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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    39

    Looking for backcountry hut/yurt with "hippie pow"

    Thinking of the upcoming season given the way the season is likely to shape up.
    A stay in a backcountry hut/yurt seems like it would be a great idea. Avoid longer lines/limits/closures at resorts, as well as powder frenzy in close to the road/resort backcountry areas.


    However, my wife and I are pretty fresh backcountry skiers, and we have our 10 and 13 year old daughters along. We also need to plan a long time ahead, so have to be prepared for any kind of avalanche conditions.


    Taking that into consideration I am looking for a hut or yurt that:

    • Is in an area with a less “continental” snowpack (I.e. not Colorado). Avalanche conditions vary day by day, but the odds of a scary snowpack are a lot higher in a place with shallow snowpack and extreme temperatures.
    • Has plenty of simple*, low angle ski terrain right around the hut. Ski terrain meaning: not flat. We are perfectly happy in extremely low angle terrain, but still want to be sliding (we can do XC perfectly fine here at home in MN).
    • And alas, it has to be in the US...


    In other words, the stuff people often call “hippy pow” or “meadow skipping”. Whatever name you want to attach to it, basically looking for somewhere we can find some nice slopes ~20-30 degrees, on varying aspects.


    I can look on Caltopo myself just fine to check that, but since most huts are hard to locate on a map until you zoom in, it would be great to get some ideas from people who have visited a hut, or heard about one that sounds like that.

    Thanks for any ideas/suggestions.





    *ATES scale

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    panhandle locdog
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    6,840

  3. #3
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    Nov 2005
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    Down In A Hole, Up in the Sky
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    I would help you, but you posted in black on a blue background, so....
    Forum Cross Pollinator

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    39
    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    Yeah, I did look at that, seemed like an interesting (if a bit spendy). When I looked at the map, It looks like it in a flat meadow, with slopes dropping down to valleys that are not very steep, but well into 30 degree plus.
    Last edited by Tjaardbreeuwer; 09-02-2020 at 03:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Wasatch Back: 7000'
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    10,009
    Maybe too continental, but it is Utah!

    http://www.backcountryhuts.net/huts/the-tuna-yurt/
    “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
    ― Milton Friedman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    39
    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    I would help you, but you posted in black on a blue background, so....
    Weird. On my iMac it is black on white (like all of TGR forums)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    on the banks of Fish Creek
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    2,856

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    39
    Quote Originally Posted by schindlerpiste View Post
    Maybe too continental, but it is Utah!

    http://www.backcountryhuts.net/huts/the-tuna-yurt/
    That one sounds perfect: "regularly used by families with children. Moderate glade skiing". And it is in a less busy area. Only problem is they require a 'certification' course to use it, so seems like a locals only option. I sent an email to see about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by m2711c View Post
    That looks super cool! It is unclear what the travel restrictions are into Alaska at the moment, let alone what they will be in 8 months.. definitely something to watch.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2011
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    panhandle locdog
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tjaardbreeuwer View Post
    Yeah, I did look at that, seemed like an interesting (if a bit spendy). When I looked at the map, It looks like it in a flat meadow, with slopes dropping won to valleys that are not very steep, but well into 30 degree plus.
    I've skied there, there is plenty of mellow in addition to steep. If we're talking 10 and 13 year old girls you're probably not wanting to take them that far from camp anyways?

    It's maritime snowpack and at the same time you can visit the charming faux Bavarian hamlet of Leavenworth.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    I've skied there, there is plenty of mellow in addition to steep. If we're talking 10 and 13 year old girls you're probably not wanting to take them that far from camp anyways?
    Exactly. short approach is key to keeping it fun for them at the moment. Thanks for the first hand info!


    I think that's the first time I've heard the words "faux" and "charming" used together, haha!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    6,581

    Looking for backcountry hut/yurt with "hippie pow"

    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    We skied there with another couple about 22 years ago with a sub-1 year old. plenty of fun, mellow slopes and enough steeper shots to keep it interesting.

    i’m not sure it’s a 5 day location though. I think we stayed 3 days/2 nights. the cat brought us in and my bud and I skied out while the cat took the ladies and our baby out.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    gnArvada
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    3,194

    Looking for backcountry hut/yurt with "hippie pow"

    If you are only hitting this “simple , low angle” terrain, why worry about the snowpack type ?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by hatchgreenchile View Post
    If you are only hitting skiing 20-30 slopes , why focus on a specific type of snowpack ?

