Backcountry skiers are one step closer to having a fifth hut added to the Summit Hut Association. On July 28th, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) released an environmental assessment of the Weber Hut, which according to the associations’ director, Mike Zobbe, has been in the works for over eight years.
Weber’s Hut received its name because it is located in Weber Gulch, on the north side of Baldy Mountain. It will sit at about 11,500 feet above sea level. It will join the other four huts in the Summit Hut Association- Section House and Ken’s Cabin along Boreas Pass, Janet’s Cabin near Copper Mountain, and Francie’s Cabin just south of Breckenridge. Weber Hut was part of the original master plan with the USFS for the Summit Huts Association, back in the late 1980’s.
Many aspects of the proposal were changed according to Mike Zobbe, based on input from residents, the town of Breckenridge and Summit County. The Summit Hut Association is trying to be mindful of the footprint that will be left behind. Accessing the cabin has gone through about six different versions, and the original hut plans were that it would sleep 16, but it will actually be built with a capacity of 14, said Mike Zobbe. Making the cabin any smaller would cause concerns of financial sustainability. “It still costs us the same amount to maintain the hut.” With the other huts, the demand always outpaces the supply, according to Mike Zobbe. There are always those that want an adventure, and during the really busy times, like holiday weekends, the huts are on a lottery system.
The final environmental assessment are underway and once finished with the USFS, the Summit Hut Association with being to raise funds, hire architect to design the hut, and get access routes established. Just like the other four huts in the association, Weber Hut will be comfortable and energy-efficient.
The final approval for Weber Hut is set for September 13th, barring that there are no objections submitted to the White River National Forest office. Hopefully, everything continues to move forward so that backcountry skiers can add another stop to their list.Posted by Andrew Biggin on