Hut Trip

I'm Hal! 

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10th Mountain Benedict Fritz Hut – Aspen, Co

Last week, we set off on our greatest adventure yet! We booked an evening at a 10th Mountain Hut. If you are new to the hut life, the 10th Mountain Hut association maintains beautiful huts around Colorado to access by ski and snow shoe in the wintertime. We planned a skinning trip up in order to enjoy the beautiful backcountry skiing on the way down. If you are new to the mountains, I cannot recommend the backcountry life enough. Skinning is a backcountry technique that places skins, or a piece of fancy adhesive fabric, to the bottom of your skis. You will have special bindings, called AT bindings, too that allow your heel to be free and a riser to set your heel on. One important note, if you are new to the backcountry, an avalanche class is absolutely critical to keep you safe in the backcountry. A few simple steps keep the adventure fun and safe. With confidence to read the avalanche safety for the day and the correct rescue tools, you’ll be set for an amazing time in the untouched powder!

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Book a Hut

On Thursday morning, we woke up at 4am to fill thermoses with lemon ginger tea and pack sandwiches for the trail. It might sound crazy, but I love pouring coffee and making organic breakfast sandwiches for our drive up i70. We arrived in Aspen around 10:00am and quickly dressed in our snow gear and prepared our skis with skins. We set off up the trail head in the sweet sunshine. The slope started as a gradual climb, for which I’m so grateful for. It gave us the perfect amount of time to find a rhythm. Late morning, we stopped to refuel in the sunshine with hot thermoses, oranges for natural electrolytes, and energy bars for fuel and thank goodness we did. The steep climb began after our snack in the sun with a view of Aspen’s ski resort.

After a midmorning break in the sun, we set off for the steepest part of the climb. Friends, let me tell you, this was so beautifully challenging! Certainly the best workout I’ve had since my last marathon. Skinning is the new marathon training! A quiet climb full of grit and determination it was!

We stopped after the steepest climb to enjoy lunch. Have you ever noticed that it’s often the best tasting sandwich of your life when you’re on top of a mountain? Just me?! When we were little we used to snow shoe every New Years day in Vail and I can still vividly remember how delicious those sandwiches were on top of a mountain. It always tastes better when you climb a mountain in the fresh air and sunshine first!

Arriving at the hut

We arrived at the hut after a 6 hour climb so full of joy and sore muscles! The sunlight was dancing across the beautifully maintained wooden huts atop the mountain. Two huts sit together in Aspen, the Fritz and Fabi huts. We unlocked the hut and quickly started a fire in the wood burning stove to heat the hut and melt the snow for drinking water. We celebrated our climb with cocoa by the fire all snuggled in our sleeping bags for warmth. We enjoyed the evening quietly listening to the fire crackle, perfectly exhausted from the journey up the mountain. We prepared bolognese on the darling old stove, and yes it was worth it’s weight in gold to carry the sauce I had simmered the night before all the way up the mountain. Nothing tastes better than bolognese after a winter workout, homemade with local, organic ingredients. We set our ski boots and gear to dry by the fire and drifted off to sleep.

Day Two

We awoke to a snowy winter wonderland. It was absolutely so stunning. There is nothing like waking up in the backcountry to fresh powder and snow falling. We quickly started the fire to warm the hut and bundled up to enjoy our camp coffee outside in the snow. We did make quick pancakes for a hut breakfast because pancakes in the backcountry just taste better! Then, we were off skiing down the fresh powder, a dream!

I must say, I quite love backcountry skiing! It was a beautiful experience. We returned home with full hearts, strengthened team work, and very sore muscles. Would we go back you might ask? In a heart beat!

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