Dezaiko Lodge

Dezaiko Lodge
View of the lodge from the outhouse path. They call the outhouse the “biffy” which I assume is French/Canadian for “shitter”

Hut skiing has always been on my radar, but there is so much accessible good skiing locally, with and without a sled, that I’ve never acted on the impulse to book a trip. Plus, there’s the group factor. You have to assemble a compatible group of 8 or 9 people, be able to make decisions as a group and live happily as a group for the duration of the trip. Happiness and large recreational groups are generally mutually exclusive in my experience and I prefer recreating solo or with a few other like-minded people. The one absolutely reliable companion I have is our chocolate Lab who is always eager to go anywhere with me, agrees with every decision I make and responds enthusiastically to the multitude of pithy and incisive comments which issue from my mouth with such astonishing regularity that even I am amazed.

Our transportation. It took three 15-minute flights to get everyone, plus gear, to the lodge

Granted, Labs aren’t known for their discriminating tastes, but that’s not the point. The point being that Rocket and I get along just fine so why would I screw up a perfectly good day by mingling with a bunch of potentially annoying humans?

I wouldn’t.

Except….last year I was invited to go on a 7-day hut trip with my backcountry friends from Missoula. I had been hearing them rave about Dezaiko Lodge near Prince George, B.C. for several years and despite my reservations about the group thing I accepted. As luck would have it, I came down with the flu the day of departure and was forced to cancel. This year I was invited again and gave it another shot.

The drill is this: you drive about 750 miles northwest of Missoula to Prince George (I fully expect to be lectured about mileage rounding by some random “scientist”) and drive 1 ½ hours into the bush to a whistle stop called Sinclair Mills. From there you board a helicopter for the flight east into Dezaiko Lodge in the Dezaiko Range.

From the lodge, skiable terrain was accessed by skinning. We were a self-guided group but Brian and Carol, a Seattle couple, have been going there for about 20 years and know the area like the back of their hands.

The term “lodge” is a stretch at best, since it’s more like a cabin. It consists of the main building, which might be 20x24’ plus a full upstairs where guests sleep in w