Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:40 am Posts: 113 Location: Salida, Colorado
Last weekend marked the date for our San Juan hut trip. At the crack of dawn's ass on Friday the five of us (2 splitters, 2 ATers, and 1 teleman) piled into a minivan and headed out for the Western Slope. Our objective was to skin into the Ridgeway Hut and enjoy a couple of days in the hills.
Here we are at the trailhead...the crux of the whole trip was getting the van up the icy roads!
We had around a 6.5 mile skin into the hut. Photo shows our goal. The hut sits at 10,200 feet near the bottom right of the chute in the middle of the photo, called the Cobra. As you can see, there are plenty of touring options from the hut.
Hitting the road...
After about three hours or so, we arrived at the tin can that would be our home for next couple of nights.
With a bit of daylight to spare and really wanting to make some turns we headed out for some late afternoon shananigans. Not ever having been there and with low visibility we ended up thrashing around in the woods trying to avoid all of the deadfall around us. Realizing that we were not going to enjoy turns before dark, we bailed back to the hut for cocktails and fajitas. This photo sums up the results of our late afternoon "plan".
The next morning we awoke to 4-6 new inches of super dry powder! We set out to gain the ridge and broke trail most of the way.
The obligatory "point".
Here's what we were pointing at..
After many hours of skinning, we reached the top and hit our first run. Conditions were suprisingly bomber, especially for the San Juans.
After pretty much destroying that chute, we headed back up for another round.
After breaking a new, more direct trail to the top, we geared up to drop a "hidden" side chute that funneled into the main one. Your's truly...
After a couple of very sweet runs, the sun was setting and we bailed back to the comfy confines of the hut. Cocktails were enjoyed as was the elk chili! The hut supposedly sleeps eight, but that would be a stretch. It did provide all of your basic needs though. Goofy photo of the crew.
Monday morning was cold and clear. We fueled up and headed out for one last run before crusing back to the van. Following the previous days skin track, we made great time to the top. Here's a nice shot of Mt. Sneffles at 14,150'.
Here is an action shot from the day before, a couple of scenics, and one from the last run...
The 1600' skin up on Friday meant that we would enjoy a good downhill back to the van on Monday. With skins off and in split mode we tore down the trail back to the car without incident. Twas a great trip with great friends, and great snow. We'll be back fo sho.