• Otilia

First hut trip ever. Day one: when going up only seems impossible

“Betty Bear Hut is a terrific destination for intermediate backcountry skiers, although the steep section from Road 505 to the hut can be challenging for skiers with less than strong intermediate skiing skills on the ascent and descent.”

After the half an hour climb on Vail mountain the day before, now is my second time ever walking on skis. With backpacks on, we started in silence, one step at a time. Walking behind Jon I am trying to mimic his movements and rhythm as there is nothing better to do. As he mentioned many times, the rhythm is very important - it is like hugging a wave and just letting yourself being carried away. Rhythm can take over your mind and move your body without even knowing. Rhythm comes naturally when you are not forcing your body to move but you allow the legs to move and witness it in joy. The sun is up and the views are breathtaking.

After almost five miles, we leave the road and turn left into the woods for the steep climb. After few steps I ask Jon: “what happens if I slid?” Short but effective answer: “ Trust you skins and step with all your weight equally distributed on your sole”. After few more steps, the bonding between me, the skis and the skins gets stronger, it is like they are not attached to my legs but they magically grew from my flesh. I can’t tell where my sole ends and where the ski begins.

Sweat, beautiful trees, sun, sweat, heavy backpack - slogging our way to the hut. Somehow I have a lot of energy left so I am taking the lead. The backcountry skiing videos from AMGA that I watched before prove to be extremely helpful. We can see the hut and we are already thinking about exploring the surrounding in the afternoon.

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