On Saturday, Sept. 15, there will be a Coast-wide celebration to recognize the monumental achievements of a community that built four cabins and 24 km of trails at Tetrahedron Provincial Park some 25 years ago.
It was 1987 when about 300 volunteers, 60 businesses and every level of government came together to create the special project for all to enjoy.
“For me, I saw the Tetrahedron area as a beautiful piece of back country that belonged to everybody, but a lot of people didn’t know about it,” said George Smith, who originally pitched the idea to the ski club of the day.
Smith had seen the potential of Tetrahedron Mountain while skiing nearby Mount Steele with a friend. (Both peaks are now part of Tetrahedron Provincial Park, which was established in 1995.)
He brought up the idea of cabins connected by a trail system to Wayne Greggain, former head of a defunct ski club on the Coast in 1985.
“He held a meeting in late December, and 10 people came and decided, yes, if we could get the money they would revitalize the club and run it through the ski club,” Smith said.
By November 1986 the small group of 10 had supporters in the hundreds and a proposal was forwarded to the federal government for funding.
“We got a $152,621 grant which was one of the larger ones given out at the time. Then the province came forward and added $20,000,” Smith said.
The club started fundraising to increase the total, and soon local businesses were stepping up to offer assistance. In the end, the group would boast a budget of more than $300,000 for the build, including in-kind work and donated materials.
“It seemed like everyone was on board,” Smith recalled of the Coast-wide effort.
As portions of cabins started being built at the airport, the community came out to watch, adding to the excitement for the project that got regular coverage from local media.
Completed portions were flown to their positions on the peak, and logs were shuttled up the mountain by truck to crews who would off load and erect the structures.
A massive army of volunteers also scouted and cleared 24 km of trails to connect the four cabins before and during the build.
“At the end of the project, the Outdoor Recreation Council said it was the best hut to hut system in Canada,” Smith recalled proudly.
The cabins are now maintained by the Tetrahedron Outdoor Club (TOC) and are available for use by the public year round.
On Sept. 15, the club will host a 25th anniversary party and dance at the Roberts Creek Community Hall for people to celebrate and get to know more about the local attraction.
The event starts at 5 p.m. with a potluck dinner, slideshow and cake to celebrate. Following the free potluck event for all ages will be an adult dance to help pay for continued maintenance of the cabins.
The cost for the dance, featuring Dr. Fun and the Painkillers, is $15; tickets are available at the door.
TOC president Reynold Schmidt invites everyone out to the anniversary celebration.
TOC president Reynold Schmidt said, “It is a celebration to recognize local volunteers, businesses and government who created this asset we all continue to enjoy and it’s also going to promote our organization.”
Club members will be taking registrations at the event for trips to tour the cabins, scheduled for weekends starting on Sept. 22 and ending on Oct. 14.