10th (Tenth) Mountain Division Huts and Summit Huts Online Guidebook
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Harry Gates Hut
ELEVATION: 9,700 feet
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAPS: Crooked Creek (see below), Burnt Mountain
GPS: 358 002 E, 43 62 451 N
Trailheads: Montgomery Flats, Burnt Mountain Road, Sylvan Lake

USGS 7.5 min map: Crooked Creek Pass
10th Mountain Huts map: Burnt Mountain

Harry Gates Hut with Avalanche Peak in background.

Harry Gates Hut is the largest 10th Mountain owned huts, with three floors that can sleep 20 people total (reservations limited to 16). Plenty of windows look west to sunsets and east to spectacular Avalanche Ridge (don't worry, said avalanches fall far from the hut, though you can hear them on a quiet night).

Gates Hut is located in a clearing on a small wooded knoll at the lowest elevation of any 10th Mountain hut. This makes the cabin easy to get to, but curtails access to the higher mountains east and northeast of the hut. Nonetheless, skiers with requisite skill and endurance will find the Avalanche Ridge and Tellurium Park areas east of the hut to be worthy objectives. Skiers who want to stay closer to the hut, and novices, can use Burnt Mountain as an accessible playground. The trip to the summit of Burnt Mountain is a terrific initiation into ski climbing.

With the exception of the Lime Ridge Trail to Peter Estin Hut, 10th Mountain suggested routes connecting the Harry Gates Hut to other huts and trailheads use snow-covered roads. Since these roads are heavily used by snowmobiles they are usually packed, so bring picnic food and your lightweight touring skis—with such gear you can really cover some ground. So far, snowmobilers and skiers have co-recreated with few problems. This will continue if everyone practices a few common courtesies. Simply put, snowmobilers should slow down while in the vicinity of skiers, and skiers should step to the side to let them by.

Map below connects to Burnt Mountain on the bottom (south), Peter Estin Hut on the top (North), Crooked Creek West to the left (west) and Crooked Creek East to the right (east). If you have trouble viewing the map below, please try our PDF version.

The quickest route to the Harry Gates Hut is via the Montgomery Flats connection to the Burnt Mountain Road. The long, scenic route is the ski from Sylvan Lake—a tour recommended only for the hearty. If you're pushing towards Aspen from the Harry Gates Hut, you have a choice of spending a night at lodging in the Fryingpan River drainage or continuing to Margy's Hut. The Fryingpan drainage is is quickly and easily reached via a downhill to Montgomery Flats Trailhead, so if you're headed there you have time for a morning tour at the hut or some route variations on the way down. On the other hand, if you plan on skiing through the Fryingpan drainage to Margy's Hut, you're looking at more than 16 miles of skiing with almost 4,000 feet of elevation gain.

To reach the Peter Estin Hut from the Harry Gates Hut, use the Lime Ridge Trail for the fastest 10th Mountain suggested route. For an even more direct route advanced skiers can use the Lime Drainage Trail. For a scenic cruise use routes that follow summer roads, as mapped and described here.

Montgomery Flats Trailhead — Harry Gates Hut via Montgomery Flats
HUTSKI.COM FREE TOPO MAPS: Burnt Mountain, Crooked Creek (use this link or see above)
TIME: 6 hours up, 5 hours down
DISTANCE: 6 3/4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,914 feet; loss: 464 feet

This 10th Mountain suggested route is the shortest and easiest route to the Harry Gates Hut. It is mostly a walk on a logging road through the forest. The road passes under a major power line several times (good for map reading), while good views of the Elk Mountains to the south keep things interesting. Climbing skins are useful for the first 4 1/2 miles of travel to the high point on the Burnt Mountain Road. You can strip skins here and wax the next 1 3/4 miles, then herringbone a short hill to the hut.

