Booty Griffiths

Booty Griffiths

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Booty Griffith (born 1916) arrived in Rossland in 1937. By 1946 he was busy selling the first X-country skis and promoting the sport in this area. In 1973 Booty and friends ( The X-C Runners) began exploring the Ben Shaw trail and newly opened Seal Creek road. In 1974 they built the Ben Shaw shelter. This plastic covered A frame became the prototype for some 16 more shelters built across the upland area. Later in 1976 they located, SE of Ben Shaw, the Sunshine cabin and Adventure trail.

The Cabin Builder

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“Years and years ago, Booty Griffiths ran a ski shop in Rossland,” Les Carter says. “He was a great ski racer and worked as a ski boot company rep. He was a general hell raiser. Booty built years ago a little pole and tarp shack. It wasn’t far out of town, but at the time there wasn’t much beyond the Red Mountain base.”

It was called Booty’s cabin. The community used to ski out to Booty’s cabin for lunch.

The Forest Service considered the hut illegal because it didn’t have a permit of any kind and was on Crown land and so were going to burn it down. But the whole community got incensed and a some people went down and picketed in front of the Forest Service’s office.

The Forest Service agreed to let it stand under the conditions that it was public and couldn’t be called Booty’s cabin.

Griffiths didn’t like that, so he and his buddies went out and built another 10 cabins.

“That’s how the cabins developed in the past,” Carter said. “A bit of an outlaw feeling to them. Over the years they have kind of become part of the community scene. They’re scattered, about a dozen of them, around the Nancy Greene Pass area.”

He said one of the great games in the winter is to see how many of the huts you can visit in a day. The huts are just for day use and are designed to be temporary.

“They’re not permanent, they’re not on foundations, they’re not built out of great stuff,” he added. “Over the years we’ve developed a bit of a practice of putting a decent roof on. They are mostly A-frames and a lot of the roofs are getting converted over to recycled aluminum.”

The huts have become popular, with tourists coming from out-of-country to experience them.


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