    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Because I would like to ski steeper stuff too, but if I show up and it’s
    Considerable or High, with a persistent weak layer, I still want to have plenty of terrain where I can easily stay away from possible slides. Including triggering it from below.
    Because I have seen entire seasons where CO pretty much never got rid of a scary deep weak layer.
    Last edited by Tjaardbreeuwer; 09-02-2020 at 06:35 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    minneapolis
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    117

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    812
    I’ve stayed at the Alpine Lakes “Scottish Camp” above...was a unique experience but not sure for 5 days.

    I know you said no CO but I’ve also stayed here (only 1 night) and thought it had potential. Could also split it up and do a day or two at Wolf Creek (not sure of opening status) or find a local cabin and tour from it/ trail heads?

    https://wolfcreekbackcountry.com

    I’ve got nothing outside of CO.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
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    2,862
    Wolf creek was going to be my suggestion also. Beauty of wolf creek is if the skiing is good conditions will be that way when you show up.
    m series have you skied out of the dan moller cabin?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    39
    Quote Originally Posted by dtown View Post
    I’ve stayed at the Alpine Lakes “Scottish Camp” above...was a unique experience but not sure for 5 days.

    I know you said no CO but I’ve also stayed here (only 1 night) and thought it had potential. Could also split it up and do a day or two at Wolf Creek (not sure of opening status) or find a local cabin and tour from it/ trail heads?

    https://wolfcreekbackcountry.com

    I’ve got nothing outside of CO.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Thanks for the info.

    That Wolff creek cabin definitely looks the best from the quick glance at Cal topo shading I did.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Eagle, Idaho
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    141

    Hippie powder and some more challenging stuff in Idaho


    The yurts offered by Payette Powder Guides, which are located NE of McCall Idaho would fit what you are looking for. Plenty of mellow, as well as steep terrain. This area is what I call a "snow magnet". I have been to the yurts 4 different seasons and have had powder every year! The video was made on one of my earlier trips, (about 5 years ago), and it should give you a good idea of what the terrain is like and the powder.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Down by the river, Terrace, BC
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    3,487
    Quote Originally Posted by Tjaardbreeuwer View Post
    That looks super cool! It is unclear what the travel restrictions are into Alaska at the moment, let alone what they will be in 8 months.. definitely something to watch.
    Right now you probably could not just drive through Canuckistan to recreate in Alaska.

    "COVID-19 public health measures are enacted by the Canadian and US governments currently border crossing limited to essential traffic only until September 30th. (likely to extended)

    The measure was implemented on March 21, 2020, at which time the U.S. and Canada have temporarily restricted all non-essential travel across the U.S.-Canada land border. The measure was originally in place for 30 days. Since then it has since been extended on a monthly basis."

    Quote Originally Posted by Tjaardbreeuwer View Post
    Because I would like to ski steeper stuff too, but if I show up and it’s
    Considerable or High, with a persistent weak layer, I still want to have plenty of terrain where I can easily stay away from possible slides. Including triggering it from below.
    Because I have seen entire seasons where CO pretty much never got rid of a scary deep weak layer.
    Um, you probably don't have to worry about this stuff too much because you'll be guided. You can ski a lot of terrain when ratings are considerable. You also said you're skiing with your kids, so you'll be looking for them to take a day off, and then you go rip big steep lines with the guide? You're looking for a hut, not wanting it to be too spendy, then that will mean sharing it with folks who will also want to meadow skip.

    Man, you're complicating the logistics here. Like, you can do anything with lots of cash (like book an exclusive hut trip somewhere), but if you're concerned with price, and you want to meadow skip, and you want to ski steep lines (but only if it's not considerable or high with a PWL), and plenty of terrain where you can stay away from possible slides, and no steeper lines with your kids....

