May 1 2019

Trent and I recently returned from a five day alpine touring excursion through the Vail Recreation Area. Outside of the AIARE safety courses we’ve taken and a one-off day hike, this was the first true winter backcountry trip either of us have attempted. I think we’d both agree that the route we took was fairly ambitious for our premier frozen jaunt.

This late in the season, nearly all 10th Mountain Division huts are completely booked. Luckily Trent found Peter via an online forum, who was willing to piece out spots on his defunct six person trip to the Shrine, Fowler/Hilliard, and Jackal huts. We were able to entice two of our friends, Diego and Marcus, to join us as well. They were not able to attend the whole trip but they did meet us midway through and were kind enough to break trail on our second to last day.

Ultimately I’d say the trip was a massive success. We experienced just about every type of snow condition and weather event that occur in the Rockies and lived to tell about it! I built a short slideshow from the photos and videos we took using Google Photos, that I believe sums up the trip pretty well.