Category Archives: Hut operations

Huts & Trails: Programs at the International Trails Symposium

You can’t have huts without trails.  Surprisingly there is no communication at a national level in USA between the huts and trails communities.   Next month a conversation will begin at the International Trails Symposium (ITS).

The ITS is a rich mix of hikers, operators of many of the major trail systems in the world, federal and state land managers, and people interested in all aspects of trail planning, building, and operations. It turns out most of these folks don’t know much about hut systems, but they are curious to learn more about accommodation systems for long-distance human-powered travelers.

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Shelter from the Storm: The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts: book review part 1

Book Review by Sam Demas:

Shelter From The Storm: The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts

(Part one of a two part book review)

2012, Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson, NZ.

Text and most photographs by Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown, and Geoff Spearpoint.

With its highly-organized system of 1,000 backcountry huts New Zealand (NZ) — about the same size (area and population) as Oregon — is the hut capital of the world.  By comparison, the USA has about 110 huts operating within 17 different hut-to-hut systems; Switzerland and Norway each have about 500 huts.  Every nation’s approach to outdoor recreation — including how its citizens organize overnight stays in the wild — is based on local causes and conditions such as geography, size of the country, climate, terrain, history, economics, politics, and cultural values.  Shelter from the Storm is a richly illustrated, well-researched history of the causes and conditions that created NZ’s unique hut culture, and a beautiful tribute to the huts themselves.

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Shelter from the Storm: book review part two

Book review continued:

Shelter From The Storm: The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts

(Part two of a two part book review)

2012, Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson, NZ.

Text and most photographs by Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown, and Geoff Spearpoint.

For part one of this review click here.  Following are some fascinating themes and stories that are skillfully elaborated in Shelter from the Storm, about New Zealand Backcountry Huts.

This book tells the story of how a geographically remote island nation came to create a robust international outdoor culture, and how a disparate collection of huts built for other purposes – I like the phrase infrastructure lying in wait — came to form the backbone of the world’s largest hut system. Continue reading

Adirondack Hamlets to Huts: coming soon….

Adirondack Hamlets to Huts: a new hut system

By Sam Demas, August 2016

A new hut system, Adirondack Hamlets to Huts, appears to be coming together quickly.  In 2015 the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) contacted Joe Dadey and Jack Drury to request that they propose and help to “fast-track” the implementation of a hut system in the Adirondack Park.   In response to the DEC’s invitation, they produced a “Conceptual Plan for a Hut-to-Hut Destination-based Trail System” analyzing and ranking 26 potential routes.  I  reported on this plan last month.

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Hut-to-hut in USA: situation and outlook

Hut to hut in the USA: situation and outlook

by  Sam Demas and Wilson Josephson

This is a preliminary overview of the 15 hut-to-hut systems in the USA.  There are a number of systems under development or expanding, and I’m hoping readers will tip me off to others that should be included.  Currently these 15 systems comprise 107 huts, yurts, and cabins, and offer 1,496 beds for long distance hut-to-hut hikers, bikers and skiers. This sketch of hut-to-hut infrastructure in the USA provides an overview by region, and very briefly discusses: business models, recreational uses, staffing, and some. Based on the data presented, it concludes with some musings about the future of hut systems supporting long distance human-powered travelers in the USA.  hut to hut in usa

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Hut-to-hut skiing: a tale of two Mt. Tahoma Huts

Featured Huts: A tale of two Mt Tahoma Huts

by Sam Demas

 

 

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Mt. Tahoma — High Hut and MTTA Notes on History and Operations

Spring 2012, Karly Siroky, High Hut Manager.

High Hut Trail Guide Excerpts

Notes kindly compiled by Leyton Jump, Manager of High Hut, Mt. Tahoma Trails Association

OUR MISSION

2005

The Mt. Tahoma Trails Association operates and manages for public use a year-round hut-to-hut trail system adjacent to the slopes of Mt. Rainier, offering trail users of differing skill levels and economic backgrounds a safe and inspirational backcountry experience. MTTA leadership maintains a functional working partnership with all stakeholders (MTTA members, trail users, volunteers, and our host land owners) based on mutual trust and honesty. Volunteers provide labor to achieve this mission.

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Mountain huts and yurts: Colorado Mechanical Survey Results

Note on Operations:

By Mary Ann DeBoer, Spruce Hole Yurt

Huts and yurts in Colorado and southern Wyoming offer everything from the luxurious to rustic in backcountry, off-the grid living.   A 2014 survey of 25 hut and yurt operators from the Colorado Hut and Yurt Alliance, highlights many creative solutions to the everyday problems of providing water, light, heat, sanitation and communication in remote locations.   The survey represents 56 huts and 10 yurts that operate on either public or private lands.

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Implementing online reservations at 10th Mtn. Division

By Ben Dodge, Executive Director, Tenth Mountain Division Hut System

[Editors note: Many hut systems struggle with clunky online reservations systems.  Tenth Mountain Division Huts designed their own and have successfully upgraded it to handle online reservations.  Thanks to Ben for this first piece in a series of “Operational Notes” to share hut management practices and innovations. — Sam Demas]

Tenth Mountain Division Huts decided in late 2013 to add the capability to book hut trips online, in addition to booking by phone.  This decision was based on feedback received from hut visitors who stated their preference to book online because they were familiar and comfortable with online commerce, and to book anytime they wanted including evenings and weekends.

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