Last weekend we went on our annual hut trip to the Lindley Hut near Aspen, Colorado. The trail starts near Ashcroft, an historic silver mining ghost town in the White River National Forest. The Lindley Hut is part of the Alfred A. Braun Hut System, a smaller system than the huts in the 10th Mountain Division but it was perfect for our group of ten skiers and snowshoers.
It was about a four-mile ski in, gaining a little more than 1,000 feet in elevation on a beautiful morning with a light snowfall. It was a moderate trail and took us about three hours – not too bad considering we had full backpacks.
As we approached the hut we could see where a large avalanche had come down the week before, killing an Aspen man. We thought we were the first group to stay at the Lindley Hut following the accident. Someone had attached a copy of the Aspen Daily News to the wall inside the hut, which told the story. The previous group also wrote a chilling note in the guest book warning other visitors to be careful.
We had a great time for three days and two nights: eating, drinking, playing cribbage, reading, and venturing out for short, ski outings – steering clear of the steeper slopes.