Park at the Montgomery Flats Trailhead (see links at top of this page). From the trailhead, travel the obvious marked 10th Mountain trial to Montgomery Flats (9,100 feet). Stay on the road NE through Montgomery Flats for 1 1/2 miles to a junction with the Burnt Mountain Road at 9,560 feet. The Burnt Mountain Road is a wide, distinct road-cut. Use your altimeter and the power lines for precise navigation. From the junction the 10th Mountain suggested route follows the Burnt Mountain Road as it takes a northerly tack with several switchbacks for 1 1/2 miles to the road summit at 10,030 feet. You can navigate by how many times you pass under the power lines—four times to the road summit. However, if you use skins it makes sense to cut the two main switchbacks on the way up. In fact, with good snow conditions and skilled orienteering, savvy skiers have found that a more direct ascent route and better downhill skiing can be had by using the general route of the pack trail to the west of Silver Creek, as marked on the USGS Meredith map.

From the road summit (10,030 feet) the 10th Mountain suggested route continues along the Burnt Mountain Road for another 1 3/4 miles to a clearing at 9,566 feet. Consider removing your skins at the road summit and applying some wax for this glide through beautiful evergreen forest. At the clearing, turn right (NE) off the road and ski 1/4 mile (134 vertical feet) up the hill to the northeast of the road, unlock the door of the hut, and make tea.

A variation on this route makes sense for advanced skiers traveling to the hut: From the road summit mentioned above, leave your skins on, stay on the road, and ski from the summit down a short hill and around the shoulder of point 10,224. Just as the Burnt Mountain Road begins to head N, leave the Burnt Mountain Road and ski up an obvious logging road that cuts through the trees NE. The Choker Cutoff, as this shortcut is called, traverses for a mile to skiable glades on the west side of Burnt Mountain. Strip your skins here. Good skiers can make turns most of the way from here to the Harry Gates Hut. Be careful not to get lost in the woods. Most likely you'll find ski tracks leading to the hut from the glades.

REVERSE ROUTE: For travel from the Harry Gates Hut to the trailhead, it's easy to reverse the above directions. The whole trip can be done using cross country wax. You can get some turns by cutting the switchbacks on the Burnt Mountain Road. Farther down, hold a strong snowplow through the last steep section.

SAFETY NOTES: Ski in control on the descent, as falls could put you into a tree. Orienteering on the 10th Mountain suggested route is relatively easy. Variations should only be navigated by experts.

SUMMER: Cyclists should avoid Montgomery Flats by using the entire Burnt Mountain Road (see Burnt Mountain Road Trailhead). Hikers and horse riders will enjoy the route described above, but should check with 10th Mountain about private land at the start of the Montgomery Flats. With private land problems, the Burnt Mountain Road route should be substituted.

GPS log, from Montgomery Flats Trailhead
Montgomery Flats Trailhead: 355 240 E, 43 56 680 N
End of private property: 355 876 E, 43 56 776 N
Intersection with logging road: 356 012 E, 43 56 769 N
Entering Montgomery Flats: 356 909 E, 43 56 722 N
Leaving Montgomery Flats: 357 365 E, 43 57 963 N
Intersect Burnt Mountain Road: 358 232 E, 43 58 823 N

Spring Creek Trailhead—Harry Gates Hut via Lime Park
HUTSKI.COM FREE TOPO MAPS: Burnt Mountain, Crooked Creek (use this link or see above)
TIME: 8 hours up, 5 hours down
DISTANCE: 8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,630 feet; loss: 370 feet

This lengthy route follows a well-used snowmobile trail on the Eagle Road ( connects the Fryingpan drainage with Sylvan Lake Trailhead and the town of Eagle). With suitable snow you can easily use cross country wax for the whole trip. Start at the Spring Creek Trailhead. Ski N up the obvious road-cut 3 1/2 miles and 1,090 vertical feet to the huge open area of Lime Park (9,560 feet). You can identify your entrance into Lime Park by passage under the power line shown on the topographic map. Skirt the west edge of Lime Park for another 1/2 mile past the power line (still on the road). If you're using skins, remove them here, then swing E and follow the road down a wide ravine to 9,313 feet. Continue on the road as it turns N to its intersection with the Burnt Mountain Road. Take care to identify this intersection; there is a sign but it may be covered by snow.

