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Huts and yurts provide winter experience


Huts and yurts are favorite ways to visit the backcountry.  The 10th Mountain Division Huts manages 34 backcountry huts. They range from cabins located within a few miles of a trailhead to backcountry shelters that are many miles from any other signs of civilization.

Huts are reached by backcountry skiing, and intermediate to advance skills are required depending on the hut’s location.  The average route is 6 to 7 miles long and climbs 1,500 to 2,500 feet in elevation.

Most of the huts sleep sixteen people, but size ranges from 3 beds to 20. Beds are usually divided among three or four shared sleeping rooms. Huts are booked to capacity and are often shared by more than one group, including guide services and their clients. Overflow camping around the huts is not permitted.

10th Mountain owned huts are equipped with wood burning stoves for heating and cooking, firewood and starter paper, matches, propane burners for cooking, photovoltaic lighting, cooking and eating utensils, TP, mattresses, pillows, and decks. You need to bring a sleeping bag, food, personal, and emergency gear. Hut users melt snow for water in the winter and collect water from streams in the summer. Hut users are responsible for drinking water purification.

Two yurts are located at 12,000 feet above Empire Reservoir in Leadville, west of the Mosquito range.  Each yurt sleeps five comfortably and is equipped with one double bed and three single bunk beds, a wood stove, firewood and an axe, a propane cooking stove, a propane light, table and chairs, basic cooking utensils and dishes.

Yurts are also available to those visiting the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center and the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse.  The yurts are a third of a mile from the cookhouse or 1.3 miles from the Nordic center.  Each yurt sleeps up to six people by sharing three full beds. They are heated by soapstone woodstoves and beds are handcrafted aspen.


Deonne Policky

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