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Thread: Hut travel....

  1. #1
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    Hut travel....

    any recommendations for any of the 10th mountain huts? Looking for ease of access and mild/moderate terrain. Ideally something that is a short distance from trailhead (couple miles maybe) but has lots of terrain nearby so that the focus isn't merely getting to the hut before dark.

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    You talking about riding in summer/fall, or ski terrain? If your looking at a 10th Mtn Hut trip for this ski season, good luck. They all booked up months ago....my personal favorites are the Fowler-Hilliard, Goodwin-Greene, and Last Dollar (San Juan system)....there are several options with mild terrain around Tennessee Pass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwmyers View Post
    You talking about riding in summer/fall, or ski terrain? If your looking at a 10th Mtn Hut trip for this ski season, good luck. They all booked up months ago....my personal favorites are the Fowler-Hilliard, Goodwin-Greene, and Last Dollar (San Juan system)....there are several options with mild terrain around Tennessee Pass.
    Definitely winter travel. I figure most have filled up but I am flexible if something is available. I'll check the ones around Tennessee Pass. Thanks for the info.

    I wonder if there are any Yurts around as well.

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    Best bet for your criteria is Francie's near Breck. May be able to find some mid-week spots.
    Vance's (Tennessee Pass) has an easy approach, but the skiing is marginal and the hut sucks. Check Shrine Mtn. too, but it's probably totally full.

    10th Mountain Division Hut Association if you haven't figured it out already. Also, check the "other" hut/yurt systems - links from the huts website.

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    Vance's up by Tennessee Pass is nice. Has a sauna, too. Lots of mellow terrain can be found.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontRanger View Post
    any recommendations for any of the 10th mountain huts? Looking for ease of access and mild/moderate terrain. Ideally something that is a short distance from trailhead (couple miles maybe) but has lots of terrain nearby so that the focus isn't merely getting to the hut before dark.
    You're sort of asking for the impossible, or at least the highly desired, a short hike and lots of nearby terrain.

    Francie's is a short hike, and has lots of terrain, but it's mostly avy terrain, not a lot of easy stuff.

    Jackal is a medium hike, in the 3-5 hour variety, so if you leave early in the morning you could maybe make some afternoon turns, it has some decent terrain.

    Most of the huts with the good nearby skiing -- Eiseman, Fowler, Estin, Margy's, Polar Star, etc -- are longer hikes in.

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    But hut spots can sometimes be purchased on the 10th Mt site's buy/sell forum.

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    Have used the San Juan's before, as mentioned they do fill up fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontRanger View Post
    I wonder if there are any Yurts around as well.
    If you don't mind heading north, these guys have some decent yurts: Never Summer Nordic®, Inc. yurts for rent in the backcountry of northern Colorado

    I don't know what the skiing / riding is like around there. Since all of our yurt trips are w/ kids, we go to the easy access ones and only snowshoe - no BC skiing. We have had good luck with Dancing Moose and Medicine Bow, but the terrain at these two is not going to work for BC skiing.

    Maybe someone else who has been to one of the other yurts can chime in here.
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    I forgot about the Cumbres/Southwest Nordic System Huts and Yurts. Easy approaches, mild terrain and much less popular than the 10th Mountain Huts...plus they have been getting hammered with snow so far this season.
    Cumbres Pass Yurt System

    The Spruce Hole Yurt is another excellent option located in the same area.
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  11. #11
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    If you have a small group and can go mid week it opens a lot of options.

    Both Shrine and Francies are easy routes in and have some moderate slopes nearby (as mentioned, there is also a lot of avalanche terrain near Francies) but are the two most popular huts in the state and availability can be tough. Francies is an awesome spot for spring skiing/mountaineering. Shrine is surrounded my motorheads and they don't always respect the boundaries of the non motorized areas.

    Janets Cabin is a fairly easy route in - as soon as the Union Creek lifts start running at Copper you can ride lifts and cut off 700' of climbing. There are a lot of moderate slopes right around the hut with more challenging terrain for those willing to go a little further. It's one of the more popular huts but not quite as busy as Shrine or Francies.

    The 10th Mtn hut is fairly easy getting in and has some nice terrain nearby. Homestead peak is a neat climb/ski when the snow is good.

    McNamara near Aspen is a short approach and the skiing is all right.

    Pass Creek Yurt near Wolf Creek has fantastic skiing and a very easy approach but the cat is out of the bag on that one and it's tough getting in. I think there's availability in March.

    Never Summer yurts are more kick n glide touring oriented.

