5 ULTIMATE HUT TRIP HACKS
Though the concept of hut-to-hut skiing originated in Europe, the U.S. is no slouch—with dozens of networks offering epic days of virgin backcountry powder followed by cozy nights in these one-of-a-kind alpine shelters. Whether you’re traveling with a guide and your squad, and arriving to a posh catered meal or just looking for an off-grid place to lay your bag and mack some mac, there’s a hut for you! We live in CO, so we’re partial to the 10th Mountain Division Huts, a system of 34 backcountry huts in the Rocky Mountains named for the 10th Mountain Army Division, who used these huts to train during World War II.
Here are our tips for Hut Trip success. NEVER go without a rez, and ALWAYS keep these five hacks in mind.
- DUH STUFF
Services vary. A LOT. Tailor your packing list to your specific hut, and always pack backcountry essentials like your map, headlamp, avalanche beacon and first-aid kit. But keep it light- you have to pack in AND out what you carry. Opt for 1 insulated fleece layer instead of 3 and leave the mascara at home.
- DRY STUFF
Nothing feels more amazing than a full set of dry clothes to change into. But don’t forget your feet. We simply won’t hut without a pair or moccasins or down booties like these toasty Baffin Cush Booties or Teva Ember Slippers.
- WET STUFF
Most huts require you to pack everything in and out. For bevvies, that means your best option is extracting the inner bag from your favorite boxed wine. It’s a little heavy on the way in but long-lasting and #priorities.
- LOUD STUFF
Sure, some people go off-grid for the tranquil silence. BUT Y THO? This JBL Bluetooth speaker is waterproof, comes in a zillion colors and attaches with a handy ‘biner. Some huts come equipped with a stash of games but when in doubt, throw Bananagrams or a deck of cards in the pack.
If you’ve got your skis and you plan to play outside (other than backcountry touring), grab your avy shovel and build a ski jump for HOURS of fun & feeling like a kid again.
- OTHER STUFF
Unless you’re lucky, most huts don’t have showers. You’re hiking in, you’re sweating, you’re skiing and playing some more…and you’re NOT showering. For a couple of days. Do everyone a favor and pack a travel-size deodorant AND these: Yes to Coconut Face & Hand Wipes. Your friends will thank you.
Photos by Tom Milam and Kyle Mallard.
**PLEASE NOTE: Any outdoor activity can be dangerous and there is always an element of risk to consider. You alone assume responsibility for your own safety and equipment and training for backcountry terrain and must be both physically and mentally prepared and equipped with the appropriate gear. Only you can judge your skills relative to the conditions found in the backcountry and any possible risk. You alone decide when, where and how to proceed, or not. Please stay safe.**