Advanced Kid trip: Vances vs Shrine

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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:57 pm

Advanced Kid trip: Vances vs Shrine

Post by jjantos » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:39 am

First of all, my kid-trip experience is high: I have hauled in kids (toddlers, infants, etc) on sled-pulks a couple of times both to Shrine and Continental Divide and would love some new scenery.
Which brings me to my question about Vances: According to the easy route to Vances takes 4 hrs compared to Shrine's 2 hrs, but is is only 3/8 of a mile longer and 150' less gained elevation. So on paper that makes no sense to me. I have made it in ~2 hrs to Shrine hauling a heavy pack and a 4.5 year old, so I know that is a reasonably accurate time. And 2 hrs is really about the maximum I can subject my kids to in a sled, not to mention that in 2012, they will be 6.5 and 4.5 and much heavier. Though I also won't need to haul diaper stuff anymore.

Is there something on the Vance's trip that makes it much slower going? The route looks much less exposed than SMI, (the kids didn't appreciate the wind last year...)

Thanks for any advice in advance.

A family who hut trips together, stays together!

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:03 pm

Re: Advanced Kid trip: Vances vs Shrine

Post by chrismzeller » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:17 pm

"A family who hut trips together, stays together!" Love it!

I have taken kids to both Shrine (Aged 7 and 4) and Vance's (Aged 8 and 5) the following year. I don't think it took us 4 hours to get to Vance's more like 2-3 hrs. My daughter the youngest snowshoed 3/4 of the way and I pulled her on a sled the last ~.5 mile. To Shrine the year before she was pulled and my son snowshoed the whole way, also ~2-3 hrs. We stopped both times for lunch. Go For It! Either way. But there are some differences and neither is ideal.

Shrine: The hike to Shrine is nearly flat except for the end. It can be exposed so more wind. Although the trail is seperated from the snowmobile area, the sound if not smell is everywhere. One group when we went was even towed in by snowmobiles on a water ski rope. There is also electricity and running water at Shrine (toilets, showers too) which is either a plus or a negative depending on how you see it. Jay's is nicer. We had Waler's down which has a very different charachter from most huts.

Vance's: Has a nice rolling trail in. It seemed like a lot more elevation gain than Shrine. One fairly steep hill up midway and a fast descent through a clearcut area before you get there. Its almost all in trees so very wind protected. It is a bit longer Vance's is a nice cabin, typical 10th mountain style. The problem with it is there is no comfortable common area. The woodstove is in the basement with bench style beds. There are only tables/kitchen on the main floor and nice beds upstairs. No place to hang out. Don't get there late (as we did) or you sleep in the hot basement.

The best is Francie's. I took the Boy scouts there aged 9-10 last year. Its about 1.5 miles + 1K ft. It took them all about 2 hours to snowshoe. Too steep for XC skis w/o skins but no one spot is very steep, just a consistent grade. It took me myself w/o kids 45 minutes to casually ski. Very nice hut with excellent touring, indoor toilets and a sauna.

If you are worried about the distance go to Contenental divide or Point Breeze. All flat, all trees nice touring. Have to rent all of the spaces though (2 families 8 ppl/cabin). Beautiful huts.

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