The Wendy Thompson hut, in the Marriott Basin, north of Whistler, B.C. is a great hut for your first overnight trip or for anyone who wants a fairly mellow tour in and out. The trail in traverses meadows and frozen lakes, with only a few steep ascents.
The hut itself is a two-storey wood arch built in memory of Wendy Thompson, a paramedic and Whistler resident, who was killed on a mercy flight in the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1995.
Maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada, the hut has an outhouse, a kitchen, a dining space, and a kerosene heater and lamps. The ACC says that the hut will sleep 16 people (it would be tight) in the upper sleeping loft. Although the hut is supplied with cooking equipment and utensils, we recommend you take your own portable stove and pans in the event that hut is busy.
To get there: Parking for the trailhead is at the sand shed (can be seen on the map sample below at the 17km marker) on the Duffy Road, about a 1 hour drive from Whistler. The hut itself is a 2 – 3 hour hike or ski in for confident travellers. One member of our group snowshoed in and this increased the time to 4 hours.
We recommend staying for a couple of nights because once you’re in the basin there are a number of peaks in with in the reach of a day-tour.
Must have: Duffy Lake backcountry map. The most used and accurate map is the Duffy Lake map by John Baldwin, you can pick this up at Escape Route just across the street from the Summit Lodge (location map at the bottom of the post).
Need to know: The Wendy Thompson Hut is one of most popular Duffy huts after Keith’s, so you must have a reservations booked to stay there. The cost is only $10/$12 per night and the AAC recommends booking at least 7 days in advance.
This bucket list item is a little harder to do than the rest because it requires a certain level of avalanche training, experience and gear to do – but it is absolutely worth the investment. Once you have all the equipment and training the world is your oyster!
Here is a photo journal of our trip to the Wendy Thompson hut in the Marriot Basin, just north of Pemberton, BC.
Photos by Victoria Farrand