Hut Trip #1 ReCap! I wanted to do hoodrat stuff with my friend(s)…

Okay, it was only partially hoodrat.  Or minimally? But have you seen that video on Youtube of the kid who talks about just wanting to do some hoodrat stuff with his friend? If not, you must google “Hoodrat stuff kid” or something similar so it pops up and you can watch it.  Hilarious.

Anyway, the hut trip was probably more so hoodrat to Jason, Dave and Ben because of their alcohol intake at high altitude (did you know if you drink at high altitude, it hits you a lot quicker and harder?), but hey, they all came out good friends because of it 🙂  I guess you had to be there to understand.

I’m about four months behind on this post so hang in there! Let me remember how it all went down…

In December a bunch of my favorite people and I spent a very, very cold weekend in a hut outside of Leadville, Colorado.  

If you don’t know what a hut is: http://www.huts.org/

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^ The 10th Mountain Division Memorial Hut ^

I think we started planning the hut trip back in September or something.  When booking a hut, on a weekend, with the 10th Mountain Division, you have to book very far in advance.  Luckily in September, despite being way late already (dates for the 2017-2018 winter season are already available right NOW!) I was able to find us an available weekend at the 10th Mountain Memorial Hut.  I recruited some friends and we reserved our spots.

As the weekend approached the weather wasn’t looking good. Or, was it? It was going to snow. A lot.  And it was going to be negative degrees.  Snow on a hut trip is good!  Most of the time.  It can also be dangerous and a lot of hard work if there is too much of it.  For those of us able to leave on Friday morning it worked out really well. We had to drive in snow, which came with two car fulls of us driving off the road on the way there (and the truck I was in having to be dug out & pulled out), but we eventually all made it to the trail head safely (some of us – aka me and Chris – only 2 hours late!).

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That drive to the trail head, though!

Seven of us started off on the hike in to the hut together.  We were able to drive closer than we thought to cut down our hiking time, so I think we ended up snowshoeing in 3.4 miles.  It took a while as we were post holing some of the way (post holing is when you trudge through fresh snow, creating a trail.  It’s hard. And exhausting).

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Beautiful snow shoe in!

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Taking a breather

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My hiking buddies

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Making progress!

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Rachel and I were the only girls for Friday and almost all of Saturday until Shawn arrived later that night with the Saturday group!
We reached the hut in the dark and it was snowing pretty steadily by then.  The wind had also picked up. We were so, so glad to reach the hut that Friday night.  Others in our group weren’t so lucky.  Jason and Kevin snowshoed in late Friday night before the storm really picked up.  So did Chris B, from a different trail head.  He had to post hole most of the way – not fun.  But the people who had to come on Saturday? Not only did they deal with a TON of snow on the highway which made the 2.75 hour trek to Leadville much longer, but they had to trudge through allllllll new fresh snow, making for a full day of misery just to get to the hut, spend a night, and head home.

Note: If you’re doing a hut trip, don’t go for anything less than 2 nights. It’s not really all that worth it if your trip is in the winter. Snowshoeing with a heavy backpack on is HARD.  Snowshoeing with a heavy backpack while it’s snowing, cold and windy? Misery. Really.

Friday night, for those of us who were there at a decent hour, was a lot of fun.  We were able to warm up eventually after getting the fire going and drying our bodies.  Our hut was roomy and comfortable.  We chatted. I met Ben (Side note: Ben, as mentioned previously, is my boyfriend. We met on this trip!) We made dinner. We drank some hot chocolate, or Bourbon, or Rumpleminze. Or all?

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On the hut wall. Put your phones up and enjoy the place.  We did have cell phone service much of the trip much to our surprise.

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Hut common area. The wood burning stove was amazing! Kept us warm!  The big pot on top of it? It contains snow which we collected and melted. It is where we got our water for the weekend…

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So happy to be at the hut, warming up!

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Jason & Ben both brought Bourbon.  Let the bromance begin…

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Did I mention the bromance?

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JD… always sportin’ the lei on adventures
Saturday we explored the area a bit on our snow shoes.  It was so cold. So So cold. It didn’t get very high above 0. I think maybe it got to 9 degrees, but that’s pushing it.  We spent some time outside until we were so cold we just wanted to be back inside.

We lounged around in the hut, made food, played cards, talked. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset!!!

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The guys admiring the sunset

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Just look at it… Sunset from the 10th Mountain Division Memorial Hut
That night the rest of our group joined us and it was nice to eat pizza that the group made, play cards, drink and laugh while keeping warm.  It was well below zero that night.  The treks out to the outhouse were just about the coldest treks of my life 🙂

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Chris making one of the pizzas

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Half of the group hanging out
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Did I mention it got REALLY COLD OUT on Saturday night?

Sunday morning we made breakfast, packed up, cleaned up and headed out.  It was absolutely beautiful outside.

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Beautiful Pano from the hut’s deck

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The trek out

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Oh look, it’s me and Ben! I think he asked me out the very next night? Maybe 2 nights later. But he didn’t waste any time 😉
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Hut tripping with friends is SO MUCH FUN!  I can’t wait for our next trip!!! If you haven’t been on a trip with us…. you should probably join next time!

Stay tuned for the second hut of the winter season…. just Ben and I headed to the Nokhu Crags with Never Summer Nordic in January! 

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