We design our hut trips to maximize the opportunity for powder riding while utilizing the huts for comfortable lodging. Every day of the trip allows for spectacular ski descents in an incredible wilderness.
Outstanding Backcountry Hut Skiing
We offer hut skiing trips to the OPUS Hut outside of Silverton, CO and to five huts along the San Juan Hut System near Ridgway, CO: Burn Hut, Ridgway Hut, Blue Lakes Hut, North Pole Hut, and Lost Dollar Hut. All of these venues offer outstanding backcountry skiing opportunities. There are gladed tree runs, big alpine bowls, skinny couloirs, and dramatic peak descents. This array of terrain provides options for any ability level and for any weather conditions, and the remote nature of these huts ensures an endless supply of untracked snow and a true wilderness experience.
The Comfort And Convenience Of Hut Accommodations
The huts enable us to experience this incredible skiing with small packs. On our way into the hut we carry only our clothing, backcountry ski kit, a light sleeping bag, and our food. The huts provide shelter, warmth, all cooking supplies, and a comfortable atmosphere in which to relax at the end of a great day of skiing. Once we are established at a hut our subsequent ski outings take place with light daypacks, allowing us to travel comfortably and efficiently to some of the most spectacular skiing in the region. The comfort and convenience that the huts provide, along with the guidance and leadership of our AMGA certified instructors/guides, can enable the average backcountry skier with average fitness to have the trip of a lifetime in this area.
Classic Hut-To-Hut Tours And Basecamp Style Trips
We offer two types of hut skiing trips in this area: classic hut-to-hut touring from one hut to the next, and “basecamp” style trips where we stay at one hut and make day trips each day. Both programs provide opportunities for outstanding skiing, relaxing evenings at the hut, and valuable backcountry skiing tips and tricks from your guide.
3-Day Ridgway Hut Trip Sample Itinerary
Day 1 - We meet at 8:00 am at the Peak Mountain Guides office in Ouray, CO. With people traveling from a variety of places to join the group, we'll take a few minutes to have introductions so everyone can get acquainted before venturing into the mountains together. After the introductions, we'll do an equipment check, pack up the food, and review our approach route on the map. Once these details are taken care of, we're off to the Ridgway Hut and into the fresh air. The approach takes us through open meadows, Spruce and Fir forests, and quiet Aspen groves. The route follows an old Forest Service road so the traveling is smooth and straightforward for the majority of the approach. After 3-4 hours of traveling, we arrive at the secluded and beautiful Ridgway Hut. We will begin exploring the skiing around the hut in the afternoon. Lots of untracked snow and beautiful terrain await us! During our first tour the guide will introduce a variety of touring techniques such as kick turns, AVA turns, and an optimal touring stride that will help improve your efficiency during the trip and on all your future tours too. After we've had our fill of skiing for the day, we'll return to the hut for well-deserved rest and relaxation and a hearty meal.
Day 2 - On this day we'll climb above the Ridgway Hut for a full day of touring and riding. Up high, the views of Mt. Sneffels (14,150'), Blaine Basin, and Cirque Mountain (13,686') are enormous and impressive. Bring your camera! Depending on snow conditions, snowpack stability, and group energy, we will choose from a variety of excellent skiing options. There are classic bowls, big couloirs, and exciting ridgeline descents on nearby Reconnoiter Peak (12,920') as well as more moderate gladed tree runs near the hut. The guide will make periodic snow stability assessments throughout the day to make sure the group is skiing the most appropriate terrain and to provide an opportunity for participants to learn snowpack tests and terrain selection techniques. Another hearty meal and relaxing evening in the Ridgway Hut awaits us after our day of skiing.
Day 3 - Another great day of skiing around the Ridgway Hut awaits us today. If conditions and energy levels allow, we may venture further afield to the basin below Mount Ridgway (13,468), Teakettle Mountain (13,819), or onto one of the longer runs on Reconnoiter Peak. There are impressive skiing features in these areas including big bowls, skinny chutes, and an impressive vertical relief that makes for long runs and big smiles. We'll ski until our legs have had enough and then we'll reverse our approach route and kick and glide our way back to the trailhead where our vehicles await us.
*Peak Mountain Guides Hut Skiing Programs are located on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests under priority use permit from the Forest Service, USDA. Peak Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.*