Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Peter Estin Hut

Peter Estin Hut is a part of the 10th Mountain Hut System and is described this way on Lou Dawson's hutski.com: "Built in 1985, Peter Estin Hut was the third publicly funded hut added to the 10th Mountain system. Funds were donated by the Estin family in memory of Peter Estin.

Estin Hut, as it's called for short, is located in a clearing on a timbered saddle just northwest of Charles Peak (12,050 feet), with a stunning view of the Elk and Williams mountains to the south."

(Aerial Photo from HutSki.com.)

We had a strong and motivated crew of 4 and this trip pretty much boiled down to the basics: ski, eat, sleep, repeat.

Staying at one hut for three nights combined with a relatively short ski in (4.5 miles & 2,200 vertical feet) meant we could bring a few luxuries. Mainly this meant amble food and whiskey (or a few beers for me). We ate like kings with meals of shrimp pad thai, steak and chicken fajitas, almond couscous with dates, and scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon and hash browns.

We arrived at the hut by noon on Thursday. It was a nice warm relatively clear day so we spent the afternoon touring and skiing up to a high ridge north of the hut, then skiing below the hut to the south and hiking back up for dinner. That was about the last we saw of the sun.

A small front came in Thursday night and a larger one on Friday night. The snow seemed to pile up at an increasing rate throughout the weekend culminating with blizzard conditions for the ski out on Sunday.

All in all a great trip with a cool group of friends into fantastic terrain with good snow to top it off. Totals varied, but I ended up with just over 13,000 vertical feet of climbing and skiing in four days. Whew!

More pictures.

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