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JackAl Hut trip report 2/25-2/27/11 (part I)

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:49 am
by kchap311
There were six folks in our group, four of us from Steamboat and two from Longmont. We started across the trail at 930am after setting off from Steamboat at approximately 715am. Our timing couldn't have been better because when we arrived we could see, in the distance, a few others headed down the trail we were accessing to get to the hut. We took our time getting ready, had a celebratory single beer at the trailhead, and then took off for our destination. I have to tell you the description of a "nose to the grindstone climb" is pretty accurate. I have obviously not done enough skinning this winter as i found myself red lining and then resting and then red lining and then resting again. I continued this cycle throughout the climb as it was impossible to find my groove and settle in. I recommend taking a few energy gels and popping them in as you move along, it really helped me. For help on understanding the sustained steepness we found it to be a very nice treat when the trail leveled out enough to put your climbing bars DOWN! This took pressure off the toes and allowed for a longer stride. We arrived at the hut at 2pm and the climb took us 4.5 hrs with little breaks along the way. Our strongest in the group took an hour less so i would guess it will take most folks between 3.5-4.5 hours total. Upon arrival, the wind coming upslope from the south was very strong and immediately it was obvious skiing anything on the south would be arduous at best and possibly dangerous for wind loaded avalanche danger at worst. There's always a "Johnny Colorado" in the hut it seems and this trip was no different. There was a guy in another group spewing about how we should avoid a certain area and how it would be unstable if we went to this certain area. Our entire group are level one avi trained or work for the forest service and spend many days a year in avalanche territory so we are very aware and careful about how we chose our play time. The guy spent so much time telling us not to go there it was obvious he was hoarding a really good area to ski. There was also a big fellow from their group that insisted on wiping himself down with a wash rag and hot water over the sink and using the rinsing buckets to wring out the wash rag he was using. Not cool at all!! If you have to wipe yourself down don't do it in the kitchen where people have to cook and eat their food- nasty. (to be continued)