Located in the WildCat Creek Basin at 6,700 feet elevation, Mistaya lodge is a 2000 square foot post and beam structure with seven spacious guest rooms, indoor washrooms, a large, modern kitchen, and million-dollar views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers from each of the comfortable common areas. Mistaya Lodge was built by founders Ron Blaue and Jane Girvan in the late 1980’s.
A stone’s throw from Mistaya Lodge, WildCat Cabin was constructed over a number of years starting in 1998 as Ron had time. The cabin was originally built to give staff somewhere to sleep but is now rented out for self-guided/self-catered guests when available.
Mistaya Lodge came into existence because Ron needed a job, was not a company man, and simply wanted to be in the backcountry. In the mid-eighties, Lady Luck chose to smile in his direction, allowing his dream to bear fruit:
A new backcountry recreation policy allowed the licencing of lodge-based adventure tourism businesses on crown land.
A growing segment of the public was keen to experience holidays in the wilderness.
Ron had time, optimism, building skills and willing friends, which made it possible to launch the project.
In 1986, Ron’s quest for the ideal site prompted his friend Phil Hein to suggest that he take a closer look in the upper basin of WildCat Creek. A day or two later Ron and Phil scrambled up the backside of Mohawk Ridge for their first view of the basin. The two camped that night beside WildCat Creek on a sand bar dimpled by mountain goat tracks. It was perfect.
Building Mistaya Lodge
After successfully navigating a maze of government paperwork and inspections, Ron built a small sawmill in the valley with which he processed his stockpile of logs into rough cut beams, joists, rafters, and panelling boards. All building materials were either carried by a small army of friends, or flown by helicopter to the site. Building Mistaya Lodge was done by hand, and Dave Birnie, who currently owns the lodge with his wife Cindy, was on site to help raise the walls and explore the basin. Dave and his family were the first guests at Mistaya Lodge for Christmas 1988.
Mistaya Lodge Today
Dave Birnie was also looking for a new job when he heard that Mistaya was up for sale. Working full time heli-ski guiding between New Zealand and Canada, Dave and Cindy decided it was time to take on something new in their lives. In 2003 Dave and Cindy purchased the lodge from Ron and Jane.
In the last 18 years Mistaya Lodge has seen a number of small renovations take place. The boot room, wash rooms, bedrooms and dining areas have all seen increased floor space added on. Features such as our combination micro-hydro and solar system keep our impact minimal while providing the comforts we enjoy. Over in the sauna building showers have also been added for those guests who enjoy a shower and a hot sauna at the end of the day.
Dave and Cindy continue to provide their guests with a very comfortable backcountry retreat in accommodations that are virtually footprint free. Although the location is timeless, Mistaya Lodge continues to write its own history with smiles and fond memories of adventures in the mountains. What will your page be?