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Benedict to McNamara (or versa visa)

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:56 pm
by miner49er

Is skiing from Benedict to McNamara as bad as the 10th Mtn Div Hut indicates? If one wanted to put together a Margys-McNamara-Benedict Hut trip is that reasonable and if so, which is best direction? We are not particularly strong skiers but have done 2 multi-night 10th Mtn Div Hut trips in the last 2 years.

Thanks for any advice!

Re: Benedict to McNamara (or versa visa)

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:05 am
by huts
The main challenge skiing between Benedict and McNamara is that half of the route is totally unmarked because it crosses through a Primitive Wilderness area and we aren't allowed to mark trails through there. The section of route between McNamara and the bottom of the Hunter Creek Valley is marked with tree blazes(no blue diamonds as this is in a Wilderness area) but the second half from Hunter Creek Valley up to Benedict is the unmarked section. So how big a challenge it will be depends on your navigation skills. People have gotten lost back there but there are also plenty of groups that have done it successfully. The preferred direction is usually to start at Benedict and then go to McNamara. That way the difficult navigation comes during the downhill.

Re: Benedict to McNamara (or versa visa)

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
by b-dog
It would be a difficult ski if I remember correctly. I'm not a skier and it's been a few years but I'm picturing only 1/2 (if you were lucky) being moderately skiable/skinable. I was there over Thanksgiving so my experience was a lot of deadfall, dirt and rocks. We were a group of 16 on snowshoes. We left pretty early from Benedicts and the last folks arrived to McNamara after dark.

Here's a TR, posted by a fellow in my group:


Good luck. It was definitely and AWESOME trip. I loved navigating the unmarked route, it was so much more exciting than going up a road with snowmobile traffic.

Re: Benedict to McNamara (or versa visa)

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:36 am
by Phil W
If you've not done the trip yet and want a GPS track between the huts, I can supply you with a GPS track between the two huts made from the 10th Mountain map. It is generated from the map so it is not a totally accurate "in field" tested GPS track. I make no claims as to the accuracy other than I essentially traced the route between the huts from the official 10th Mountain map onto my GPS mapping software. But if you think it can help you, send me a request via email ( and I'll send you the track. It is in .gpx format, which I think works with all GPS units (I used a Garmin).