Into the Snowglobe
Time for an escape and unplugging from the world. No better place for that then a hut isolated in the snow globe high up in the mountains We decided to try a different hut this year - Fritz's Cabin, to the North East of Aspen. We were able to book the cabin for the nights we wanted without any issues and because it was during the week, we were the only ones there! It was a small group - Nick and I, Todd and Amber and Ian
Since it was a fairly long haul into the hut (6.2 miles, 3000 feet of gain), we decided to stay in Glenwood Springs Sunday night. Might as well get the drive done with Sunday so we weren't rushed Monday morning. Amber had the great idea of going to the Yampah Vapor Caves after we checked into the hotel and managed to convince everyone that we really needed to go. Nick is always up for steaming hot but Todd and I were a harder sell. In the end, it was a great start to the trip.
We started the trek up just after noon, not really realizing how hard and long of a hike it would be. The sled was loaded with food and drink - ensuring that we would not go hungry this time around! The first few miles weren't too bad - Amber didn't even need her snowshoes to start with. And then it started snowing and the trail tipped upwards. And got steeper. There was one mile where we climbed 1000 feet! Nick and Todd took turns pulling the sled, cursing it every step on some of the steeper pitches. I tried to pull it but only made about 4 minutes before Nick took it back.
|Todd getting Amber's snowshoes off her pack - it was starting to get deep in a hurry!|
|Our group heading up the trail, Nick pulling the sled|
|How much snow is up there?|
|View from the Loo...|
|The boys went in search of skiing - we scooped out the sledding!|
|Took a few runs, but WHEEEE!|
We did three runs total - the first run was a little more trial and error finding the line for the sled. The second run was much faster and smoother. As we were getting ready to head back up the hill, Todd and Nick came skiing down. Ian had bailed and they wanted to make sure we weren't getting into too much trouble. One final run. Amber beat us all down that time, having packed in a solid path for the sled. We headed back to the hut, still giggling and ready for lunch. The rest of the day was chilling out - playing cards, chatting and relaxing. And trying to finish as much of the food and drink we could...
The trek back out took almost half as long - something about descending 3000 feet! The sled still had a mind of it's own, especially on the steep, narrow descent of Smuggler's Mountain. Amber had been worried about us beating her down - but that wasn't the case at all! Between the sled and not really having much room to turn, those two miles took longer then we'd anticipated. I'm not sure taking the skins off my skis was an advantage - the skins provided some good speed control coming down and I was a lot more comfortable with time on. If the road had been a little wider, it would have been different. I opted to put my skins back on after the really steep descent. I wasn't going to struggle with traction anymore and I wanted a little more control.
|Nick and Todd wrangling the sled|
|Kiosk map buried in snow|
|One of the few views we had all weekend|