Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Dustin Cook

COMMUNITY STAPLE RESTORED – A celebration was held Sunday for the new Bruce Harvey’s Hut with Harvey’s family, from l to r, Johan Groenewegen, Pat Groenewegen, Gordon Harvey and Issac Delwisch (front) on hand for the opening.

Rebuilt Harvey’s Hut ready for new memories

A place to warm up during a long ski on a frigid day.

By Dustin Cook on January 23, 2018

A place to warm up during a long ski on a frigid day. The starting point for a game of Capture the Flag. A goal destination for beginning skiers to test their improvement. Or even a place for weddings. Bruce Harvey’s Hut on Mount McIntyre meant community in many different forms and that is why the community took immediate action to rebuild when the original hut burned down in Sept. 2016.

The new Harvey’s Hut officially opened its doors on Sunday with members of Harvey’s family on hand to honour the man who brought so much to the skiers of Whitehorse and to thank all the community and Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club members who immediately jumped into action to build a new hut.

“Bruce was very dedicated to youth and I’m sure he saw the potential in this club and this facility as a very valuable asset for youth in our community,” club president Dermot Flynn said in front of a crowd of skiers and volunteers.

Flynn said the fire completely destroying the original hut made it clear how important the structure was and the community rallied quickly to raise the $20,000 needed for the re-build.

“Within a day or two efforts were underway to build a new Harvey’s Hut,” Flynn said. “It became very evident that we were going to have no problem raising the money and other things we needed to get a new hut built.”

The new hut was built on site by Dave Brooks and his son Fabian with the design work completed by skiers Bill and David Greer.

There was an incredible amount of donations and volunteer time put into the project, Flynn noted, with the new wood stove donated by Griffiths Heating and Sheet Metal.

“I’m very impressed as club president at the great effort and speed in which people jumped in to make things happen,” he said.

The idea for the original hut came from Harvey and his friends – including Peter Steele who was on hand for the occasion Sunday – in preparation for the World Cup races and 1981 North American Cross Country Ski Championships hosted in Whitehorse.

Steele told the story of how they happened to find an existing hut in tact in Whitehorse, thought it would be perfect for the ski trails, and hauled it up the mountain where the new hut sits.

Harvey’s granddaughter Pat Groenewegen, with her son Issac Delwisch, unveiled two plaques at the site of the new hut to honour Harvey and thank the volunteers and donors.

“It’s an incredible honour,” Groenewegen said, whose father Johan was also in attendance. “My grandfather was all about community, family gathering, good spirit, good fun, very much about supporting youth and their endeavours and family to be family and community to be community.

“It’s a fantastic point of destination to improve, and a great point where you can reconvene and warm up and re-invest that focus, that focus of the sport and that focus of what you’re attempting to do, that’s a fabulous opportunity,” she said.

The brand new hut is about 100 square feet larger than the original structure and Flynn said it still has the same old rustic charm as the original, but is more structurally sound.

Inside the small cabin are chairs and small tables as well as the wood stove to gather in front of and warm up.

A large window at the back of the hut allows users a stunning view of the valley below as they gear up to continue their journey.

Located at the junction of four major trails on the mountain, Flynn said now that the important feature is back it will continue to operate the same way as the original – making memories for those who gather there on their journey through the trails.

Comments (1)

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David Sennett on Jan 24, 2018 at 9:08 pm

Harvey’s Hut was a destination when our children were learning to ski. The new Hut will continue providing young and old with good memories. Love the Hut!

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