Feature Page   Home     Help   Index     Login
Sphinx Hut #117 (Burton Hut)
Type: Building_Hut Elevation: 1475 m (4839 ft)
Location:   49.92950,-122.99349     49:55:46, -122:59:37   10U 500467 5530792
(2 km E of Garibaldi Lake). (21 km S of Whistler). (4 km W of Castle Towers Mountain).

A backcountry ski cabin at the far end of Garibaldi lake, traditionally used in late winter and spring as a base for ascents of Mount Carr, Sphinx, etc. Sleeps 10, has outhouse, cooking area. Renovated in 2006 to add vapour barrier to help keep things warmer in the winter. The hut furniture was completely rebuilt to provide a large cooking area and a 30 inch wide bench for sitting, sleeping or gear storage.

Located at Sphinx Bay on east side of Garibaldi Lake, north of where the Sphinx drainage stream runs into the Lake. The hut is on the east side of the terminal moraine. Run by the Varsity Outdoor Club and BC Provincial Parks. Sleeps 10. Outhouse. For more information see the VOC wiki on the hut here: Burton Hut

The hut is open to all and there is no reservation system, however, an the VOC wiki site is used to coordinate use: VOC Hut Reservation Page. The VOC encourages everyone intending on using the hut to register. The VOC asks users for $5/person/night to help with maintenance efforts. Donations can be sent to the Varsity Outdoor Club, Room 3500 6133 University Blvd, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z1 or deposited in the donation box at the hut. Please report problems to the above address or

A BC Parks Wilderness Camping Permit must be purchased for any overnight stay in Garibaldi Park that is not at one of the established campgrounds (such as Garibaldi Lake Campground). The Wilderness Permit must be purchased regardless of whether you are a VOC fee-paying member, or not and it is in addition to any other fees. Wilderness camping is only permitted if you are at least 2km away from any established trail or reservable campground or, you are in the designated wilderness camping zone. All overnight stays at Burton Hut or the Sentinel Bay Glaciology Huts require a Wilderness Camping Permit. This applies to any member of the public including VOC members. Permits can be purchased from Discover Camping up until 5pm the day you intend to arrive. The penalty for not paying $144 per person. The BC Parks Wilderness Camping Permit comes into effect 2018 April 10th

  It's been noted that sometimes in the spring melt, an ice jam can form where the nearby stream flows through the terminal moraine into Garibaldi Lake. The resulting lake behind the dam can flood the hut with water. Please be careful where you leave the logbook.

Access: Access in the summer is long (via Gentian Pass) and there is no trail and not much reason to go there. In the winter, you can simply ski up the Garibaldi Lake Trail and across Garibaldi Lake, usually well frozen from mid January to mid April. Conditions earlier or later in the season vary from year to year.

Note that the part of the lake around Sphinx Bay is usually the last part of the lake to freeze, and has the thinnest ice. Safe ice at the west end of the lake does not necessarily imply safe ice around Sphinx Bay.

History: Named after Roland Burton of the Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC). The hut was built back in 1969 making it the VOC's oldest standing hut. Roland received the Gold Pin in 1970 for his contribution to building the hut.

2015.04.22 Steve Grant - Great Shape
The hut is in excellent condition and seems to have gotten little use in the last couple of years. There is almost no snow around the cabin. Travel across the lake should now be approached with great caution, and probably only on skis. The outlet stream near the cabin has opened up the lake for a considerable area beyond the moraine, and there is a "finger" of blue/open ice/slush that extends several hundred metres to the nw. Approaching from the south involves either circumnavigating these open/wet areas, or going ashore south of the creek and then fording it.
2009.01.24 Bram van Straaten - Great shape
Hut is in great shape. Only ~1.2m of snow above the hut at ~1650m on north facing slopes. Fairly good skiing on north facing slopes but coverage on glacier is on the thin side with numerous bare crevasses.
2006.08.22 Scott Nelson - Renovation Complete
According to Roland Burton, the hut now boasts new end walls, a new floor, new windows, a new door, insulation and a vapour barier. This should make the hut much warmer once winter rolls around. Also, the kerosene heater and kerosene have been removed due to hut users fouling the naptha fueled stove and lantern with kerosene.
2006.05.23 Scott Nelson - Rennovation scheduled for August 12-20, 2006
There is a plan afoot to do some minor rennovations to the Burton Hut this summer. The windows will be replaced, the walls will be insulated and draft proofed and a new floor will be laid down over the old one. Hopefully this will make the hut less of an ice box in the winter.

Trip Reports
42 2015.04.22 Horizontal Mountaineering on Garibaldi Lake Steve Grant
58 2007.03.03 Gentian Creek - Helm Glacier Loop Robin Tivy
40 2006.05.16 McBride Ski Traverse Johnny Mikes