    Uh, yeah good luck.
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”
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  20. #20
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    Nov 2005
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    Mt. Unicorn Hut System?
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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Movin' On
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    2,506
    Anything with a long approach seems like a disaster for a 10 and 13 year olds first trip. This would be a pretty ideal "you're not going to kill yourself by getting lost trying to get there" location- https://tetonbackcountryguides.com/m.../teton-canyon/

    It's XC/skin/snowmobile access but from there you could go explore some other areas on day trips.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    on the banks of Fish Creek
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    Wolf creek was going to be my suggestion also. Beauty of wolf creek is if the skiing is good conditions will be that way when you show up.
    m series have you skied out of the dan moller cabin?

    not yet. i had a trip planned for last spring but the covids happened...


    hopefully i can get there this year. i’ve got two days at eaglecrest on my indy pass and i’m trying to pair that up with two or three days at the cabin for a nice weeklong vacation...


    if not, i’m just gonna be one year older when i do.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by garyfromterrace View Post
    Right now you probably could not just drive through Canuckistan to recreate in Alaska
    Um, you probably don't have to worry about this stuff too much because you'll be guided. You can ski a lot of terrain when ratings are considerable. You also said you're skiing with your kids, so you'll be looking for them to take a day off, and then you go rip big steep lines with the guide? You're looking for a hut, not wanting it to be too spendy, then that will mean sharing it with folks who will also want to meadow skip.

    Man, you're complicating the logistics here. Like, you can do anything with lots of cash (like book an exclusive hut trip somewhere), but if you're concerned with price, and you want to meadow skip, and you want to ski steep lines (but only if it's not considerable or high with a PWL), and plenty of terrain where you can stay away from possible slides, and no steeper lines with your kids....

    Uh, yeah good luck.
    -AK would be fly, not drive, it’s 50 hours of driving time from MN to Juneau! But the way I read AK’s site, you have to quarantine upon arrival.

    -Not guided. Most guides in the US charge way more for more people, so with 4 people you end up around $900/day for a guide. Add to that the hut costs, and you are into ~$1300/day for, let’s say, a 5 day trip.
    I love doing guided trips and courses, but when I do, I do them as day trips with the kids, or adults only trips. I certainly plan to do one or two weekends of guided trips/courses this winter.

    -many yurts/small huts are available for $250-$300/night. I’d be happy to pay that for just my family.

    -I do not plan on skiing anything ‘steep’ on this type of trip. But there is terrain between ‘low angle’ and ‘steep’. I was defining low angle as less than 30 degrees. I think most people don’t call ~32 degrees, “steep” skiiing.

    -Mostly I am looking for an area where there is plenty of low angle terrain, so you can set a tour that stays well away from avalanche terrain if needed (including locally connected terrain and run outs). Sometimes, there may be low angle terrain, but you are threading a needle through steeper slopes, I want to avoid that. Hence the ‘simple’ terrain request. It’s a lot easier to find safe slopes and routes somewhere with mostly gentle slopes, versus a very steep mountain range.

    I realize this means I won’t be skiing steep terrain, or ski mountaineering, and that’s fine by me. (For this trip) I just want to ski mellow meadows and glades, and let the kids build snow forts by the yurt in the afternoon, and light a fire in a wood stove.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    your vacation
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    2,242
    ditch the wife and kids
    move to breckenridge smoke weed all day everday
    happy hour buy a snowmobile ride the lifts go medow skipping and learn to man handle big lines by april

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevo View Post
    Anything with a long approach seems like a disaster for a 10 and 13 year olds first trip. This would be a pretty ideal "you're not going to kill yourself by getting lost trying to get there" location- https://tetonbackcountryguides.com/m.../teton-canyon/

    It's XC/skin/snowmobile access but from there you could go explore some other areas on day trips.
    You are right. The approach can not be super long (unless you can get a mechanized ride in). We are pretty slow moving as a family, compared to an all adult group.

    It would be our first AT-ski-hut trip, but we have done XC-ski-winter camping trips, AT-ski-day trips, backpacking and summer hut trips with them, so as far as what it’s like to move and spend several nights out, they are used to that.

    I looked at that Teton Valley yurt, @Goathead had mentioned it too.

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