To continue to the Gates Hut (you're still in Lime Park) turn SE onto the Burnt Mountain Road. The road will lead you across a short flat area for about 1/4 mile, then down a hill to the intersection with the Woods Lake Road at 9,270 feet. Again, whatever your direction of travel, use this intersection as a critical destination in your navigation. Stay on the Burnt Mountain Road as it takes you downhill another 1/8 mile and crosses Lime Creek at 9,190 feet.

At the crossing apply some cross country wax or skins if needed, and climb the Burnt Mountain Road a short distance E, then 1/2 mile S to a clearing at Slim Jim Gulch. Follow the road S another 1/4 mile to a smaller clearing at 9,566 feet. At this point, turn left off the Burnt Mountain Road and ski NE 134 vertical feet up a hill to the hut. You cannot see the hut from the road, so pay attention!

REVERSE ROUTE: If you are heading from the hut to Lime Park, the Burnt Mountain Road is obvious at first, but can be hard to find in Lime Park. When you exit from the west side of Lime Park be sure to use the road, as a false trail could lead you into dangerous Lime Creek Canyon. The power line and an altimeter reading will set you on the correct track.

SAFETY NOTES: Keep your ears open for snowmobiles.

SUMMER: The road from the Spring Creek Fish Hatchery is a fine mountain bike ride. This whole area is beautiful for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. The Eagle Road, from the Hatchery to Sylvan Lake (and beyond), is passable for 2-wheel drive autos with high clearance when it is dry. Even 4-wheel drive vehicles have been stuck on this road when it gets wet.

Sylvan Lake Trailhead—Harry Gates Hut via Crooked Creek Pass
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE TOPO MAPS: Sylvan Lake , Crooked Creek, (use link or see above).
Crooked Creek West, Burnt Mountain
TIME: 11 hours up, 7 hours down
DISTANCE: 10 1/2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,952 feet; loss: 810 feet

This gorgeous 10th Mountain suggested route is perhaps the least used trail to the Harry Gates Hut, simply because it is longer than other routes and the trailhead is farther from population centers. Wait until late winter or early spring, click into your light touring rig, and spend a day on this trail. You will be rewarded by a pleasant cruise through the forests, good views from Crooked Creek Pass, and downhill turns in Lime Park. The trail is almost always packed by snowmobilers.

To begin, drive to the Sylvan Lake Trailhead. From your parking at snow closure, ski up the distinct snow-covered West Brush Creek road-cut for a mile around the north and east sides of the lake, then up into the Brush Creek valley for 4 1/4 miles to Crooked Creek Pass. Use your altimeter to identify the switchbacks at 9,220 feet and 9,260 feet, then the turn at 9,450 feet. From here be certain to stay on the road as it climbs S then SE around a timbered ridge dividing Spine Creek from Brush Creek, and then continues paralleling Brush Creek to Crooked Creek Pass (10,005 feet). Crooked Creek Pass is fairly obvious, but an altimeter check is always a good idea.

From Crooked Creek Pass ski the road 1 mile SE to Crooked Creek Park. Ski into Crooked Creek Park (you may get a few turns here), then follow the Crooked Creek drainage (stay on the road if in doubt) to the obvious dam, buildings, and flat expanse of Crooked Creek Reservoir. Ski the road on the dam along the west side of the reservoir, then about 3/4 of a mile down the Little Lime Creek drainage (still on the road) to Lime Park and a well-signed, obvious road junction (9,280 feet). Now you will be standing at the north edge of Lime Park, a vast clearing that can make for confusing navigation on the best of days. The way to handle Lime Park is to look for the road-cuts and signs at road junctions, but continue to heed your compass and altimeter. GPS recommended here as well. Ski the road SE across Lime Park to its intersection with the Woods Lake Road, then downhill S to cross Lime Creek at 9,190 feet. Next, take care to identify and follow the Burnt Mountain Road as it climbs into the timber after crossing Lime Creek.

