10th (Tenth) Mountain Division Huts and Summit Huts Online Guidebook
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Lindley Hut

ELEVATION: 10,440 feet
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAP: (see below)

GPS:
latitude 39.00444° longitude -106.80528° (decimal degrees, WGS 84)
easting 343682 northing 4318820 (UTM, zone 13S, WGS 84)

TRAILHEAD: Ashcroft
10TH MTN OFFICAL MAP: Star Peak
USGS MAPS: Hayden Peak, Aspen, Pearl Pass, Cement Mountain, Crested Butte, Gothic

Tagert Hut, Alfred Braun Hut System
Lindley Hut (before 2002 renovation).

Lindley Hut is located at the foot of Star Peak in the head of the Ashcroft Valley. This is a good introductory hut with a mellow access tour (though avalanche safe skiing around the hut is of limited supply). Spring ski mountaineering from Lindley Hut can be superb, with tempting options on Star Peak and Taylor Peak. Midwinter options for high tours are somewhat limited. With creativity and the right conditions, you can chain Lindley Hut with Tagert Hut, Friends Hut, and Markley Hut (and more). Doing so may require tricky reservations juggling and can force you to travel through dangerous avalanche conditions while trying to adhere to an arbitrary booking schedule.

The hut was first constructed in 1953 (it later burned down and was rebuilt) as a memorial to Alfred Lindley, prominent lawyer and sportsman from Minnesota. He was a principal of the National Ski Association (forerunner of the United States Ski Association), and died in 1950 in a plane crash. Lindley was an enthusiastic promoter of alpine ski touring and was definitely the prime visionary behind the Alfred Braun Hut System. The hut was fully renovated in 2002.

For a larger map designed for printing, please click here.

Lindley Hut from Ashcroft

DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAP: (see above, and here)
Elevation gain: 940 feet
ONE WAY DISTANCE: 4 ½ miles

Start from Ashcroft trailhead (see trailheads in main menu at top of page). Continue up Castle Creek Road 2 miles from Ashcroft to the Y intersection where Pearl Pass Road heads right (in HutSki.com's experience, the signs here are reliable but could possibly be destroyed by an avalanche or covered with snow, so use your GPS if in doubt).

Rather than heading for Pearl Pass, take the left fork of the Y and follow the snowcovered road to a bridge over Castle Creek. Cross the bridge and ski up Iron Mine Road (a distinct road that’s cut into the east side of the valley). Follow Iron Mine Road 1 ¼ miles past the bridge to the first switchback (10,500 feet). From the apex of the switchback, contour S into the valley for several hundred yards. Lindley Hut (10,440 feet) will be a short distance below you here, hidden in a conifer grove. The hut is easy to miss if you're not paying attention. HutSki.com recommends using a GPS if you've not been there before.

Lindley Hut Regional Skiing

Lindley Hut is not known for mellow ski opportunities. Once you’re out of the small timbered area holding the hut, you’ll usually be near or IN a major avalanche path. HutSki.com take is that with unstable avalanche conditions, the most forgiving skiing near the hut is probably that in sparse timber accessed by the lower reaches of Iron Mine Road (explore above road, starting from about halfway back from hut to Pearl Pass intersection). There is also a bit of timbered ski terrain above the hut. You can find advanced terrain higher on Star Peak, and do a Star Peak summit climb for ultimate thrill. To connect with Tagert and Green-Wilson Huts, head back down Iron Mine Road to Pearl Pass Road. With stable avalanche conditions, expert alpinists can use Cooper Creek for a route to Pearl Pass and Friends Hut. HutSki.com only recommends the Cooper Creek route for top notch expert ski mountaineers.

