*All awesome photos were taken by Zack Kaplan

Last Sunday, the Broncos won the Super Bowl. Knowing that most everyone in Colorado would be plopped in front of the TV to watch the game, my roommate and I took advantage of the opportunity to have the Arestua Hut, a Colorado Mountain Club-owned hut, to ourselves. So on Sunday afternoon, we headed up the Jenny Creek and Guinn Mountain trails with our boards strapped to our backs.

Hiking to CMC Arestua Hut

This is what half exhaustion and half excitement looks like.

 

Our plan was to snowshoe up on Sunday and snowboard back down early Monday morning so I could arrive to work before my first meeting of the day. The trail was definitely more difficult than I had expected, but it was oh so worth it. With a few short breaks for snacks and water (and catching my breath!) along the way, we arrived at the hut a few hours later. In no time, we cracked open a few beers to celebrate.

Backcountry Hut Trip

Our Upslope Brown Ales couldn’t come fast enough!

 

With the hut to ourselves, we crashed hard. But, you know, not before taking photos of the sunset, enjoying Whiskey Mules, cooking up some carne asada, and having a dance party outside on the porch. Fortunately my roommate is an amazing stove-stoker, so I slept pretty well while he kept waking up to keep our hut nice and toasty all night.

Colorado Sunset at the Arestua Hut

My ninja kick was only so strong after the hike to the hut.

 

Inside the Arestua Hut

The hut was cozy and (nearly) warm after getting the stove going.

 

Colorado Mountain Club Arestua Hut

A dance party at 11k is a guaranteed good time.

 

Snowboarding from the Arestua Hut

Bright and early the next day, we slept through our two alarms that were in place to wake me up in time to get back to work before anyone noticed I wasn’t there. Fortunately, the sun came up quickly and lit a fire under my ass. We drank coffee and looked out the window as the sun came up and lit up the jagged Indian peaks. After stuffing our packs and strapping on our boards, we headed down the mountain.

Little did we know how difficult it’d be to ride with an overnight pack and snowshoes strapped to our backs. Each time we sat down in the powder became an epic battle to stand back up. We ran into plenty of tight spots to ride between the trees and lots of singletrack that proved too skinny to slow down or stop. Similar to our hike up, our ride down was more difficult than we had expected. I was low on energy and low on time, but fortunately, high on stoke.

Despite the difficulty we encountered headed back to the car, we made it down in under 2 hours. And this includes about a mile hiking uphill in snowboard boots. Fortunately, I made it to work, enjoyed a Broncos celebratory donut in the lobby, and got to the meeting just in time. I can only imagine how quick, easy, and fun it’d be with the right gear.

All I know is that next time, and there is already a next time in the books, I’m going to need a splitboard.

*Given the lack of time and insane rush we had to get back to my car, we didn’t have time for photos on the way back down. Bummer.