Ski up the Burnt Mountain Road 1/2 mile to a large clearing at the base of Slim Jim Gulch (9,440 feet). Ski the road S across the clearing, then nip through the trees (still on the road) for another 1/4 mile to a smaller clearing at 9,566 feet. Turn left (NE) off the road here and climb several hundred yards NE up a knoll to the Harry Gates Hut. The hut is visible from about halfway up the knoll.

REVERSE ROUTE: The crux is navigating across Lime Park up to Crooked Creek Reservoir. The road-cut from the reservoir up to Crooked Creek Pass is easy to find. Once you are on Crooked Creek Pass, the snow-covered road is obvious all the way to the Sylvan Lake Trailhead.

SAFETY NOTES: You'll find little avalanche danger on this route. Some of the steeper slopes in Lime Park have avalanched during very unstable conditions. Bank sluffs have been observed along the road from Crooked Creek Reservoir to Lime Park. Take care with navigation through Lime Park, and by all means stay out of Lime Creek Canyon.

SUMMER: All the roads used by this route provide fabulous cycling, hiking, and running. Avoid holiday weekends or you will be coughing up dust for months. A good bike ride takes the power-line road from Crooked Creek Pass back S to its intersection with the Eagle Road (see Sylvan Lake route).

Harry Gates Hut to Peter Estin Hut via Crooked Creek Pass
HUTSKI.COM FREE TOPO MAPS: Crooked Creek (see above), Crooked Creek West, Peter Estin Hut
TIME: 10 1/2 hours
DISTANCE: 10 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2,275 feet; loss: 775 feet

Arduous miles, intricate route-finding, rewarding vistas, and the sense of really covering the country— that sums up this fabulous hut to hut ski tour. Get an early start from the Harry Gates Hut and ski the 10th Mountain suggested route 1/4 mile SW to the Burnt Mountain Road, or ski down the hill behind the hut N to the Slim Jim Gulch clearing and the Burnt Mountain Road. The latter route saves time for good downhill skiers.

Follow the Burnt Mountain Road downhill to the Lime Creek stream crossing at 9,190 feet elevation. You will now be in the midst of Lime Park, a huge open area that has confounded the best navigators. The best route through the park follows the road (portions may be obscured by snow) as it climbs and winds about 1/8 mile NW to the intersection with the Woods Lake Road. Do not take the Woods Lake Road. Stay on the Burnt Mountain Road another 1/2 mile W then NW to its intersection with the Eagle Road (9,300 feet). This is your critical intersection. Both intersections are marked by good signs, but the signs could be covered by snow. Your compass, map, and altimeter will insure positive identification.

Turn N and follow the Eagle Road as it leads up Little Lime Creek to the dam and obvious flat area of the Crooked Creek Reservoir. Stay on the road as it climbs past the reservoir up the north side of Crooked Creek Park, then enters the aspen trees at 9,650 feet, and continues 1 1/2 miles to Crooked Creek Pass (10,005 feet).

Now the real climbing begins. Leave the Eagle Road at the summit of the pass by heading NW up an obvious road-cut (starts on the west side of a fence) that climbs just over 1/4 mile to a switchback, then SE to another switchback, then around the west shoulder of point 11,087. The road, still an obvious cut, then follows a long traverse on the north side of point 11,087, then drops 260 vertical feet to a saddle near the head of Spine Creek (10,700 feet).

Stay on the road from the saddle for another 1/8 mile NE to the switchback as shown on the USGS Crooked Creek Pass map (10,760 feet). Leave the road here and climb E 1/4 mile and 90 vertical feet to the top of the ridge separating Spine Creek from Little Lime Creek. Here your route converges with the Lime Ridge Trail (route 5.5) and continues N up a well-marked route through a sparsely timbered logged area to Hat Creek Saddle (11,120 feet). This is the broad saddle just west of the Peter Estin Hut. You cannot see the Peter Estin Hut from Hat Creek Saddle, and you can ski past the hut if you are not paying attention. To guard against this, use your altimeter and map to identify Hat Creek Saddle. Swing E here. When you break through a grove of pines the hut will be obvious.

