The original builder of the Not So Secret Cabin in the Rossland Range Recreation Site is taking on rebuilding the cabin to meet new provincial guidelines.
Colin Adamson originally built Not So Secret seven years ago when his son Finn was born.
“When Finn was born I thought it would be cool for him to grow up having … a place to go and enjoy the outdoors,” says Adamson. “So we go up there every year, and we go skiing up there and have hot chocolate.”
Now that the Friends of the Rossland Range (FORR) have partnered with the Ministry of Forests’ Recreational Site and Trails Branch, and cabins need to meet the guidelines set out in the Rossland Range Recreation Site Management Plan, Adamson has teamed up with fellow Rossland dad Max Bankes to reconstruct the cabin according to specs. The new guidelines require that the cabin have “a tightly framed floor supported clear of the ground on a foundation such as rock and mortar pillars,” be rodent proof, have a durable roof that can handle a load of snow, have a safe stove and chimney, and have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit.
The cabin will also be moved approximately 400 meters further up the bowl between Mount Elgood and Mount Lepsoe so that it is more ideally situated to act as a rescue shelter in case of an avalanche. Adamson, Bankes and other volunteers will also be putting up plenty of avalanche awareness signage in the area.
“There’s lots of safe grade skiing, but there’s places that when things are bad you need to be aware of and know where you’re travelling,” says Adamson. “That will be a key piece of this cabin too is the awareness of the bowl and the area, so people know how to travel in it.”
Adamson uses the cabin to teach Avalanche Skills Training 1 (AST1) classes and recommends that anyone skiing in the bowl have their AST1, have a transceiver, probe and shovel, know how to use them, and travel with people who also have and know how to use the equipment.
Because of its more remote location, materials for the cabin will need to be helicoptered in, and the walls will be pre-fabricated before they are air-lifted to the site. The necessary helicopter won’t just be used for Not So Secret.
“There’s also the restoration of the old fire tower that was on top of Old Glory — there’s a big restoration piece happening with that — so we’re looking at coordinating a day where they’re going to use equipment and people up at Old Glory, and while the helicopters happening we’ll also have things organized so that we can use [it] to bring my materials in as well and bring out the old cabin stuff as well,” explains Adamson.
The stove from the old cabin will be moved to the new Not So Secret, and Adamson says they already have all of the materials needed. A number of people have already volunteered to work on the cabin, and Adamson also teaches at J.L. Crowe and plans to have his outdoor recreation class help out on the cabin as well. But Adamson says he could always use more volunteers; those interested can contact him at 250-231-6566.