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Hut recommendations

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Hut recommendations

Postby PaliKona » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:10 am

I'm looking to go with a friend to go overnight (weeknight) to one of the Summit or 10th Mtn. huts...I haven't been to any of them. Currently looking at Francies, Janet's or those near Tennesee Pass (Fowler Hillard, M. Froelicher, and 10th Mountain Division). Which are relatively easy, are nice huts and have amazing views? Recs desired. Thanks!

Re: Hut recommendations

Postby Jon Frohlich » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:09 pm

I haven't been to all of them but my favorites are Jackal, Fowler-Hilliard, and 10th Mountain. Janet's was nice too and I'd probably have that one next. None of those are terribly long and you can get to them with a 3-4 hour hike/ski normally. Jackal has the best views from the deck of the ones I've visited.

Re: Hut recommendations

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:58 pm

Janet's is my personal favorite. The skiing up there is fantastic, the hut is great and starting the trip with a chair lift ride at Copper Mountain followed by a fun back-country decent makes for a really cool start before you have to slog up hill.
"Wilderness settles peace on the soul because it needs no help. It is beyond human contrivance." -- E.O. Wilson

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Re: Hut recommendations

Postby timf » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:44 pm

In that particular area, that I've done, I think Vance's Cabin might be too short (roughly 3 miles, but pack in the cheese and wine), but the views on a clear day are AMAZING as you can see all the Sawatch 14ers from Holy Cross down to Tabe & Shavano with Massive and Elbert front and center.

Uncle Buds is awesome just with the nice quiet think forest you head into once you leave the road portion that wraps around Turquoise Lake.

Now outside that area for another date Shrine Mountain Inn has some awesome views of the Gore range and 10 mile range, but not exactly secluded.
McNamara also gets an honorable mention also gets an honorable mention once you navigate through the mansions to the trailhead.

For a later date and for a really cool experience and with some creative car shuttling, I recommend doing Harry Gates and spending a night, then trekking over to Peter Estin. I would recommend a GPS for the connectiing travel as there are all kinds of roads and trails that can get confusing. About 1.5 miles into the trek to Harry Gates from the trailhead near Frying Pan, there's think really cool forested flat plateau that when snowing is just so leaisurely and relaxing before you connect up to a road that leads to it.

Enjoy! I so want to do another one. I use to do one every year and have slacked off over the past 3. :(

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Re: Hut recommendations

Postby dehrlich101 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:13 pm

I've just been to Froelicher. The cabin is very nice, and has a lot of room.

Here is a trip report from when we went up there.

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=13197&parmuser=dehrlich101&cpgm=tripuser
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Re: Hut recommendations

Postby Scott P » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:27 pm

Currently looking at Francies, Janet's or those near Tennesee Pass (Fowler Hillard, M. Froelicher, and 10th Mountain Division). Which are relatively easy, are nice huts and have amazing views?


I've been to all of those except Fowler Hillard. All you list have great views and are easy to get to (I took my kids on all of the trips). You can't really go wrong with any of the ones you listed. All of them also have peaks to climb nearby, so I usually base the decision on which peak I want to climb.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Hut recommendations

Postby PaliKona » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:50 pm

Does Jackal have a 2500 vert gain? How's the trail...very steep?

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Re: Hut recommendations

Postby jrs1965 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:03 am

PaliKona wrote:Does Jackal have a 2500 vert gain? How's the trail...very steep?


Last time I had skinned up to Jackal was 1999 I think. Regardless, I don't think the Pearl Creek Trail has changed much. If I recall correctly the Pearl Creek route took us about six hours to skin up. It was not too steep but route finding was a bit challenging at times and we had to break trail the entire time. On our return trip we skied down the western route into the old Camp Hale site.

Fowler Hilliard is a very nice and new hut but if you take the Resolution Road route you have to deal with the snow mobile traffic. I've also stayed at Vance Cabin. It's a bit rustic but it has a fairly easy route and we skied at Cooper the next day.

Looking at it in Google Earth from the parking area off 24 to the hut is roughly 2300 foot gain.

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Re: Hut recommendations

Postby PaliKona » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:43 am

I think my friend and I are actually going to snowshoe to one of the huts. I'd like to go farther in, but he's happy with only doing a 2-3 hour trek...with that in mind, which is the best, most scenic, best views? Shrine, 10th Mtn, Francies, Froelicher, Vance's or Broome..or other in that general area? Thx

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Re: Hut recommendations

Postby mtngoat » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:33 am

Jackal and Fowler-Hilliard are the most scenic in the area (IMO) but they are also the longest treks.

Vance's is pretty decent with a good view of the Sawatch as previously mentioned but could get a bit cramped if full...or even half-full.

Janet's is about the right distance 2hrs or so but other than hiking to the ridges above, really does not offer much in the way of scenery (both in the hut and during approach.

10th Mtn is a nice stroll in. A good distance and not a ton of vertical. The Homestake Peak cirque is nice.

Francie's is steeper than maps may indicate and hiking/skinning up Crystal Lakes Rd feels like a slog in summer, though it may be a fun, mellow descent.

Have fun! I'm taking my 4 yr old later this month on his first hut trip (Continental Divide) and took my dad on his first (Vance's) in December.
-Dave

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Re: Hut recommendations

Postby AlexMack » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:26 pm

So far I've only been to the 10th Mountain Division Hut, twice. But I'll put in my 2 cents that it's a good one. The hike in isn't super-short but it isn't bad (my guidebook says 5.7 miles and that sounds longer than I remember it), and the vertical gain is pretty mellow. Once there you're in a beautiful setting and there's some cool ski options to go for (I liked the lines we found north of the hut), awesome deck to chill on. Hut trips are pretty much the coolest thing on the planet. I'd definitely recommend the 10th.

Not to hijack this thread, but I'll be at the Addie S Hut off Red Mountain Pass w/ a group in a month or so and was wondering if anyone had any info on the skiing potential/peak bagging potential around there? Is this the same as the Saint Paul Lodge I'm seeing in my guidebook? (Brian Litz's books, no mention of the Addie S Hut in it). None of us have been to that one before and we have 3 nights. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Hut recommendations

Postby PaliKona » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Is that the hut high on a ridge adjacent to Red Mtn Pass near Silverton? Looks incredible up there. I assume you access it via snowmobile?

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