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Ski to the Divide – Skinner Hut
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Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Ski to the Divide – Skinner Hut on 02/26/2014 21:05:42 MST Print View


After the "cabineering" article here on BPL, thought there may be an interest in my 10th Mtn Hut experience.

It was a three-day trip to Skinner Hut near Leadville, CO.

For those not familiar with the 10th Mtn hut system, they are backcountry cabins accessible by skis or snowshoes in the Colorado Rockies.

I love hut trips. They combine several things I enjoy in life: Great scenery, good friends, an enjoyable meal…“A dinner party with a ski trip attached” is how I always think of hut trips.

A bit more of a European-like experience in the Colorado backcountry during winter.

Perhaps a bit decadent, but immensely enjoyable.

The hut of choice would be Skinner Hut. At 10.5 miles and almost 2600′ elevation gain (1500′ of it in the last three miles), the hut is a challenging one to reach but, like every hut, so worth it.

Trip report here:

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Ski to the Divide – Skinner Hut on 02/27/2014 11:39:04 MST Print View

Mmm, dinner.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Ski to the Divide – Skinner Hut on 02/27/2014 13:06:43 MST Print View

Man those 10th mountain huts look fancy! Some seriously beautiful stonework. 2 stories and electic lights seems like enough to promote them from hut status to chalet. And a lottery system?! Good grief.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Insightful! on 02/27/2014 13:45:47 MST Print View

WEll Dave, thanks as always for your insightful commentary!

I'd rather think of the wonderful time spent with friends, the beautiful scenery and at less than $30 a night, it was rather affordable.

Alas, I can't be as pure in my outdoor pursuits as you. ;)

Edited by PaulMags on 02/27/2014 13:48:10 MST.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Insightful! on 02/27/2014 15:18:34 MST Print View

That came off more snarky than was intended, apologies.

I was genuinely suprised that they're that popular, though perhaps I shouldn't have been. Aside from holidays at drive-up cabins, and the lookout towers which have a very short season, availability of FS rental cabins up here is usually fairly open so long as you're not going at the last minute. They're a great resource, especially as a kind of training wheels for winter camping. I use them with gusto, and in the right areas would love to see more of them. Some National Parks could raise much needed funds by offering up a few patrol cabins and ranger stations for ski-in rentals.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Re: Skinner trip on 02/28/2014 09:34:44 MST Print View

Nice TR Pmags. I haven't been to Skinner and have been reluctant to because of the long travel on the road. Been to Uncle Bud's twice and I hate the road section. Cutting across the lake is a great idea! Going to Peter Estin/Harry Gates next week. We're not letting my buddy who came up with that idea plan any more trips. :) The car shuttle is going to be awful.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Skinner trip on 02/28/2014 09:57:24 MST Print View

"Cutting across the lake is a great idea!"

Provided it is solid all the way across. On one outbound finish we hit a number of spots that were wet slush, I assume from upwelling springs. We spread out quite a bit, but it was somewhat unnerving, and a PITA to de-ice.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: Ski to the Divide – Skinner Hut on 02/28/2014 15:06:33 MST Print View

Thanks for the TR, Mags. I unfortunately passed up the opportunity to go to Skinner a few weeks ago. I've heard the skiing around that area is some of the best of the 10th huts (so naturally I'll be going someday). I'll be closing out my hut season by going to Harry Gates next weekend then Betty Bear a few weeks after that. Been a great season!