A few years ago I spent Christmas at a 10th Mountain Division hut.
It was relaxing, beautiful and a way to enjoy the backcountry with perhaps a touch or two of luxury.
All enjoyed with friends.
This year I was invited on another holiday in a hut.
With Hanukkah and Christmas in the same week, a person on the hut trip reminded us that it was Chrismukkah time. 🙂
And so it was.
A combined holiday with borrowed traditions from both.
And another fine weekend with new friends and old in a beautiful area.
Away from the crowds and the hectic pace associated with the holiday season.
We’d make our way only three miles up into the mountains.
But it was three miles that would seem much more isolated than the mileage indicated.
The terrain was beautiful where nothing around could be seen but the wilderness.
Just the sky above and the mountains beckoning to be explored.
We made our way into the woods and towards the cusp of treeline.
The hut was soon reached.
My friend Mark pulled out some beer he was happy to share.
The warm, winter sun, a cold beer and a deck to sit on was an excellent way to start the holiday.
That night we settled in. And we decorated appropriately for the combined holidays.
An excellent winter sunset was observed.
The evening was enjoyed.
Winter came in full force on Christmas Day.
Single digit temps, strong winds and lots of snow.
But a beautiful sight for a holiday morning.
We ventured out.
I split off from the main group.
Though I was enjoying the company of everyone at the hut, I do need my alone time when outdoors at times.
I ended up on a three-hour solo jaunt on the edge of tree line.
I did have one companion to assist Judy with a classroom project. 🙂
I went back to the hut and then went out again for an hour or so.
Some of the rest of the group was encountered.
We made our way back to the hut where dinner was going to be prepared.
I played pack mule and schlepped in a veg lasagna, steamed and chilled broccoli marinated with lemon and olive oil, some cabbage and beans, bread and three liters of wine. A light meal for the holiday evening. 🙂
The following morning a gorgeous sunrise greeted us from the deck.
We packed up and took the Mandatory Group Photo.
We then made our way out and back down to the cars.
The sun broke out, and we had a bluebird day on the way back to the trailhead.
We reached the end of the route.
Our gear was put back in the cars and all made our way back home.
A great trip.
And one of more winter trips to come this season.