Stanley Mitchell Hut Inspires

Daunting? Perhaps. Possible? Absolutely.

Teaching a writing workshop in an alpine hut – without wireless, laptop, or so much as a Writer’s Market guide had my mind buzzing with ideas. Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) Jasper-Hinton Section Representative Wayne Campbell facilitated the four-day getaway by asking two friends to become writer and artist in residence.  I would do “something” on writing; Rory MacDonald would lead the watercolor and sketching sessions.

But, as I soon discovered, whatever I had planned in the way of writing sessions would have to fit into the reality of a long weekend at ACC’s Stanley Mitchell Hut in Yoho National Park.

The fun is about to begin! (Photo: M.Kopp)

The catch?
The sessions had to work around day hiking up to Kiwetinok Lake, scrambling up to the Mt. Kerr Col, summiting to stand beside the mighty cairn on the peak itself, and sauntering through meadows and passing cascades – ranging from tiny to towering – to reach Isolated Peak Col and the Whaleback.

Lunch at Kiwetinok Lake (Photo: B. Kopp)

Writing and drawing would take a backseat to boat building for the 8 pm SM Yacht Club Regatta. Lessons couldn’t be held between the hours of around 5 to 7 pm due to cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and Italian, Indian and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

Haute couture... I mean cuisine... in the backcountry! (Photo: M.Kopp)

Botanical identification was a priority – as was map-reading, general chatting, impromptu baseball game cheering, yoga stretching, hut cleaning, campground strolling, creek dipping, ground squirrel watching, and alpen glow observing. Oh yeah – and sleeping!

Stretching in the shadow of Mt. Kerr (Photo: M.Kopp)

The end result?
You’d be surprised. The writers in the group did some free-flow writing, descriptive word listing, set subject writing , editing, topic planning, showing (not telling) with words, and creating – with a short, finished articles to wrap up the three days. I even managed to find time for a little watercolour painting.

Now if only I could carry this productivity and creativity through to the rest of my life!