Colorado’s newest backcountry skiing hut, Sisters Cabin, opened for business this winter. I visited a few days ago on a media trip. The architecture and location blew me away.
In Colorado, we lack lower angled, somewhat avalanche safe backcountry skiing, so hut sites for the typical backcountry skier are hard to find. But after working through 21 options for sites, Summit Huts received approval for a location on public land, just below timberline on the north side of a blunt hump known as Bald Mountain (near the resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado). A locals favorite for backcountry laps, Bald has a variety of ski options, from low angled to steep, timbered or alpine. Access to higher, steeper mountains is limited, though the summit of Bald is 13,638 feet — a worthy objective if you’re looking to tag a peak instead of lapping powder (or doing both if you’re strong).
Seeming as most hut customers in Colorado are seeking moderate terrain and easily reached huts, the place is perfect (the approach is a short four miles of low angled trail). Sisters is booked solid for the entire winter, proving the point. The $50/night per person fee seemed high to me as you’re not getting running water or meal service, but I found out $10 of each fee is put towards an endowment. That’s important, as these high altitude huts are expensive to maintain.
In all, I’m happy to report another fine addition to the astounding preponderance of more than seventy Colorado backcountry huts and yurts. Reservations. Check out a few photos, many more on the Summit Huts website.
In all, Summit Huts has succeeded in setting the bar to heights I found unimaginable just a few decades ago. Next frontiers are probably smaller huts on private land, and easily reached cabins with affordable meal service. I suspect both are coming. More, I’m excited to see who tries to exceed the design, finish, and amenities of Sisters — that’ll be fascinating. WildSnow six thumbs up!
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.