The Bonnington Cabins & Traverse
Part of the Selkirk Mountains, the Bonnington Range runs roughly north-south and is bounded by the Salmo, Kootenay and Columbia Rivers. Within the Bonnington range are 12 peaks in the 7,000 foot range, a half dozen or so lakes, numerous rivers, countless valleys, and much pleasant alpine and sub-alpine terrain. Together with the Arrow Lakes region of the Ministry of Forests (MOF), the Kootenay Mountaineering Club (KMC) maintains four cabins (Grassy, Copper, Huckleberry and Steed) in the range, each separated by a distance of about 10 kilometres making summer and winter traverses of the higher peaks of the range a pleasant and worthwhile undertaking.
The cabins in the Bonnington Range are rustic, wilderness cabins. There are no official trails or routes to the cabins. Access is either via ski/snowshoe in winter or logging roads in summer, and, regardless of season, requires good route-finding skills and avalanche awareness. You can find some details as to the most common access to each of the cabins in this area of the website, but this is wilderness terrain and you are responsible for finding your own route in.
Important to know: the Kootenay/Boundary Region Avalanche Conditions.
Fees and Reservations
Reservations are required for all Bonnington cabins. Reservation fees go toward maintaining and improving the cabins, and supplying firewood. Please be responsible about paying your hut fees. Reservations and fee payment can be made through this website. The fee for all four cabins is $15 per person per night. If you arrive at one of the cabins and you have not made a reservation be prepared to vacate the cabin should people with a reservation arrive. Please print out your payment receipt and take it along to the cabin(s) with you as proof of payment/reservation.
Choose your reservation date carefully – there are NO refunds once a cabin is booked.
Routes and Trips in the Bonnington Range
The premier route through the range is a ski traverse around the headwaters of Erie Creek from Bombi Summit in the south to Porto Rico in the east. The route follows the height of land throughout and passes over the summits of several Bonnington Range peaks and through outstanding ski touring terrain. Most parties allow four days for this route and overnight at the Grassy, Steed and Copper Huts. A detailed route description can be found on The Canadian Mountain Encyclopedia. A PDF version of the waypoints along the traverse is BonningtonWaypoints.pdf.
Good skiing can also be found around the Huckleberry Hut. Tours to the summits of Cabin and Midday Peaks and Dominion Mountain are popular as is making turns on the slopes around the cabin. In summer, it is possible to traverse from the Copper Mountain Hut to the Huckleberry Hut passing over the summits of Copper and Dominion Mountains, and Territory, Colony Empire and Cabin Peaks.