We will be offering two Aspen to Vail trips in 2018.
In 2015 we partnered up with Chef Dave Krutel and European Caterers in order to provide an authentic High Mountain Cuisine. From grilled lamb chops and a lemony kale salad to mason-jar bread pudding, Dave brings an elegant cuisine rarely seen above 10,000-feet. Most food restrictions (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free) can be navigated.
This is a six-day, 100-mile running trip across the Rockies. I believe that the stronger you come into the trip the more fun you will have. With that said, I also believe that this trip is accessible to anybody that is up for the challenge. If you believe that you can run 100 miles through the Rockies, then I do too!
The lowest elevation of the Hut Run Hut route is just under 8,000ft (2400m) and that is only 1/4-mile into the trip. On average we will be running between 9,000ft and 13,000ft (2700m - 4000m) and sleeping close to 11,000ft (3300m). Though not essential, it is helpful to arrive at altitude (anything above 5,000ft) several days beforehand. If you think that the altitude and relative lack of oxygen might still be an issue, consider a Hypoxico Altitude Training System (www.hypoxico.com). They are generously offering a 15% discount on altitude tents to our Hut Run Hut participants.
The route will consist of hiking trails, lesser-used winter ski-trails, jeep roads, some bush-whacking and ridge lines. Side trips along the way, will include some of Colorado's most beautiful mountain-tops. Trail maps, route descriptions and profiles will be provided daily. Two guides on the trail at all times will allow for varying levels of ability.
We will be staying at the secluded 10th Mountain Division Hut Association huts, dotted across the Sawatch and Gore Mountain Ranges. Sitting between 9,500-11,000 feet (3,000-3,700 meters) the huts are high and remote. They are rustic in that they do not have running water (we will do our best to set up a solar shower when possible), electricity or 3G coverage (or any cell-phone coverage for that matter). Sleeping quarters are shared (though rooms for couples do exist). Bring a sleeping bag unless you'd prefer to use one of ours.
Preview the huts in chronological order!
The New York Times wrote up a great piece on the 10th Mountain Huts which can be found here.
Getting there and away:
Both Aspen and Vail have their own airports (Pitkin County Airport and Eagle County Airport). However, flying in and out of Denver, though two more hours further away, is significantly cheaper. On the final day, participants will be driven back to Aspen (two hours) or anywhere along the way. We will have a chase vehicle along the route each day to help with lunch, get gear to the next hut and/or for medical emergencies. If someone needs to or wants to bail from the trip at any time, it can be arranged. Participant will cover trailhead transport back to desired location. Colorado Mountain Express specializes in transport to and from Denver, Aspen and Vail/Eagle.
The group size of this trip is limited to the capacity of the huts (11 participants and 5 guides-of-sorts). That means a couple things - 1. we will be able to provide an intimate, mountain experience and 2. this trip has the potential to fill up quick, so DON'T WAIT!!!!
What to Bring:
Summer in the Rockies can vary in temperature and luckily running gear is light and small, so bring it all. We will not be able to wash clothes along the way so please plan accordingly. Time in the huts can be spent in jeans, shorts, jean-shorts, sarong-skirt, flip-flops, crocs... in other words, "casual." We will be driving your stuff on to the next hut so go ahead and bring an extra book while you're at it. We will provide a detailed pack-list as the date approaches.
Payment will be handled by Aspen Alpine Guides. Though a personal check is the preferred form of payment, Aspen Alpine Guides is also happy to process credit cards.
We will do a scheduled payment for the remainder of the entry two months prior to the trip start date with the credit card that you provided. If you would like for us to use a different card, please let us know beforehand.
If it becomes necessary for you to cancel your trip, please note our cancellation policy:
If the spot is cancelled prior to two months before the start-date the participant will receive a full refund MINUS the $800 deposit.
If the spot is cancelled within two months of the start date and NOT filled, then the person will be charged full amount.
Trip insurance (www.travelguard.com) will help cover a cancelled trip or an unfortunate and costly Medical Evacuation.
We highly recommend that you purchase a Colorado Search and Rescue card (http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/DOLA-Main/CBON/1251592090523). It is only $3 for the year and helps cover very costly medical evacuations.
Costs cover guides with medical, permits, liability insurance, food, beer, Aspen to Vail gear transport, hut fees and closing party. Costs do not cover first night stay in Aspen, final night in Vail or transportation to and from airports.