These huts provide the opportunity for clubs to plan group trips into the alpine with a destination to reach. This helps club members promote outdoor education and learn new skills and techniques to further mountaineering and ski-touring pursuits. The huts also provide shelter in which to wait out bad weather when attempting a peak summit.
Of course, the shelters are a place to warm up in the winter and have a cooked meal, but they also provide club members a chance to build friendships and an opportunity to re-build morale in a group if equipment has failed or weather has discouraged further exploration in the mountains. The huts are a social gathering place where members can learn from one another.
The BCMC has a long tradition of arranging club trips on holiday weekends and in particular around Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the early years of the club, these trips provided members an opportunity to get to know one another and eat a great feast, occasionally culminating in impromptu theatre skits.
Similarly, the UBC-VOC would arrange social events around the holiday weekends or reading breaks in the school calendar.
In both clubs, trip reports provided a synopsis of what happened on each trip and what the members did on each trip.
Certain trips provided more of a challenge than others. For example, the UBC-VOC Journals have numerous trip reports regarding the Brew Hut and the difficulty of finding this hut even in perfect conditions. There were also trips that never found the hut or trips that turned into EPICs.
For the uninitiated, EPICs are club trips that were supposed to fit within a certain time frame but for whatever reason they did not go according to plan. These trips could involve equipment failure, poor navigation (like getting lost or not finding the proper trailhead), creek and bridge washouts, bushwhacking and/or extreme weather conditions preventing members from reaching their intended destination. While not enjoyable or comfortable at the time, EPICs build strong bonds that last a lifetime.
John Baldwin, author of Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis, recalled that one of his trips to the Plummer Hut in the Mount Waddington area.
I have also spent a few nights in the Plummer Hut near Mt Waddington. It is in an incredible exposed area on a tiny piece of rock ridge surrounded by towering peaks and huge glaciers. The storms have battered the cabin so much that the front side of the cabin looks like it has been sandblasted. The grain of the wood and any nails or screws were raised out of the wood.
Keith Rajala has written extensive trip reports on his mountaineering adventures in the Coast Mountains and around the globe. He wrote on his first trip to the Batzer Hut with his friend Dennis Brown in the 1970s.