Frequently Asked Questions
How hard is it to get into the huts?
It takes approximately two to three hours to ski in to Last Dollar, Burn, and Blue Lakes huts. Ridgway hut and the North Pole hut take approximately four to six hours.
What are the trails like between the huts?
Trails between the huts are “classic” Nordic trails packed out by skiers using the huts. Route-finding skills are important and the tracks may be obscured by fresh snow. It takes approximately three to eight hours between huts.
What are avalanche conditions like while accessing the huts?
Avalanches can always exist where you least expect them. However, on the trails to the huts they are rare. A working knowledge of avalanche mechanics and the proper equipment is always recommended.
To the Burn Hut avalanche is un-likely.
To the Blue Lakes Hut avalanche is minimal.
To the Ridgway Hut avalanche is minimal.
To the North Pole Hut avalanche is un-likely.
To the Last Dollar Hut avalanche is minimal and easily avoided.
What are avalanche conditions like between huts?
Between most huts avalanche danger is very minimal with one exception. Between Last Dollar and North Pole Huts there are eight points of potential avalanche danger, and two of the eight points require real avy-savvy to negotiate.
What about avalanche conditions above the huts?
Above most huts a variety of non-avalanche as well as potential avalanche terrain exists. Skiers should have at a minimum some working knowledge of avalanche ‘mechanics’ while venturing above the huts. Proper avalanche equipment (shovel, beacon, probe, and a brain) is also recommended.
What kind of skis should I use?
Light to medium weight gear works getting to and between the huts. Above the huts, full “backcountry” gear is recommended.
Is there any other information you can provide to help us prepare for the trip?
Get out in the snow before you leave on your trip and learn your capabilities and the capabilities of your equipment.
Where can I rent ski equipment?
San Juan Mountain Guides (970) 325-4925
(Skis, boots, poles, climbing skins, shovel, beacons)
Where can I find lodging?
Who can provide transportation for me?
Alpine Luxury Limo (970) 728-8750