 

Star Peak—West Side
DIFFICULTY: expert
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAP: (see above)
SUMMIT ELEVATION: 13,521
ELEVATION GAIN: 4,023 feet
ROUND TRIP DISTANCE: 4 1/2 miles

Star Peak is a stunning thirteener (Colorado’s 242nd highest mountain, at 13,521 feet) that dominates the southeastern part of the Elk Mountains. It forms the backdrop for Friends Hut and Lindley Hut (see chapter 10), and provides everything from springtime extreme descents to alpine ridge runs that work for any season. This route is the most efficient for a winter climb but also places you in a great deal of avalanche terrain. Thus, only do this route during times of lowest avalanche hazard.

The mountaineering part of this route starts from Lindley Hut, which you reach this way: Start from Ashcroft (see section introduction). Continue up the Castle Creek Road 2 miles from Ashcroft to the Y intersection where Pearl Pass Road heads right (there may be signs here). Rather than heading for Pearl Pass, take the left fork of the Y and follow a snowcovered road to a bridge over Castle Creek. Cross the bridge and ski up Iron Mine Road (the obvious road that’s cut into the east side of the valley). Follow Iron Mine Road 1 ¼ miles past the bridge to the first switchback (10,500 feet). From the apex of the switchback, contour S into the valley for several hundred yards. Lindley Hut (10,440 feet) will be a short distance below you here, hidden in a conifer grove. You don’t need to go to the hut, but it’s good to know exactly where it is.

From Lindley Hut, climb rough terrain SE and S into the main drain dropping from the west side of Star Peak. Don’t enter this drain right away; climb the terrain east of the drain to about 11,100 feet. Trend right (E) here, enter the drain at about 11,200 feet, and climb the drainage to a low-angled area (12,800 feet) at the foot of a steep couloir leading to a saddle on Star’s north ridge. Climb the couloir to the saddle (13,240 feet), then continue up broken ground on the ridge S to the summit. Descend your ascent route.

Star Peak—North Face
DIFFICULTY: Expert
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAP: (see above)
SUMMIT ELEVATION: 13,521
ELEVATION GAIN: 4,023 feet
ROUND TRIP DISTANCE: 4 miles

Obscure and hard to reach, but worth exploring, this route takes you to the alpine “nordwand ” of Star Peak. Ski to the Lindley Hut and climb SE from the hut up rough timbered terrain. Use a drainage as a general route, but make a series of traverses to find routes up through headwalls and around snags. As you get higher, keep in mind that the basin above divides into two drains. Stay near the right (west) drain as you climb. Continue to a low-angled area (12,400 feet) below Star’s north face. You’ll be sure to notice the face is riven by an attractive couloir. Climb the couloir to Star’s north summit. If you’ve got the time, make a short ridge run S to the main summit. Return via your ascent route. Due to avalanche danger, this route is best done with a compacted spring snowpack.

Cooper Creek to Pearl Pass
DIFFICULTY: Expert
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAP: (see above)
ELEVATION GAIN: 2,757 feet
ONE WAY DISTANCE: 4 1/4 miles

The best way to Pearl Pass is not via Cooper Creek, but rather via the general route of the snow covered Pearl Pass Road from Ashcroft. But with ultra-low avalanche hazard, this direct route from Lindley Hut is an option if you happen to be at the Lindley, or you merely want something different. Keep in mind that we at HutSki.com know from experience that the route finding challenge, terrain difficulty and avalanche danger on this trip are all several orders of magnitude greater than those of the jeep trail route.

Follow the Ashcroft to Lindley Hut route described above, then head up the left side of Cooper Creek. The climbing gets more brutal the higher you go, and a series of headwalls force you to think. Depending on snow conditions, part of the route may best follow the creekbed at certain points. At other times, it’s best to never touch the actual drain, with most deviations best done to climber’s left. After about 900 vertical feet of intense misery, you’ll arrive above timberline in a large bowl. Swing S and climb to Pearl Pass. Continue on to Friends Hut or Crested Butte via the Pearl Pass Road. You can make an interesting day by climbing to Mace Saddle via Cooper Creek, then climbing Mace Peak (see Tagert Hut section). With compacted spring snow, good glisse descents can be made in the couloirs leading from Mace Peak into Cooper Creek.



 

 
 
 
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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 due to human error or source errors, 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.