Whitehorse Daily Star

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FROM THE ASHES RISE ... – The new Harvey’s Hut stands ready for use. The building replaces the old hut destroyed by a suspicious fire last fall.

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Photo by Photo Submitted

NOTHING LEFT – Whitehorse firefighters investigate the scene of the fire that destroyed Harvey’s Hut in late September last year. Photo by DAN REIMER

The new cross country ski hut is ready to go

Harvey’s Hut is ready.

By Chuck Tobin on September 29, 2017

Harvey’s Hut is ready.

Where there were the burnt remains of the former hut destroyed by a suspicious fire a year ago, there stands a new hut in the style of a Swiss chalet with a steep green tin roof.

At 256 square feet, its about 100 square feet larger than the old hut.

“We wanted a design so that about a dozen people could sit around,” president Bill Curtis of the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club said in an interview Thursday.

Curtis said the rapid response to raise money for the hut’s replacement is testimony to how important it is to skiers.

It is a place to rendezvous on the Mount McIntyre ski trails. Not too far from the recreation centre, but far enough to give youngsters a sense of accomplishment when they reach it.

Curtis said the hut cost $20,000 to replace, most of which was raised by donations that started piling in right after the fire.

“It was sort of kicked off by Coast Mountain Sports who immediately donated $1,000 and that was followed by Physio Plus who also donated a $1,000,” he said. “We had an individual who started a GoFundMe account and in just over a week there was $14,000 donated.

“That shows you how passionate the ski community was about that building. There was an obvious message they wanted it replaced.”

Unlike the original Harvey’s Hut that was hauled up the hill decades ago by Bruce Harvey and Peter Steele, the new hut was built on site by Dave Brooks and his son Fabian.

They donated about a third of their time.

Renowned cross country skiers Bill and David Greer did the design work for free and Griffiths Heating and Sheet Metal donated the wood stove.

Curtis said there’s also about 40 hours of volunteer time in the project, for things like handling building supplies and such.

Harvey’s Hut, he explained, is literally something of a centrepiece, located at the junction of a number of trails, commonly referred to as the crossroads.

It’s just great place to meet and socialize, Curtis said, adding the ski club started what’s become a very popular Easy Like Sunday. The club brings the hot chocolate and baked cookies and between 100 and 150 skiers bring themselves.

Following last fall’s fire, the hut was replaced with a wall tent.

This year’s it’s back to the comforts of Harvey’s Hut. The wall tent is being relocated to the Upper Valley Trail on the ridge.

The hut will be outfitted with security cameras to deter any untoward activity, Curtis explained.

Of course the club president doesn’t know when the season will begin, though he recalls optimistically how they were skiing in mid-October one year.

And he also pointed out Cross Country Yukon will be holding a Celebration of Snow event on Nov. 4 when they’ll be demonstrating their brand new snow making equipment.

The club is also holding its Coast Mountain Sports Free Ski Day on Nov. 19.

Comments (1)

Up 10 Down 1

David Greer on Sep 30, 2017 at 9:53 am

Why did you only post a photo of the back of the hut? The front looks much nicer...

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