SAFETY NOTES: At many points along this route a navigation mistake will send you down the wrong drainage. So be certain that at least one member of your party is a good orienteer. Some of the steeper slopes in Lime Park avalanche on rare occasions, and bank sluffs have been observed on the road-cuts. Whiteout conditions are common in Lime Park.

SUMMER: The Eagle Road is easy cycling, while the road from Crooked Creek Pass up into Spine Creek is strenuous but ridable. A good bike ride leaves from Crooked Creek Pass, then takes the Spine Creek road up to the three-trail confluence just west of the Peter Estin Hut, then down the Hat Creek logging roads. The Ironedge Trail (see route on this page) is a perfect downhill ride for mountain cycling experts. All the trails in this area are fine for running, hiking, and equestrian use. The Eagle Road is also a popular drive.

Harry Gates Hut to Peter Estin Hut via Lime Ridge Trail
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE TOPO MAPS: Crooked Creek (use this link or see above), Peter Estin Hut
TIME: 8 hours
DISTANCE: 7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2,130 feet; loss: 630 feet

This is the most scenic and direct 10th Mountain suggested route between the Harry Gates Hut and Peter Estin Hut. From the Harry Gates Hut follow the Burnt Mountain/Lime Park Road northerly to the Woods Lake Road intersection (9,270 feet) in Lime Park. The road here may be obscured by snow, but the signs and fence break are usually obvious. Put your skins on here. Use your compass and GPS to follow a route that climbs N up through a clearing, then through timber to the crest of the ridge separating Lime Park from Crooked Creek Reservoir. Follow the trail NE along the ridge (the trail-cut is not obvious) for 3/4 mile. Turn N and travel through timber, then down into the Little Lime Creek drainage. This circuitous route avoids private land around Crooked Creek Reservoir.

Cross the east fork of Little Lime Creek at 9,680 feet, take a perpendicular course from the creek, and contour 1/2 mile NW up the west fork of Little Lime Creek. At 9,740 feet cross the creek and switchback S up to the crest of the ridge (Lime Ridge) separating Middle Creek from the west fork of Little Lime Creek. Once you gain the crest of Lime Ridge, follow a well-marked and fairly distinct trail-cut that leads through intermittent clearings and timber to 10,150 feet.

Continue up the ridge as the timber thickens, and follow a well-defined trail-cut through Sherwood Forest to a low-angled area with mature aspen trees. Look for interesting old initials carved in these trees. Continue N, switchback, then climb steeply through clearings and dark timber to another low-angled area at 10,850 feet. From here continue N 3/4 mile through a sparsely timbered logged area to Hat Creek Saddle (11,120 feet), a nondescript divide between the Hat Creek drainage and west fork of Little Lime Creek. Travel E from the saddle several hundred yards to the hut. It is not visible directly from the saddle, but soon becomes obvious.

SAFETY NOTES: This trail is usually safe from snowslides, though steep slopes on the ridge sides could be dangerous during extremely unstable periods. Route-finding and the length of the trip should be of more concern.

SUMMER: This trail is not recommended for cycling. Equestrians and hikers will find much to explore in this area, but the actual Lime Ridge Trail was cut several years ago only for winter use. Thus, there is no real path to follow. Use obvious road routes instead.

Harry Gates Hut Regional Skiing

Burnt Mountain from Harry Gates Hut
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE TOPO MAPS: Crooked Creek (use this link or see above), Burnt Mountain
TIME: 3 hours round trip
DISTANCE: 4 miles round trip
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,558 feet round trip

Some say that the only thing better than skiing this branch route to the summit of Burnt Mountain would be a night in a hut on top—what a location! With a full panorama of views, perfect ski glades, and beautiful gnarled stumps and trees, this place is a "must see." Catch a sunrise or sunset if you can (bring a headlamp for the latter).

Start with climbing skins. From the Harry Gates Hut, ski directly SE a few hundred feet and down into a ravine. Ski into the forest on the southeast side of the ravine, then ski almost due S to the toe of a long Y-shaped clearing that leads up the west side of Burnt Mountain. Optionally, you can stay in the forest to the NE of the clearing until you hit the pack trail (called Choker Cutoff) that contours at 10,200 feet. Choker Cutoff is easily identified by its cut through the trees and a well-defined trail shelf that shows through the snow cover (can be obscured during heavy snow years).

