2024 BSI HUT TRIP

Hosted by Winter Wildlands Alliance, Colorado Mountain Club and 10th Mountain Division Hut Association, this year’s Backcountry Snowsports Initiative (BSI) Summit will take place at the Fowler-Hilliard Hut above Camp Hale.

Fowler-Hilliard Hut. Photo Courtesy 10th Mountain Division Huts

When:

The annual meeting will take place on March 14, 2024. Beds are available for a maximum of 16 people per night from March 13-17. Come for just two nights (March 13 & 14) or extend through the weekend, but be sure to reserve your spot in advance (see below, first come first served).

Where:

One of the most popular huts in the 10th Mountain Division Hut System, the Fowler-Hilliard Hut is located on US Forest Service land about 6 miles west of Vail Pass at an elevation of 11,500 feet. The main winter route (nonmotorized) into the hut is approx. 5 miles mostly uphill, starting at the Pando Trailhead at Camp Hale.

What:

BSI’s mission is to protect sustainable recreation opportunities for backcountry skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers and winter hikers. BSI builds community awareness around human-powered recreation and promotes conservation of the wild lands that sustain them. As a program of the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC), with support from Winter Wildlands Alliance, the BSI works statewide on Forest Service and Over-Snow Vehicle Planning, winter recreation mapping and data collection, wintering wildlife conservation, snow rangers and other issues.

Who:

Winter Wildlands Alliance, Colorado Mountain Club, backcountry partners, grassroots groups, hut associations, SnowSchool educators, public land managers, snow rangers, wildlife experts and other friends.

Cost:

Sponsored by 10th Mountain Division Huts Association, this trip has no cost to participants, but is fully self-supported in terms of food, beverage, sleeping gear, musical instruments, and travel/ski equipment. Local snowmobile outfitter Nova Guides offers gear haul at $150/sled, up to 8 bags per sled. Contact Brittany Leffel to coordinate. Read through the hut website for details, protocols, approach and other information. Any questions, reach out to Brittany Leffel.

Draft Itinerary/Agenda

Wednesday, March 13th: 

  • 9:30 am – Meet at Pando Trailhead, pack and gear up
  • 1:00pm – Arrive and settle in, Lunch (bring your own)
  • 2:00pm – Introductions & BSI History
  • 3:00pm – Ski break
  • 5:00pm – Dinner (bring your own)
  • 6:00-8:00pm – Social Time

Thursday, March 14th: 

  • 7:00-10:00am – Breakfast (bring your own) & morning ski
  • 10:00-Noon – Morning Discussion
    • Winter Recreation Management [Anne Gasper, USFS Vail Pass Program Manager & Tyler Kirkpatrick, Trails, Wilderness, Motorized Recreation Manager, White River National Forest]
    • Winter Travel Management Planning – WWA updates [Brittany Leffel & David Page]
    • CMC RIMS App, winter rec data collection & mapping
  • Noon-1:00 – Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:00-3:00pm – Afternoon Discussion
    • Wintering Wildlife Conservation Initiative [Mike Crosby]
    • SHRED Act 
    • Wolverines Reintroduction?
    • CMC Snow Rangers/Updates? [Brian Bergeler]
    • Huts & Yurt Alliance updates [Ben Dodge]
  • 3:00-5:00pm – Ski Break
  • 5:00pm – Dinner (will be provided, please provide dietary restrictions to Brittany Leffel)
  • 6:00-8:00p – Social Time

Friday, March 15th: 

  • Breakfast (bring your own) & morning ski
  • 9:00am – clean and prepare for departure for those leaving
  • Departure will be on your schedule, David will be staying through the 17th so feel free to stay and ski or depart as necessary

Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization working to
inspire and empower people to protect America’s wild snowscapes.