Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada.
Interest: general mountaineering/ hiking/ backpacking/ skiing/ kayaking
I should say that I am in favour of huts and cabins in popular areas where they would help mitigate human impact, yet not as a way to attract people into a pristine area.
Regarding Strathcona Park and before my time there... I think in the 1960's, there were plans to build cabins at Circlet Lake, near Mt Albert Edward and another at Cream Lake, near Mt Septimus. Funding problems or what ever, these huts never got built. If they had, what would those locations look like now?
Circlet Lake now has a dozen or more tent platforms along it's eastern shore and an overflow camping area at its western end. As well, people often camp on a bench to the lakes north, against Park regulations. There are no set limits to the number of people allowed to camp in the area by BC Parks. If a cabin had been built at Circlet Lk, there would likely be a system of registration and a limit of people allowed into the area... Maybe less impact? I think so.
Cream Lake is a very popular staging area for climbs up Mt Septimus, Mt Rosseau and the Misthorns, as well as a general hiking destination. The official park status of the area is that it is random camping which means shit where ever you want and pay $5 per person per day. If there were a cabin and outhouse at Cream Lk, maybe it would be more costly, but might it be better controlled?
A cabin or even an outhouse on the route to Comox Glacier, at the Frog Pond, might mitigate the damage done to this tarn and camping location. I wouldnt drink water from the Frog Pond, if it were filtered and boiled twice, after noting the scads of people crapping all over the area and dogs swimming in the pond.
Cabins and outhouses might intrude on an area, but they can also be a way to mitigate an already overused area by humans. As we find more people accessing certain backcountry areas, we need to find ways to mitigate their impact and cabins might just be one solution..