Trip Report

Backcountry Skiing, Walter's Cabin at Shrine Mountain Inn, Winter 2005

Photo Bob and Phil on Shrine Ridge.
Bob and Phil on Shrine Ridge.

Photo Copper Mountain and Ten-Mile Range from Walter's deck.
Copper Mountain and Ten-Mile Range from Walter's deck.

I created this page 5 years after the trip. I created it more as resource for future backcountry ski trips rather than as report of this particular trip. See the links in the sidebar for some of the information resources.

Walter's is one of three cabins at Shrine Mountain Inn. Although privately owned, reservations are obtained through The 10th Mountain Division Huts Association. You can read about the cabin by clicking Walter's Cabin Details Page or Guide Book Excerpts here or in the sidebar.

This was a trip guided by Paragon Guides. It was the first backcountry ski trip for all of the participants except me. Shrine Mountain Inn was a great choice for a first trip. The trip into the cabin is fairly easy. Unlike the other 10th Mountain Division Huts, it has indoor plumbing, showers, and regular electricity. The guides are great teachers. The day before the trip, they took us to Arrowhead Ski Area by Beaver Creek to show everyone the basics. At their nearby backcountry center, they outfitted those who needed it with rental gear. The guides planned and prepared all of the food for the trip. They carried most of the gear. Our light packs only contained our own clothing and an allotted portion of the fresh food.

Photo Bill, Connie, and Vanda.
Bill, Connie, and Vanda.
Photo Phil and the Gore Range.
Phil and the Gore Range.

Time has blurred my memories of this trip. We started at the Vail Pass trailhead. The trip into the hut was unremarkable. The next morning, we made some turns and toured directly downhill, east, of Walter's.

One day we climbed up to the top of Shrine Ridge which afforded spectacular views in all directions. That tour produced the silhouette picture shown at the top of this page. Another day we bushwhacked north-northwest from Walter's, through the trees, to a small unnamed lake about a mile from the cabin. There, we enjoyed a nice lunch and returned to Shrine Mountain Inn via the road.

On the last day, we considered skiing out down the road to Red Cliff. Some members of our group were not up for a longer tour so we opted for the short trip back down to Vail Pass. We celebrated with champagne supplied by the Paragon.

Photo End of the Trip.
End of the Trip.
Photo Bill and Vanda Celebrating.
Bill and Vanda Celebrating.
Photo Bob Celebrating.
Bob Celebrating.
Photo Connie Celebrating.
Connie Celebrating.