LODGE: noun; Etymology: Middle English loge, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German louba porch. 13th century
1. a rude shelter or abode 2. a house set apart for residence in a particular season (as the hunting season)
- HUT: noun; Etymology: French hutte, from Old French hute, from Old High German huttahȳd skin, hide. 1655 hut; probably akin to Old English
I went on my first backcountry hut trip close to twenty years ago. For me, little matches the sense of being in the field for multiple days, living and breathing skiing and snow. There is a civility and level of comfort in even the most modest of huts that sets the experience apart from camping in the field.
My first hut trip was to a modest Colorado Mountain Club Hut. It was hard to beat for character and my characteristic last minute planning skills. And it served up some fine high adventure skiing the nearby terrain.
Since that first trip, I have enjoyed huts from Alaska to South America, the Himalaya and beyond. Hands down one of my favorite and arguably the most hedonistic of hut trips is the classic heli-accessed hut in British Columbia. Hut is a bit of a misnomer for these trips as most of the heli-accessed operations deserve to be called lodges. Running water, wood fired saunas, gas cooking stoves, and warm sleeping accomodations warrant the lodge terminology.
From BC's private lodges to the Alpine Club of Canada Huts, these trips are worth planning a winter around to make happen. From the group experience to full days of touring and over the top meals, a weeklong heli-accessed hut is a must-do experience for any avid backcountry skier. Consistent snows, remote locations and mind blowing terrain all go hand in hand when hut skiing in BC. Here are some images to get you scheming for next winter . . .