A Bit of Friends Hut History – Colorado

This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Friends Hut, built in Colorado in 1985, is one of the sweeter ski cabins around. Built with all volunteer labor, memorial for plane crash victims, beautiful location in the Elk mountains between Crested Butte and Aspen. Gestation of the hut involved a bunch of fund raising as well as problems acquiring a permit to build it on public land. I detailed some of that years ago in our Friends Hut article, but I’ve recently being doing some curating of the historical archives. A few amusing and interesting scans resulted:

The big construction push occurred in 1984 and we used the hut that winter, informally.

This is the gem. Friends Hut charter board member and spokesman Jim Gebhart

I laughed out loud after I dug this one out the box and read it: Friends Hut charter board member and spokesman Jim Gebhart says 'Reservations will probably cost $10 per night per person...while some have balked at the price...complete with gas stove and built in couch Friends Hut is more luxurious than the houses most (Crested Butte) locals live in.' In those days, he was somewhat right! Those were still the days a ski bum could live in a coal shed.

Board meeting 1994, everything the authorities thought about us was true! But we got the job done.

Board meeting 1994, everything the authorities thought about us was true! But we got the job done.


2 Responses to “A Bit of Friends Hut History – Colorado”

  1. brian h February 6th, 2014 7:56 am

    I wonder if such a thing would happen today(?) The mountain folk of those days were a quite a tribe of visionary do-ers. The distance involved between up high and down below were greater then. Pioneer self sufficiency was more evident and the great smothering bureaucracy was just showing its corpulent hand…

  2. Lou Dawson February 6th, 2014 8:16 am

    It’s definitely gotten way worse in terms of getting special use permits to build huts on public land. In 1984 I thought the USFS was being too obstinate, but basically all you needed to do was some politicking and get a signature from the district ranger. In my opinion, key these days is to find private land parcels and bypass much of the bureaucracy (but unfortunately not all of it, as you still have to deal with anti-growth building codes, ignorance of elected officials when it comes to the state of winter recreation worldwide, and that sort of thing.)

Got something to say? Please do so.

Anti-Spam Quiz:

If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.
:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.
Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

All material on this website online magazine is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked.. Permission required for reproduction, electronic or otherwise. This includes publication and display on other websites by whatever means. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

Switch To Mobile Version