Duane Gould, Joe Dadey, and Jack Drury – The Adirondacks Hamlets to Huts Team
Joe and Jack: pioneers in a culture awakening to the environmental benefits of huts
In 2013 Joe Dadey and Jack Drury came up with the idea of a lodging and trails system connecting Adirondack hamlets to huts. I’ve been following their quest as something of a model planning process for hut systems.
Congratulations! According to an article in the SkyHiDaily News, a major grant from private donors will help fund the second hut in The Grand Huts Association.
Their first hut (the Broome Hut pictured here), which took 15 years to get permitted and built, was completed in 2012 at a cost of $400,000. Located in a remote location with excellent back country skiing, materials were delivered to the site by helicopter. The hut is very popular and operates close to full capacity in winter and at about half-capacity in summer. Located on US Forest Service Land near Winter Park Colorado, the Grand Huts association hopes to eventually grow to 5-7 huts, creating a hut-to-hut system from Berthoud Pass to Grand Lake in Grand County.
Is Scotland missing out on a key mountain tourism niche?
The Ramblers in Scotland think this may be true, and are proposing a pilot project to test this assumption.
While the Scots have “Bothies” — unimproved backpacker shelters — European-style huts are not part of the accommodations infrastructure for walkers in Scotland, Wales, England. They rely on a robust network of B&B’s and hostels. This leaves gaps in mountainous regions.
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
Hut-to-hut at Mount Tahoma: a history and a love story
MTTA is a labor of love. Bob Brown loved back-country skiing and wondered why he had to travel to Colorado to ski hut-to-hut when they had such great terrain in Washington. He rallied others and they created the Mount Tahoma Trails Association (MTTA), an all-volunteer hut system. Judy Scavone came along, fell in love with the trail and hut system, became an inspirational volunteer, and she and Bob fell in love. This is the story of their shared passion for the outdoors and of their dedication to MTTA and to its remarkable corps of volunteers. The current strength and quality of MTTA is a testament to the work of this couple and their volunteer friends. Many people helped make MTTA what is today. This story is about two of them: Bob and Judy.
Notes kindly compiled by Leyton Jump, Manager of High Hut, Mt. Tahoma Trails Association
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.
Creating more opportunities for people to use huts to support long distance hiking, biking, skiing is a complex undertaking. If not done well, the potential for doing environmental harm is as great as the potential for doing educational and recreational good.
Part 1 of this article outlined the potential benefits. Part 2 outlines the challenges in thoughtfully regulating, siting, creating, and operating hut systems. Future posts will provide greater detail in many of these areas, and the operational profiles on this site provide information on how specific hut systems handle these challenges. The audience for this piece is young people planning or dreaming of starting a hut system; it may also interest recreation planners and land managers.
Joe Ryan built his huts to provide people an affordable backcountry journey to enjoy nature, to learn outdoor skills, and to benefit with health and healing. A generation later his vision is a reality — beyond what he had imagined — and continues to evolve in partnership with his daughter Kelly Ryan.
We are experimenting with a modest project: Hut Systems Map of North and South America. Our map initiative is just one of many. We hope to coordinate our work with that of some of the growing number of hut mapping and listing projects worldwide. Some are focused on a particular state, region or nation, while others global in scope. Following are some initial examples to provide a sense of the range. We will add others as we learn about them.