formerly Millennium Place)
Click here for Film Line-up


Come See Us At VIMFF in Vancouver

VIMFF 2016 is coming up February 12-20 at Centennial Theatre, Rio Theatre, The Cinematheque, and Inlet Theatre.

Come say hi to the folks at the Spearhead Huts Project booth on 2 nights, Feb 18 (ski) and 20 (finale).

Visit VIMFF.org for event details.

Request for Qualifications for a Fundraising Professional

Our Need

The Spearhead Huts Committee seeks an expert to provide strategic guidance and the professional services necessary to generate the funds to build 3 backcountry huts. 

The Fundraising Professional (FP) we need will have experience and strengths in the following areas:

  • Highly engaging and personable spokesperson presence suitable for 1:1 funding appeals
  • Development and implementation of strategies for large multi-year fundraising campaigns, including plans to attract support across a spectrum of funding methods and sources.
  • Preparation of fundraising proposals for foundations and corporate support and follow-up reports as required by individual funders.
  • Development and organised implementation of media strategies (local and national) and marketing campaigns which involve individuals of high net worth, corporations and outreach to other related communities.
  • Drafting of supporting materials such as presentation folders for very small group meetings with potential donors, slide decks, press releases, editorials, and online content.
  • Stellar track record of working in a close, collaborative team setting, providing initiative(s) and momentum with an open, commincative style.
  • Design and coordination of events and announcements, arranging interviews and meetings
  • Familiarity with local government operations and the way in which wilderness initiatives must interact with media.
  • Some personal experience with/in the wilderness and backcountry domain and/or the culture of the outdoor industry.
  • Experience working with outdoor clubs, non profits, wilderness foundations, environmental groups or similar.
  • Ability to plan ahead of time and to parse work load to leverage our volunteers’ skills and time, staying calm and focussed during our events.

The successful candidate will be comfortable working in and with a team which will depend heavily on his or her leadership, initiatives and experience. Our team will include members and volunteers with experience with social media, fundraising, event planning / management and previous successful Alpine Club of Canada hut funding campaigns.

Please contact:
Andre Charland, 778 999 9287 or andre.charland@gmail.com

DOWNLOAD PDF – SHC Fundraising RFQ >>