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    I would put this in the Trip report section, but I don’t have much action shots, so doesn’t warrant. Figured I’d give my thoughts on the Eiseman hut after going there last weekend. I was there for 4 days, 3 nights. This was the first time I’ve stayed in an 10th Mountain division hut, and the first time in a hut in Colorado. I’ve stayed in huts in BC, and always enjoy huts. Its great to get away from the hustle of life, and disconnect from reality.

    Few things about the hut.

    Approach – We approached from Spraddle Creek. Another group was in on snowmobiles and came up Red Sandstone. As far as I can tell, they can’t do that, but they claimed it was a “soft closure”. Not sure. Either way, we showed up and had to break trail after 2 miles in. Total trip in was 7 miles, 3K of climbing. We did about 5 miles and 2.1K of trail breaking in the about 18″ of new snow. All of it is pretty flat (probably 5-10% max), until the last part. They claim it is steep, but its not bad by San Juan standards. It ended up taking us around 4 hours to get into the hut. Its pretty straight forward how to get there. A few times we got off course, but were still in the right direction. A GPS did help get us in the right directions. I downloaded a GPX into my phone here:
    Approaching the hut around mile 2.5

    Terrain: The terrain around the hut to be honest is a bit underwhelming. I was surprised as it claims “the finest skiing of all the 10th mountain division”, but really, it was difficult to find runs over 1000ft, and any real steep runs. A lot of terrain points to the W side of the compass, and there is a lot of tree skiing. There is some steeper s facing lines that we weren’t able to get into, and some alpine (N to W of the compass) that was a bit too touchy and wind affected to go into as well. Overall, not bad skiing, just not “the finest skiing”. It was still fun for a beginner / intermediate experienced rider, but to be honest, after travelling 7 miles, I would want a bit more skiing than it had.
    What we called the “Hero line” of the trip. It didn’t get skied, and really is only 600′ top to bottom. We were going to go for it on the exit, but didn’t get motivated for it.

    Nasty switchbacks:

    Interesting uptrack into the “tunnel of love”

    There is awesome views to be had.
    Great view of Vail and the valley on most the ridges

    And excellent views of the Gore Range, if you gain any of the ridges. We climbed up to 12,361 to see this.

    Hut: The hut is pretty awesome, but I don’t have a lot of experiences with huts. It had a great W facing view that you could catch awesome sunsets each night. Amenities were pretty good, with ample cooking space for a couple groups at a time, and a large open area that was social and fun.

    Sunset from the front porch can’t be beat

    Entering Red Sandstone Creek

    Low angle tracks entering Sandstone Creek

    More Gores

    Bit touchy on N and E facing aspects for us, but its pretty easy to stay safe out there.

    Night at the hut

    Overall, it is a great experience out there, and most people won’t be disappointed if they go there. I left with a feeling of bit of underwhelming terrain and skiing though, and would have loved to have a bit more terrain. But the hut and experience was excellent. The views were awesome, and it is pretty fun to party run 800′ tree runs with your buds.

    Exit on splitboard: You can mostly splitski the whole way out of this. We snowboarded from the hut, transitioned to skis, and kept skins off. I may recommend once you hit the road to transition again to ride mode, you can make it the whole way out probably. If you are a good splitskier (and enjoy it), you can keep skins off and go for it. We only had to utilize the skins for miles 3.25-4.25 and maybe 400′ of vert. The rest of the time we skied out without skins. It took us just shy of 2 hours.
    Exit track:

    West side glades after entering for snow stability:
    Middle Creek to the summit (excellent views of the gore. The second uptrack sucked, and maybe theres a better way up. The W facing trees all skied very well when we were there.
    SW facing trees on red Sandstone creek rode pretty well and steep. nicely spaced trees, party runable in the right conditions.

    385 Posts

    nice work jason!

    I kind of figured a san juan guy would be not so impressed with the vert in these parts. I can say the same thing about most areas around here until spring rolls around.. NOT ENOUGH VERT! that is the i70 vicinity’s problem, lots of knolls and rolly polly terrain. That is why I will drive seven hours to get to those bigger peaks!! aka the san juans.
    Its all good, I bet the break from the concrete world was nice. Views look good and even if its not that fun to ski its still fun to mindsurf all the terrain in the area. nice post and review for those that have not been there.( myself included)

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