Get out your map and compass while you're still in the hut, review this route, and remember to calibrate your altimeter. From the front steps of the Peter Estin Hut ski W about 600 feet to Hat Creek Saddle. From Hat Creek Saddle travel S down through a sparsely timbered logging area, then through dense conifer and aspen. At 10,850 feet take a crucial right (W) turn into the Spine Creek drainage and drop 90 vertical feet to the Spine Creek logging road (10,760 feet) at the head of the Spine Creek drainage.
Take care here as the route follows the logging road which, instead of descending the drainage, takes a climbing traverse W along the south side of the drainage. The climb takes you 3/4 mile to 10,965 feet where the road begins to drop, then takes an obvious left (S) turn, and drops via two switchbacks to Crooked Creek Pass. From here follow Lime Park and Burnt Mountain roads to the Harry Gates Hut