Plans announced to replace the Abbot Pass Hut

Photo BY Pete Hoang

The Alpine Club of Canada (ACC), the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) and the Lake Louise Ski Area have partnered to develop a proposal for the replacement of the Abbot Pass Hut, and Parks Canada is welcoming their interest and is looking forward to exploring options and working with them throughout the assessment and engagement processes.

The 100-year-old hut, a National Historic Site of Canada, was built by Swiss Guides in the early 1920’s on a ridge overlooking Lake Louise and Lake O’Hara, between Mts. Lefroy and Victoria as a place where climbers could overnight whilst climbing these mountains.

The hut had to be removed this past spring when it became unsafe due to climate-change-induced site erosion. Attempts by Parks Canada to save the hut in recent years failed.

The Lake Louise Ski Area and its proprietor, Charlie Locke, a former mountain guide, with strong support from both the ACC and the ACMG, have agreed to fund and co-ordinate the replacement of the Abbot Pass Hut in a location near the former site.

Ron Hallman, CEO Parks Canada, indicated to a gathering at the Chateau Lake Louise on Tuesday that “As a National Historic Site, Abbot Pass Hut is a place which had a nationally significant impact on Canada. The structure was digitized to ensure the history is maintained and the area is still the site of an incredible story that needs to be told.”

The Lake Louise to Jasper 1967 traverse team, from left, was Don Gardner, Chic Scott, Charlie Locke and Neil Liske.

Charlie Locke said he was proud to support the replacement of the hut as he made his living in the Lake Louise Area as a mountain guide in the late ‘60s and ‘70s which led to his involvement in the Lake Louise Ski Area. He further commented that “I am pleased to support both The Alpine Club of Canada and the ACMG in the replacement of the hut,” while Carine Salvy, executive director of the Alpine Club of Canada, commented “Abbot Pass is a very special place for our members and for the mountain community; we are very pleased that we are proceeding with planning for a replacement hut.”