From Choker Cutoff the route is simple. Climb the Y clearing to its top at 10,600 feet, continue up for a few hundred yards through light timber to the summit clearing, then continue up through the summit clearing to the summit at 11,178 feet.

You can get some good skiing by heading down the ascent route, or try some tree skiing to either side of the clearings. Trap crust is common on these exposures. If you encounter this dread condition, try the slopes on the north and northeast side of the summit. If you're more into covering ground than making turns, try a high orbit of the summit at about 10,800 feet or do the Tellurium Park Loop (see below).

SAFETY NOTES: Take care to ski in control while skiing the trees. There can be avalanche danger on the steeper slopes dropping from the summit, and cornices do form on occasion.

SUMMER: Burnt Mountain is an excellent summer hike. You'll encounter light bushwhacking if you leave directly from the Harry Gates Hut. For an easier route, take Choker Cutoff from the Burnt Mountain Road, then ascend the pack trail as marked on the USGS Crooked Creek Pass map. The first few miles of Choker Cutoff from the Burnt Mountain Road are actually a logging trail and can be ridden on a mountain bike. The summit pack trail is too steep and inconsistent for cycling.


Avalanche Peak from the Harry Gates Hut via west flanks
HUTSKI.COM FREE TOPO MAPS: Crooked Creek (use this link or see above), Crooked Creek East
TIME: 12 hours round trip
DISTANCE: 13 miles round trip
ELEVATION GAIN: 3,741 feet round trip

While many ski alpinists feel the pull of ascent fever as they ponder Avalanche Peak (12,803 feet) from the comfort of the Harry Gates Hut, few go to the summit. The route requires high level avalanche safety skills as well as detailed orienteering through the Tellurium Park area. If you make it, you'll get in plenty of downhill skiing as well as a real summit.

The route has two starts; both end up at Tellurium Lake. If you want the best views and skiing, follow the well traveled route to the summit of Burnt Mountain, ski the glades on the northeast face of Burnt Mountain down to Tellurium Park, then swing through the park to Tellurium Lake. Navigation in this area is tricky, but taking time with compass, map, and altimeter will get you there. Using the other start, climb Burnt Mountain to Choker Cutoff at 10,200 feet (see Burnt Mountain Road route described above), then ski Choker Cutoff to the pack trail leading up into Tellurium Park and on to Tellurium Lake. The intersection of Choker Cutoff and the pack trail (10,240 feet) is not obvious, so pay close attention to your orienteering.

The real fun begins at Tellurium Lake. From the north end of the lake head N for about 1/4 mile, then climb E to a small clearing starting at 10,660 feet. Climb to the top of this clearing, then continue climbing up a poorly defined shoulder and through several more clearings to timberline at about 11,500 feet. You may find discouraging bushwhacking up to this point, but stick with it. The idea is to get to timberline so you can travel through sparser trees and see where you're going. Once at timberline be careful of avalanche exposure as you contour N along the trim line for 1/2 to 3/4 mile to the west shoulder that drops from the peak's summit. There is no obvious ridge line, so take care to identify the best route to follow the shoulder to the summit. In times of low avalanche danger (probably best in spring) you can wander up the west face.

To descend, ski the west face if avalanche conditions allow, or follow ridges and ribs for an avalanche avoidance route down to timberline. Retrace your route to Tellurium Park, then take Choker Cutoff or Slim Jim Gulch back to the Harry Gates Hut. It is tempting to descend directly down Slim Jim Gulch from the peak, but only the most expert skiers will be able to handle the dense bushwhacking this requires.

SAFETY NOTES: Start early, bring a headlamp, and remember your emergency bivouac gear. Be very careful of avalanche danger on the above-timberline portion of this route. There is no ridge-line route that totally avoids potential avalanche slopes.

SUMMER: This is a rough but nice hike, as there is no real trail between Tellurium Lake and the summit.


