Friday, March 09, 2007

Roughing It

Ahoy kiddos, welcome to another edition of Weekend Warrior. Last fall we decided to book three spots in one of the popular 10th Mountain Division huts for an overnight trip in the Colorado high country. My mom was slated to join us, but it didn't quite work out so she passed the torch on to one of our co-workers who happily obliged.

It was a nice, gentle snowshoe into the hut in the Vail Valley, and oh what a hut! After tramping around New Zealand we had geared our expectations toward a solid shelter with a table and benchs, a steel counter for setting up a camp stove, and a wood burning stove for warmth. At Jay's Hut we found a plush mountain cabin complete with electricity, private rooms with beds, hot and cold running water, an oven, flush toilets, and a shower.

Jay's Hut

Upstairs in Jay's Hut One of Jay's bedrooms

Getting cozy by the fire Not really, but what do you expect?

Awesome icicles from the roof of the adjacent hut

Not exactly a hard core winter experience, but I do have to say that it was nice to enjoy grilled pork tenderloin with pan fried potatoes for dinner. Then we sipped hot chocolate and Baileys after a brief steam in the sauna.

One of the three Shrine Mountain Huts

Since it was such a brief trip to the hut, we wisely brought a plastic sled and an inflatable tube for afternoon merry-making. It was a great time, but since we had removed our snowshoes for the sledding it was exhausting trying to get back up the hill to the start of the run. The snow was so deep in spots that our feet would punch through seemingly bottomless drifts, leaving us struggling to free our engulfed limbs. Not only that but our sled had a death wish in the form of trees and stumps, and would bend its will until we veered into the path of danger. The next day we found a longer hill with no trees and left our snowshoes on our feet to maximize our childish glee.

Tubing near our hut Hip deep snow doesn't deter the faithful

DSC_0024 Jeremy picks up speed

We all got faces full of snow, but only Jeremy continued to wear his proudly. Good on ya mate.

Go big or go home!

In the end, a fun first trip to one of the back country huts, and certainly more pampered that we were expecting. We have another trip planned to a different hut in a couple of weeks that's sure to be a bit more challenging on all levels. Stay tuned for the next edition of...

Getting ready to head back


At 7:44 AM, Blogger Russell said...

Definitely some quality fun that we aren't granted down here in SoCal. I always enjoy reading FergStories. No one words things quite as eloquently as you.


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