The Alpine Club of Canada

Bill Putnam (Fairy Meadow) Hut

Bill Putnam (Fairy Meadow) Hut

The ACC operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. The Adamant Group of the Selkirk Mountains provides climbers and backcountry skiers with a wealth of fantastic opportunities, and Fairy Meadow Hut is the perfect home base. See all of our huts here.

At A Glance

Trail distance: Helicopter Only  
Elevation Gain: 1006m
Trailhead: Helicopter, Lake Kinbasket  
Family Friendly: Yes
Activities: Climbing, Mountaineering, Backcountry Skiing
Technical Considerations: Helicopter Only

Fairy Meadow is one of the great backcountry ski destinations in North America, with outstanding ski mountaineering and ski touring. In summer the hut is a base for excellent granite mountaineering. The hut is well equipped with a wood sauna, extensive kitchen and bunks. Access is via Helicopter or a very long and very difficult hike (hiking is absolutely not recommended). The Great Cairn Hut is a day’s mountaineering travel to the south.

Capacity: 20
Hut Location: 51.4548,-117.5236
Heat: Wood
Light: Propane
Stove: Propane
Oven: Propane
Mattress: Yes
Open: Year-round

The Hut Experience

Staying in a backcountry hut is a shared, rustic experience. Sleeping, kitchen and living areas are communal. Guests area expected to bring their own sleeping bags, food and personal items.

All of our huts are user-maintained, meaning that the custodial work of keeping the hut clean, chopping firewood and shovelling snow is done by the guests. The ACC provides major service and renovations to all of our huts each year to ensure they are in good repair.

There are no transition days between bookings. Guests are responsible to sanitize before and after use of the huts.

Download our hut cleaning and sanitation guidelines here.


There is a very good reason why the ACC has held its General Mountaineering Camp in the Fairy Meadow area on four separate occasions since 1981 – the place is awesome! The Adamant Group of the Selkirk Mountains provides climbers and backcountry skiers with a wealth of fantastic opportunities. The peaks here are mainly granitic and there are several classic routes of various lengths and difficulty to challenge all types of climbers.

Built in 1965 by the ACC as a project proposed and largely overseen by William Putnam, the hut has since seen extensive renovations which have transformed the two-storey wooden building into a deluxe backcountry destination. With a complete propane system which includes an oven for baking, a very efficient wood stove and a fully stocked cooking area, comfort is guaranteed. There is sleeping space for 20 on the second level and a spacious common room with adequate space for hanging gear. A large and very hot wood-burning sauna is an absolute treat on those clear, cold winter nights!


In winter the snow comes early and in huge quantities, allowing for a myriad of touring and ski-mountaineering possibilities that are second to none. As Chic Scott writes in Summit & Icefields – Columbia Mountains: “The ski terrain at Fairy Meadow is superb and the snow in this part of the Selkirks is deep, so the area has become a favourite destination for backcountry skiers.”

The possible tours from the hut are numerous and include everything from tree skiing and quick moraine runs close to the hut to tours over glaciers, passes and around stunning peaks.

Note: Due to high demand, ski weeks at Fairy Meadow are booked through a lottery system. Applications are accepted in the spring for the following winter (see Bookings, below).



Summer bookings at the Fairy Meadow Hut are made by submitting a booking request form.

  1. Know the hut rates
  2. Check availability
  3. Submit a request

Guests will need to make personal arrangements to travel to the hut by hiking or via helicopter.


Ski Weeks include

  • 7 nights accommodation (Saturday travel days)
  • Return helicopter flights to hut
  • Exclusive hut booking

Lottery details

  • Lottery runs August 2nd, 2021 to September 15, 2021
  • Cost is $15 per entry (Non Member), FREE for active ACC members, there is a maximum of one entry per week that is applied for.
  • All entries have the same chance of winning, regardless of when they are purchased. A random draw will take place from all entries for each week.
  • Entering the lottery is the only method of booking ski weeks at these huts

More information about booking Fairy Meadow ski weeks for winter 2021/2022 can be found here .


The Great Cairn Hut is accessible overland from the Fairy Meadow Hut in both summer and winter. The trip is long, involved and requires mountaineering skills.


Pricing is subject to change without notice.


Pricing is subject to change without notice.

Summer (May 15 to October 15)
Summer booking dates are flexible, not scheduled. Maximum stay of 10 nights.


Sleeping Capacity: 20

Bedding: Mattress pads provided, bring your own sleeping bag

Cooking: Propane stove and oven – propane is supplied. Pots and pans, dishware and cutlery are provided.

Bathroom: Outhouse

Lighting: Propane lighting – propane is supplied

Heat: Wood stove – firewood is provided

Water Source: Snow melt, Unfiltered Tap

Other: Wood-fired sauna



  • Mountaineering
  • Alpine Rock Climbing
  • Scrambling
  • Trail Hiking


  • Ski Touring
  • Ski Mountaineering

Access in summer and winter is via helicopter. Travel arrangements through Alpine Helicopters in Golden (250-344-7444).

Quick Description: Helicopter from Golden.

Approach Description: Printable PDF

ACC Members may make reservations up to 6 months in advance. To access this benefit, please LOG IN to your membership account and follow the prompts.

If you are not an active member, you may SIGN-UP to join a community of alpine enthusiasts.

Non-Members are welcome to make reservations up to 3 months in advance.

Please call our reservation team at 403-678-3200 ext. 0 if you are looking to make a booking within 1-week of check-in. 

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References And Links