Three decades ago, a group of best friends were living and working in tree-planting camps. Dreaming of building a lodge in the rugged wilderness of the Valhalla mountains. A simple retreat in the middle of nowhere to escape from the hustle of everyday life.
Russell, and his crew, would spend their winter weeks in search of a place that could bring their dream to fruition. The spark that ignited the concept of what has become Ice Creek Lodge. They started building the lodge in the remote peaks of the Valhalla Ranges in June of 2001.
Inspiration is Building
The group would spend weeks at a time at the site. Clearing the land, milling on-site, drinking beers, and forging life-long friendships. Each time, Russell and the team had to trek through the 6000 feet of vertical gain over a span of a 20 km unmarked trail to the lodge. A torturous bushwack. A lot of love, laughter, hard work, community, and connection went into the years of building what is now one of the most exclusive retreats in the Kootenays.
A now cozy timber lodge with 4 private bedrooms, a full-size kitchen, sauna, a three-stall outhouse. The main lodge has now seen numerous renovations, and upgrades since it first officially opened its doors to powder hounds in February of 2003.
A new separate staff accommodation that comfortably sleeps four members with their own kitchen. This started out as a 300 square foot lodge. A lean-to stuck together with treetops, cut off and glued with spray foam into the walls for the staff accommodations.
In Kevin’s Memory
Ice Creek Lodge is built by mountain people for mountain people. The dream of two best friends who loved nothing more than being in the wilderness. Kevin tragically lost his life in the 1998 Kokanee Glacier Avalanche leaving Russell to complete their collective dream. The life-long bond and shared love of the mountains continues to drive Russell, who now operates Ice Creek Lodge with his wife Courtney, in Kevin’s memory and for all those seeking the repose that can only be found in the mountains.
Russell and Greg (aka Droop), Kevin’s brother