Fowler Hillard Hut
One of 29 Huts in the Colorado Rockies
April 2004
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On a beautiful mid April Saturday, Pam, Robert, Scott and I made the 2,500' climb to the Fowler-Hillard hut in the Colorado Rockies. We left the trailhead about 10:00 AM thinking we could find a bridge over the stream blocking our path to the main trail. After half an hour of searching, we took off our boots and waded across the rushing stream of perfectly clear water - not too bad but it was extremely cold!

Soon we were following the jeep road up and up and up. After starting with a mild angle, the route turned steep about three miles into the five mile climb. The snow covered route was firm and did not require our snowshoes. Twisting and turning with switchbacks, we enjoyed the views of bare aspen trees across a ravine. A stream worked it's way in the crease of the ravines "V" only to be interrupted by an occasional beaver dam. We didn't see any beavers but lot's of rabbit tracks in the snow. We took it easy and continued our steady climb towards treeline. After a little but of huffing and puffing, we broke through the huge pine trees.Fowler-Hillard Hut

A typical Colorado high country scene began to unfold: huge snow covered mountains in the distance, smooth snow covered mountain tops under our feet and a brisk wind in our face! We quickly covered the last half-mile to the hut by climbing 300' and then down 400'. And then we were there!

This was my first hut so I was called a "hut virgin". A moniker I proudly wore since I was somewhat amazed at the "hut" I found at 11,500 feet in a pass between two mountains overlooking the Colorado Rockies as far as you could see.

My appreciation for the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association went through the clouds as I approached the hut. Here was a "hut" that should be called a home. Shaking the snow from my boots on the wood deck (with picnic table), I entered the door. This was a home I could live in forever: a kitchen complete with pots, pans, dishes and more. A living area with comfortable seating around a pot belly wood stove.

But there is more. There was split wood in boxes to use to start your fire, propane in the tanks for cooking, electricity for light via the solar panels, mattresses on the bunks and oversize pillows to rest you tired back against or to rest you head at night in the upstairs sleeping rooms. This was definitely not a "hut".

After an afternoon of scramble, snoozing and relaxing, we enjoyed a pasta dinner with an incredible cheesecake desert compliments of Scott, a 33 year old bachelor with 30 Colorado Fourteeners under his belt plus a few 100 mile!!!! endurance runs. A great guy by any measure.

We click for videoenjoyed the evening and awoke to snow squalls Sunday morning. With Robert leading us over the hump and Pam down the hill, we soon made it back to our stream. Click on the picture for a video!

The trip down was a little shorter than the trip up. And then, the stream. To see a video of Pam crossing the stream, click on the picture!
click for video
So we had a great time. The views from the hut were incredible, the hut was incredible and the company was incredible. A great time was had by all!

Thank you 10th Mountain Division Hut Association