Revelstoke guide proposes alpine hut network in Monashee Mountains

Mountain guide Jeff Bellis applies for tenure to develop three huts connected by trails in the Gold Range south of Revelstoke

The Gold Range features many alpine meadows scattered with small lakes and views of glacier-capped mountains.

A Revelstoke mountain guide is proposing to build three new huts in the Monashee Mountains south of town that would enable people to go on hut-to-hut hiking, mountaineering and mountain biking trips.

Goldrange Alpine, which is run by Jeff Bellis, filed a Crown land application to build three huts in the Gold Range. One would be near Cranberry Mountain, one near Gates Peak and one near Mount Odin. The huts would be accessed via trails that would extend up mountain valleys from nearby logging roads.

“I grew up in Revelstoke and I love cruising around the mountains,” said Bellis. “I’ve been to Europe and it’s awesome to be able to go hut to hut without carrying all your gear.”

The Gold Range is a subset subrange of the Monashee Mountains that extends from the Trans-Canada Highway to about 60 kilometres south of Revelstoke. It encompasses landmarks like Mount Begbie, the Blanket Glacier, Mount Thor, Mount Odin and Mount Fosthall near the south end of the range. It features narrow valleys, glaciated peaks that approach 3,000 metres in elevation, and many small lakes and meadows.

“It’s amazing back there,” said Bellis. “It’s a bit hard to access so a lot of people don’t get in there. It’s really beautiful, rugged terrain.”

While the east and west flanks of the range are criss-crossed by logging roads, the heart of the mountains is mostly untouched by humans, with only a few trails entering the area. Two backcountry lodges are located in the range the Blanket Glacier Chalet near Revelstoke, and Sol Mountain Lodge to the south.

Bellis, 40, was born and raised in Revelstoke and has spent most of his life exploring the mountains in the area. He has been a certified ACMG mountain guide for about a decade, guides for CMH Revelstoke and runs his own company, Global Powder Guides, which leads trips around Revelstoke and in Greeland.

Photo: The tenure Goldrange Alpine applied for is outlined in red. ~ Google Earth image by Goldrange Alpine

He has applied for a summer-only tenure over 210 square kilometres, stretching from Blanket Mountain in the north to Mount Odin in the south. He has divided the area into three zones: Cranberry, Gates and Odin, from south to north. Each zone would contain a small, 750 square foot, 12-bed hut with a kitchen, drying area, living space and outhouse.

Trails would be built to access the huts from the logging road network above Shelter Bay, and a fourth trail would connect the Cranberry and Gates huts. Trips would be guided and could involve mountain biking, hiking or mountaineering. Winter operations are not part of the plan as the area overlaps CMH Revelstoke and Eagle Pass Heliskiing winter tenure.

“The experience offered is a remote backcountry experience in an isolated mountain setting,” Bellis wrote in his application. “The rugged nature of the Monashee mountains, the numerous glaciers and alpine tarns, and the abundance of sub alpine meadows will create an unforgettable guest experience.”

When asked if guests would be flow in, Bellis said you’d have to either hike or bike into the huts on the proposed trails. “The whole idea is to stay away from the helicopter,” he said. “Those valleys are short enough. It’s about 10 kilometres to get in so it’s doable by your average person in a day.”

Bellis says he hopes to start working on the project next summer, but knows that right now it’s in the hands of the government.

“I think this is a great thing for Revelstoke as summer tourism takes off and more people come to the community to mountain bike and hike,” he said.

You can read the management plan here.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Frank Desrosiers is a videographer based in Revelstoke. His art film Full Circle recently debuted at LUNA Re-imagined. (Contributed)
Revelstokians bike for mental health in latest cycling film

Full Circle by local filmmaker debuted at LUNA Re-imagined

Begbie View Elementary Corban casts his vote in last week’s mock student election. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke students vote green in provincial mock election

Begbie View Elementary was one of more than 700 elementary and high school schools that took part

Friends and family of Sonya Riome, 35, are confirming she died in the fire. (Contributed)
Woman dies in weekend Revelstoke house fire

The fire gutted the property

Above, MLA-elect Doug Clovechok cast his vote early. Photo submitted
MLA-elect Clovechok reflects on election

He’s ready to get to work as an opposition MLA, he says

While Revelstoke has one of the oldest bear awareness societies in the province, the city has yet to implement a community wide bear-proof garbage system. (Submitted)
Saving bears: Revelstoke’s garbage dilemma

More than 400 bears have been killed in the city since 1986

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Kelowna Secondary School. (SD23 photo)
Second case of COVID-19 confirmed at Kelowna Secondary School

Interior Health has confirmed the new case is unrelated to the one announced Sunday

The Stuart Park ice rink in January 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Popular Kelowna outdoor ice rink will open amid COVID-19 pandemic

City council approved COVID-related changes to the Stuart Park ice rink’s operations

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health sees 31 new cases of COVID-19 over record-breaking weekend

Eighty-six cases remain active and one person is hospitalized with the virus

Salmon Arm RCMP responded to a seven-vehicle chain reaction collision early Monday morning, Oct. 26. (File photo)
One person injured in seven-vehicle chain-reaction collision in Salmon Arm

Snow packed to ice, speed contributing factors behind collisions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP responded to a single-vehicle collision on Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm early Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (File photo)
Salmon Arm man killed in collision on Highway 1

RCMP say slippery road conditions contributing factor behind collision

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Parents not giving up, after official search for Manning Park hiker suspended again

‘We are determined, but eventually the money is going to run out.’

Most Read