Since I came to Canada 11 years ago I think I have only spend one or two New Years Eves in the city. Before kids we usually went into the backcountry to slay the pow. It would usually involve a hut, often some nude running around, and always some great skiing. After kids we have started renting a condo at a ski resort in the interior. It has been great, but you've got to be on it and book that stuff in the summer time. This year I kind of dropped the ball on that - I was kind of busy with having a baby and stuff, so when November rolled around we still didn't have any plans. I spent a few late nights searching the internet and found these great looking huts in Methow valley. The only problem was the drive, so we decided to cut it up by renting a place in Princeton on the way there and in Snoqualmie Pass on the way back.
We arrived at the Cub Creek parking lot around 11am to drop off our stuff. We had ordered at freight haul, so we got all the stuff piled onto the snow mobile sled and send off. After the stuff got send off, we got the kids ready and headed off ourselves.
The first kilometer or so was flat and fast. I was towing F on her downhill skis, while Christian was towing N in the double chariot. At the first intersection we chose the shortest/steepest route to our destination: The Gardener Hut. It is still debatable whether or not that was a good decision. It turns out, when you are gaining 450m in 7.5km that it is almost impossible to keep skating - even for Christian - at least while he is towing two kids. Next time we will just wear our backcountry skis, slog along with skins, and send our skate gear up with the snowmobile.
Everything seemed pretty casual until the kids started wimpering. We took a break, fed them and put them both in the chariot. Soon there was a lot of screaming, but it seemed that there was no clear solution. We couldn't really take N out of the chariot for anything but a short breastfeed as it was about -10 °C outside. I suggested we just suck it up and ski to the hut with two screaming kids, but Christian quickly buckled under the pressure. He then suggested that I breastfeed N while she was still strapped into the chariot. It was quite an acrobatic feed, but successful never-the-less. Soon we were skiing with two sleeping children. We arrived at the cabin around 4 hours after leaving the parking lot.
The cabin was awesome! It is a backcountry cabin, but it is stocked with pots, pans, and all the other kitchen gear you need. There is a propane stove and four burners for cooking and a nice wood burning stove to heat you up after a day of playing in the snow. The huts are also equipped with nice big mattresses, and have a beautiful view. Worth noting that our particular cabin (the Gardner Hut) had railings on the bunk beds, but we did day trips to some of the other huts and noticed that they didn't all have railings.
The trip was great too - we played in the snow, went skiing, made an igloo, and generally had a good time. We had the feeling of having a ski-in backcountry cabin all to ourselves, but without having to spend a full day lugging all our stuff in. We also continued what seems to be becoming a Christmas Tradition of one of the kids getting some kind of vomit-bug (not ours), but somehow nobody else caught it this time, perhaps due to the boiling of a lot of clothes, towels, and dishes.
Challanges encountered on New Years trips
Say Nuth Khaw Yum
Upper Fowl Lake
Alice Lake loop
Malcolm and Cormorant island
Recent tips and thought
Making a low DIN tech binding
What is in our backpacks?
The bike canoe trailer
Making kids crampons
Digging a snowcave
Make a kid towing harness