(Main photo): This photo was taken before the planned revovation work had begun. (Inset): Old Glory after renovations to the windows

Renovated room with a view

Old lookout cabin returns to its former glory

  • Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 4:00pm
  • News

Ryan willman

Arrow Lakes News

After seven days of living and working at the summit of Saddleback Mountain, Cory Philipson and his crew have completed the renovations to the exterior of the Old Glory lookout cabin. The small cabin, perched picturesquely overlooking Nakusp, was originally constructed in 1923 and periodically manned by fire scouts who kept a watchful vigil over the Arrow Lakes valley and surrounding area. With advancements in technology making fire lookouts obsolete, the cabin has been reinvented as a destination for hikers using the Saddleback Mountain trail. The request to the Ministry of Forests to consider the cabin renovation was initiated by Nakusp and Area Community Trails Society, who act as stewards for the trail that leads to the summit.

“We are only stewards, we don’t own the trails,“ Wulf Mense, a director on the Trails Society board, clarified.  “The ministry is the one who comes through with the money for things like signage or renovations. We get a lot of support from the ministry, but at the same time we do a lot of work for them.”

After the Trails Society conducted a brief search for contractors who were willing to take on the renovation project, the proposed venture was passed off to local professional carpenter Cory Phillipson who began collaborating with Kootenay-Boundary district Recreation officer, Justin Dexter.

Once the details of the project were agreed upon, Phillipson assembled a work crew including Steve Cain and Bob Moody and chartered Mark Homis of Highland Helicopters to transport the gear to the top of Saddleback.

“He’s an amazing pilot” Phillipson praised. “Homis can drop your gear within six inches of where you want it from a hundred feet up. Even with the wind blowing.”

Work was completed on August 24 and Old Glory is open for the public to enjoy. Interior renovations for the cabin are slated for next spring and Phillipson projects “work is to be done hopefully by next summer, but it all depends on what money Dexter can make available.”