Posts Tagged ‘winter ski huts’

Ouray Ice Fest is On

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Ouray’s population is booming…with ice climbers. Tomorrow kicks off the 17th annual Ouray Ice Festival and conditions at the park are telling climbers, “get your axe in gear.” A weekend-long gear expo, nightly presentations, clinics (some free!) and evening soirees are all on schedule. After the weekend, come visit the huts and get your skis in gear.


Hut approaches are in stellar condition

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Wondering what the snow conditions are like up high in the Sneffels Range? The double track road approaches to the huts are snow packed and fast, making simply the journey to the huts an athletic and visual experience—taking in the Mount Sneffels Range views from these approaches are unbeatable. A true San Juan Mountains experience. Once you’ve reached the hut, explore the terrain surrounding. We have route descriptions and GPS coordinates for surrounding tours.

Mount Sneffels seen from the road into the Blue Lakes Hut

But, as always, be prepared for early season dangers like hidden obstacles and unstable snowpack. And, as always, be backcountry aware and prepared for winter travel.

Willow Swamp & Mount Sneffels Range on Route to Blue Lakes Hut


Regional avy classes are filling fast

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
Digging a pit in the Silverton area.  Photo by Matt Lanning

Regional avy courses are filling fast—is yours booked? Check out Silverton Avalanche School, Southwest Adventure Guides and Peak Mountain Guides for Level I and II courses. Classes begin mid-December and run through the winter. Best to take a Level I or II, a backcountry ski  or rescue course early in the season so you can put your knowledge to the test. After avy school graduation, come stay with us for half price at one of our five Sneffels Range backcountry ski huts. A perfect classroom for avy observation, digging pits, studying snow crystals, and practicing safe ski touring protocol.

San Juan Mountains-style ski conditioning

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

It’s time to get those legs in shape for winter, and plan your San Juan Mountains ski destinations for the winter. Want to make some free turns at Silverton Mountain this year? Well, you’re going to have to stomp for it. Silverton Mountain’s annual bootpacking kickoff begins this weekend and is offered the weekend of Dec. 10 and 11. Duct tape your pants to your boots (keeps the snow out) and join Silverton’s ski patrol on the ski area to pack out the snow. Each day you work, you’ll receive a ticket for one day of unguided skiing.

With your body getting into ski mode, come trek up to our huts and make some turns on this side of the hill.

Our Google Earth images give you a picture of winter

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

While we wait for a snow scene like this one, spend some time mapping out your excursion. We now have Google Earth imaging that brings you up close and personal with our winter huts. 3-D images zoom you into our five destination hut and from there you can check out the ski terrain surrounding. Whether your hut stay will include couloir skiing, summit seeking or simply long, easy traverses, our Google Earth images can help you plan your routes. Use in conjunction with our topo, satellite and terrain maps to map out your trip.

The bullwheels begin running as regional ski resorts open

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

This holiday week, many Colorado ski resorts get the bullwheels rolling for another winter season. Get your winter legs on because it’s time. We are also welcoming winter and opening the huts this weekend. Have you booked your ski hut trip? Stay at our destination ski huts this winter, we’ve got a slew of discounts to make your trip affordable and as always, enjoyable.

Are you avy savvy? It’s time to register for avalanche education

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Winter is here and it’s time to polish up your avalanche awareness. Whether you’ve taken your avy Level I or II, or are a new student to avalanche awareness, there are a slew of avy course offered this winter by regional guide outfitters and outdoor education schools. Some courses are offered as early as the first week of December, and many through the months of December and January, so it’s time to get registered early.

San Juan Hut Systems is linking up with Peak Mountain Guides this winter to offer overnight, hut-based avy education training in the perfect winter classroom of the Mount Sneffels Range. Check out Peak Mountain Guides‘ courses as well as its hut-based ski tour trips.


Peak Mountain Guides, Silverton Avalanche SchoolSouthwest Adventure Guides, and The San Juan Outdoor School will be offering their avy school graduate students coupons for discounted one-night stays at our huts. So get educated and get out into the winter backcountry—safely.

Gearing Up for Winter in the San Juans

Monday, October 31st, 2011

It must be the spectacular view of snow on Colorado’s peaks that makes it seem that this winter is destined to be another exciting season. For this upcoming ski season, the San Juan Hut Systems is proud to provide outdoor enthusiasts with two new features that will make access and use of the winter huts much easier. The first exciting new navigational tool is a Google Earth Map of the San Juan Huts. On top of that, there are also new GPS points and tracks for the San Juan Huts. With these two new features, accessing the huts during the winter will be easier for skiers.

In other news, for those looking to spark their excitement for backcountry excursions, look no further than an article about skiing in the San Juans. It is set to appear in the November 2011 issue of Canadian Geographic, and is written by Bruce Kirkby, a writer for Canadian Geographic Travel. Kirkby’s article chronicles a ski trip in the San Juans with Joe Ryan, and Joe’s daughter, Kelly, which happened last winter. The three trekked through the Sneffels Range in the San Juan Mountains for five days, enjoying use of the huts built by Joe Ryan. As they skied from hut to hut, they took in breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains, as well as incredible powder skiing, and steep, exhilarating descents. In between skiing and hiking around, there were also plenty of opportunities to reflect on the history of the area, as Kirkby notes, simply by looking at the carvings in the Aspen trees by Basque sheepherders. As detailed in Kirkby’s article, the San Juan backcountry huts, located along the Dallas and Alder Creek Trails near Ouray and Telluride, truly do allow the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy the beauty and challenge of a day spent climbing and skiing in the outdoors. Then, at the close of the day, skiers can rest up for tomorrow’s big adventure by returning to one of these bare essentials huts for a warm meal and some much deserved respite.

Whether Colorado is ready or not, winter is certainly on its way. With some new navigational tools and an article documenting the excitement and beauty that exists in the San Juan Mountains, there is certainly no reason to fight the cold.