Avalanche Peak from Harry Gates Hut via Slim Jim Gulch
HUTSKI.COM FREE TOPO MAPS: Crooked Creek (use this link or see above), Crooked Creek East
DISTANCE: 13 miles round trip
ELEVATION GAIN: Varies with exact route, around 3,500 vertical feet

This route up Avalanche Peak might be slightly more direct than the Tellurium Lake route.

From the Harry Gates Hut, ski directly N down through timber to intersect the Burnt Mountain Road (this shortcut avoids the flatter official route that takes the road from the hut.) Once on the Burnt Mountain Road, follow it to Slim Jim Gulch. Leave the road here, and enjoy a long trailbreak up Slim Jim to a large meadow at 9,800 feet. Cross the meadow to open areas at the NE end, then climb through timber to the top of a wooded knob (10,280 feet). You are now on a ridge system that will eventually lead you to the top of Avalanche Peak.

Beat through timber E from the knob, descend a short distance to a saddle, then follow open areas and timber E to timberline. Continue up the wind blasted ridges to the summit, and descend your ascent route.

SAFETY NOTES: Safe travel on this route requires astute avalanche awareness, and Olympic endurance.


Tellurium Park Loop from Harry Gates Hut
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE TOPO MAPS: Crooked Creek (use this link or see above), Crooked Creek East
TIME: Full day round trip
DISTANCE: 7 miles round trip
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,800 feet round trip

If you like exploration, variations on this branch route could keep you busy for days. This area is especially good for orienteering practice. You'll find a draconian lack of navigable ridges and valleys, and plenty of dense forest alternating with vast clearings. Perhaps a good place for GPS?

To begin, climb Burnt Mountain via the well traveled route from Gates Hut. Remove your skins at the summit and enjoy a run NE off the summit into the sprawling (and somewhat confusing) meadows of Tellurium Park. Ski to the area just west of the point 10,690 (you can see this from the summit of Burnt Mountain) and then to the north end of a large clearing, (which is the west part of Tellurium Park). Ski through timber NW to the next meadow (use the trail-cut to avoid dense timber) and ski to the north end of this long clearing. For a good landmark use the "Weird Hole" sinkhole in the middle of the meadow. Next, follow the pack trail N down into Slim Jim Gulch. Take Slim Jim Gulch 1 1/4 miles down to the Burnt Mountain Road, where you follow the later part of the standard 10th Mountain suggested route up to the Harry Gates Hut. With care and a bit of attention to your map, consider taking a shortcut directly to the Gates from the lower end of Slim Jim. Put your climbing skins on for this.

For a shorter return to the hut, head back via Choker Cutoff rather than using Slim Jim Gulch (see other Harry Gates Hut routes described here).

SAFETY NOTES: Use proper avalanche safety procedures while skiing into Slim Jim Gulch, and off the summit of Burnt Mountain.

SUMMER: The network of trails in the Tellurium Park area are great for hiking and horses. Because of the close proximity of the Holy Cross Wilderness, cyclists should use routes closer to Lime Park.

This book goes great with our maps, highly recommended for any hut skier.
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Please note: The information in this website is based on the experience and research of the site owners and their sources, may not be accurate, and might not be perceived as accurate by other persons. Therefore, extreme care should be taken when following any of the backcountry skiing 10th Mountain Huts, Summit Huts and Braun Huts routes described in this website. This website is not intended to be instructional but rather is a guide for backcountry users who already have the requisite training, experience, and knowledge for the activities they choose. An advanced level of expertise and physical conditioning is necessary for even the "easiest" of the routes and activities described herein. Proper clothing and equipment is essential. Failure to have the necessary knowledge, equipment, and conditioning will subject you to physical danger, injury, or death. Some backcountry skiing routes for 10th Mountain Huts, Summit Huts and Braun Huts have changed and others will change; avalanche hazards may have expanded or new hazards may have formed since this website's publication.

Mission statement: The mission of HutSki.com is to provide backcountry skiers and other Colorado hut users with a complete set of high quality free topo maps, plentiful how-to information, and brief route descriptions that include alternate routes as well as standard trails.