    The Markley hut out of Ashcroft if a pretty easy in but there's not a lot of moderate terrain nearby. The other Braun huts are either a long way in or surrounded by avy terrain. Not good spots unless you know you stuff on BC travel.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post

    Pass Creek Yurt near Wolf Creek has fantastic skiing and a very easy approach? but the cat is out of the bag on that one and it's tough getting in. I think there's availability in March.
    Pass creek is typically a year + wait. The day we went in was not easy.
    Man were we happy to run into the group coming out!
    Hut travel....-107.jpg

    Hut travel....-117.jpg

    Hut travel....-118.jpg

    Hut travel....-133.jpg

    Hut travel....-110.jpg

    snowed a total of 7' 2" in the 3 days of our trip!
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  13. #13
    zrm
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    I've been to PCY during a storm cycle like that. We just got into the parking lot when they closed the HWY. Only three of us made the drive and had to trade breaking trail in about 3' of new. Constant shooting cracks and collapsing with small bank slides all over. We managed to still find great turns on the low enough angle stuff. Don't remember exactly how long it took us to get in but it was in the 2.5 -3 hour range. With a broken trail It usually takes me about 45 min.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I've been to PCY during a storm cycle like that. We just got into the parking lot when they closed the HWY. Only three of us made the drive and had to trade breaking trail in about 3' of new. Constant shooting cracks and collapsing with small bank slides all over. We managed to still find great turns on the low enough angle stuff. Don't remember exactly how long it took us to get in but it was in the 2.5 -3 hour range. With a broken trail It usually takes me about 45 min.
    That sounds like our conditions exactly- This was my first yurt trip so with a 55# pack and pulling in a 65# sled was a chore! (needless to say i did not travel light!- but that included 2 cases of beer ) My trail breaking shifts were short but hefty. We had 2 guys break trail on about a 300' vert pitch so we could get some turns in- while the 3 of us others broke trail to the high point twice that day in hopes that we could keep ahead of the storm and get out of there on sunday. We woke up to blue skies on sunday and our last skintrack the night before held up. it was an awesome trip!
    Hut travel....-146.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBR me! View Post
    That sounds like our conditions exactly- This was my first yurt trip so with a 55# pack and pulling in a 65# sled was a chore! (needless to say i did not travel light!- but that included 2 cases of beer ) My trail breaking shifts were short but hefty. We had 2 guys break trail on about a 300' vert pitch so we could get some turns in- while the 3 of us others broke trail to the high point twice that day in hopes that we could keep ahead of the storm and get out of there on sunday. We woke up to blue skies on sunday and our last skintrack the night before held up. it was an awesome trip!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Oh man, that looks NICE! Now I need to break out the skis and just go.

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    As i said this was my first yurt trip and probably one of the single most hardest things i have ever done. It was a never ending routine of shoveling out the steps "down" to the yurt- keep in mind this yurt sits about 4' off the ground. Clearing the path to the outhouse. Melting snow and filtering water - Trying to sleep on bunk beds with one particular guy in our group who snore incessantly - that is why ear plugs were on our "what to bring" sheet. We got in on the first day exhausted from wrestling packs and sleds up the small hill past the lake. The stove was still burning so a quick stoke of that -prepared some lunch and headed out to do some skiing. We traded off breaking trail to a small ridge behind the yurt and it was so deep it was hard to get going. Good times! Highly recommend it!

    i pulled this pic off the net - it would be fun to check out in the summer.
    Hut travel....-wolfcreekyurt3.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    If you don't mind heading north, these guys have some decent yurts: Never Summer Nordic®, Inc. yurts for rent in the backcountry of northern Colorado

    I don't know what the skiing / riding is like around there. Since all of our yurt trips are w/ kids, we go to the easy access ones and only snowshoe - no BC skiing. We have had good luck with Dancing Moose and Medicine Bow, but the terrain at these two is not going to work for BC skiing.

    Maybe someone else who has been to one of the other yurts can chime in here.
    +1

    I've stayed at Dancing Moose in summer, Ruby Jewel in winter, and will be spending three nights at Lower Montgomery in February (skiing). There's nordic skiing all around and the closer you are to the Rawah peaks, the better opportunities you'll find for downhill. Snowshoeing is good too. There is avy terrain close to the peaks but most (all?) of the approaches to the yurts are generally safe.

  18. #18
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBR me! View Post
    As i said this was my first yurt trip and probably one of the single most hardest things i have ever done. It was a never ending routine of shoveling out the steps "down" to the yurt- keep in mind this yurt sits about 4' off the ground. Clearing the path to the outhouse. Melting snow and filtering water - Trying to sleep on bunk beds with one particular guy in our group who snore incessantly - that is why ear plugs were on our "what to bring" sheet. We got in on the first day exhausted from wrestling packs and sleds up the small hill past the lake. The stove was still burning so a quick stoke of that -prepared some lunch and headed out to do some skiing. We traded off breaking trail to a small ridge behind the yurt and it was so deep it was hard to get going. Good times! Highly recommend it!

    i pulled this pic off the net - it would be fun to check out in the summer.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's Mark and Sandy. Mark is the CAIC avy forecaster for the southern San Juans and Swatch. Sandy used to be the patrol director at Wolf Creek and still does a lot of Avy course instructor gigs in addition to taking care of the admin end of PCY. Good folks.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBR me! View Post
    That sounds like our conditions exactly- This was my first yurt trip so with a 55# pack and pulling in a 65# sled was a chore! (needless to say i did not travel light!- but that included 2 cases of beer ) My trail breaking shifts were short but hefty. We had 2 guys break trail on about a 300' vert pitch so we could get some turns in- while the 3 of us others broke trail to the high point twice that day in hopes that we could keep ahead of the storm and get out of there on sunday. We woke up to blue skies on sunday and our last skintrack the night before held up. it was an awesome trip!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is why I moved here.........

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