Hut-to-Hut Ski Touring ‘Haute Route’ Opens in the Southern Rockies


Colorado’s San Juan Mountains are identified for his or her deep snowpack, complicated terrain, solitude, splendor, and problem. In a winter when journey is restricted, and snowfall has been sparse, the San Juans are extra empty of crowds and buried underneath a blanket of carvable white fluff. That potential has created loads of pleasure for San Juan Mountain Guides (SJMG) new Interconnect backcountry ski journey. Scaling 13,000-foot passes and carving creamy turns down steep slopes, the tour pauses at full-service huts and lodges alongside the way in which for gourmand homestyle meals—and the serenity that solely a excessive camp can present.

courtesy San Juan Mountain Guides

This five-day, four-night Colorado hut-to-hut excessive traverse winds via a zone usually in comparison with the Alps, incomes it a label as America’s reply to legendary multi-day “Haute Route” from the Chamonix valley to Zermatt. The guided, catered journey can also be full-service. Skiers want solely carry a daypack—different gear is shuttled between lodges when you pattern the products. So on the finish of your ski day, whether or not you’ve run out of sunshine or your legs name it quits, your largest concern can be whether or not you step right into a scorching bathe, heat up with home made soup, or toast to an important day within the mountains first.

There are two variations of SJMG’s Interconnect. On the Interconnect 121, skiers in a single day at three backcountry lodges—Ophir Pass Ultimate Ski Hut (OPUS) Red Mountain Alpine Lodge (RMAL), and Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge (MHBL). On the Interconnect 22, skiers spend two nights every at RMAL and MHBL.

San Juan Mountain Guides Rocky Mountain ski touring interconnect Haute Route
courtesy San Juan Mountain Guides

The tour begins within the historic mining city of Silverton. After ascending to sunny, cozy OPUS Hut on a delicate monitor with panoramic views, skiers have a half-day to discover Opus’ expansive yard earlier than dinner is served. The high-alpine backcountry hut perches on the southern slopes of 13,666-foot Lookout Peak, and surrounded by superior tree runs, wide-open bowls, and steep, craggy faces.

Day 2, skiers climb over a wide ranging 13,000′ col earlier than carving and cavorting to Columbine Lake for an inspiring high-alpine traverse via higher Porphyry and Mineral Basins. Skirting the shoulder of Trico Peak (13,321′), the place San Juan, San Miguel, and Ouray counties intersect, the descent to Crimson Mountain Alpine Lodge is as spicy or serene as temper and climate dictate.

San Juan Mountains Interconnect
courtesy San Juan Mountain Guides

RMAL is a putting timber-frame construction with a cathedral ceiling, floor-to-ceiling home windows, huge uncovered beams, and a comfortable wooden range. For 2 nights, the relaxed luxurious of the spacious lodge welcomes you again from targets which are as bold or pleasant because the group wishes. From Crimson Mountain Move, the place the lodge sits, the choices are countless and embrace sky-scraping excessive factors like Champion Bowl or Hollywood on Crimson #3. After the second night time of decadent consolation and entertaining tales of the tenure’s mining city historical past, the tour ascends Senator Beck Basin towards historic Imogene Basin over one other 13,000′ col. After passing Telluride Peak (13,509′), skiers drop right down to Hayden Backcountry Lodge, a completely renovated historic log cabin lodge with a cedar wood-fired scorching tub. Soak underneath the sprawling Milky Approach after a chef-prepared gourmand feast. The ultimate morning ski tour carves the storied Camp Chook Hall, the historic dwelling of most of the area’s silver mines within the shadow of Mount Sneffels and Yankee Boy Basin. A shuttle returns company to Ouray.

RMAL Red Mountain Alpine Lodge
courtesy Crimson Mountain Alpine Lodge

The Interconnect 22 additionally connects Silverton and Ouray. Friends on the Interconnect 22 spend two nights every at Crimson Mountain Alpine Lodge and Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge.

Each Interconnect hut journeys are 5 days and 4 nights, with all meals and lodging included, and IFMGA/AMGA guiding by probably the most revered information providers within the U.S., with a few of the most achieved and personable employees. The information to skier ratio is 1:4.

Guide now. Every Interconnect will run on with restricted departures in spring 2021. The fee is $1,995 per individual. Resulting from COVID-19, group dimension is restricted to eight folks, except you e-book a non-public group. Contact San Juan Mountain Guides for particulars, or e-book on-line at

San Juan Mountain Guides Rocky Mountain ski touring interconnect Haute Route
San Juan Mountain Guides

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