There is a new backcountry ski hut in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, the Opus Hut. After years of dreaming and searching for a suitable scenario, longtime Colorado-based skier and craftsman Bob Kingsley has made it happen.
The Opus Hut, Ophir Pass Ultimate Ski Hut, is located at 11,765 feet near Ophir Pass, Colorado. The 1800-squarefoot, three story solar powered structure was years in the making. Built on a mining claim that Kinglsey was able to purchase, the hut is open for its first commercial season this winter. Its location affords access to a wide range of terrain from nearby gentle slopes to the steep, challenging terrain and features that define the San Juan Mountains.
There is quite a story to the construction and design of the Opus Hut. Using salvaged materials and a 120-year-old hand hewn hardwood timber frame adapted form a Wisconsin dairy farm, the structure blends mountain craftsmanship with eco-minded design, materials and sytems.
Access is about a three-mile skin from highway 550 (Million Dollar Hwy) between Ouray and Silverton or directly from Ophir Colorado. This season, rooms are available on a nightly basis, or you can rent the full hut. There is a hut keeper who tends to chores and keeps the fire stoked.
Ultimately, Kingsley would like to see the Opus Hut run European style with a resident hut keeper serving meals and drink. There will be a feature story on Kingsley and the building of the Opus Hut in the print mag later this winter. In the mean time, you can learn more at opushut.com