April 06, 2008

The Polar Star Inn

On Friday evening Keith and I skied into a 10th Mountain Division Hut that our friends had booked for the weekend. The ski in was roughly 7 miles and a little over 2000 vertical feet. It lies just above 11,000 feet immediately west of the Holy Cross Wilderness in the White River National Forest. I had previously heard about how fancy and luxurious these 10th Mountain Division Huts were, and it lived up to expectations.

The Polar Star Inn

The trip focused on backcountry skiing, of which we had several magnificent runs, but with nearly a dozen of us staying at the hut, the weekend was not without its share of shenanigans. One of the highlights was a bobsled course beginning at the peak of the roof. I managed a ski run down the course (as well as a few sled rides), and found the crux to be getting to the peak of the roof with my skis on.

Another highlight was the beverage induced competition of "eat the bag". I'm not sure what the name of this really is, but the idea is that you bend down and pick up a paper bag in your teeth while standing on one foot. Each successive round involves about an inch of the bag being removed, making it increasingly difficult to pluck the bag from the ground with your teeth.

Me enroute to a 1st place tie with Allison

In addition to a gas stove, the kitchen also contained a wood stove. Keith used this on Sunday morning to cook a nice breakfast of pancakes and sausage. I helped tend the fire.

Since it snowed a few inches on Saturday night, we had to hike up and ski the hill, York Mountain, behind the hut a few more times after breakfast and before skiing out on Sunday. The skiing was great on Saturday and even better on Sunday. There's just nothing like making earned turns in backcountry powder.

Andy, Matt, and Keith getting ready for yet another run down York Mountain.

Me enjoying some Sunday morning "spiritual" freshies

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