This past weekend, I joined my friend Mike for his birthday weekend. I would be joining his girlfriend Rachel and another friend of his named Mike
The place for the birthday weekend? An overnighter to Harry Gates Hut near Aspen, CO. My second hut trip this year, and one that would be enjoyable.
I was last there ten years ago with another small group.
My memories of the approach were fuzzy. And the trailhead was different.
But those fantastic views and being in a beautiful place was still the same as my memories.
The conditions of 2017 vs. 2007 were more spring-like. The snow was mushy or packed down like a luge run.
But we still managed to have fun on the way up.
We made our way up and eventually reached the high point.
We quickly skied down the two miles of jeep road and made it to within .25 miles of the hut.
A last, and quick, climb was done.
A fantastic view greeted us at the top.
We skied the final leg to the hut.
A welcome sight after a day of skiing.
We settled in for the evening, met the other hut visitors, and enjoyed the winter evening.
True to thinking of a hut trip as “a dinner party with a ski trip attached”, I packed in tourtiere (French-Canadian meat pie), potatoes and vegetables with herbs and some wine. A light meal. 😉
A leisurely morning was had the following day.
We packed up and enjoyed some last views on the hut porch.
We skied out.
A last view was taken from the high point just before the hut.
The way down was often “survival skiing,” but it went quickly.
Some laps were done on a nearby slope not far from the waiting car.
Or we just enjoyed the warm sun.
The car was reached soon after.
We made our way to Mike M.’s condo in Breck and then the three of us made our way back to the Front Range.
A great weekend.
The skiing may not have been the best.
But the company, a quiet night in the mountains, and some great scenery more than made up for the skiing.
Another great weekend of winter memories.