Hut trips can be hit and miss—snow conditions are far from guaranteed, although the commitment of cash and time must be made months ahead of time. Such was the case for a small crew who found high avalanche danger in the alpine and tracked out trees at the Rogers Pass-based Fairy Meadows Hut in 2009. Returning in 2010 with low expectations, however, they found a chance for redemption.
“Walking into the lodge, the log book read: ‘the kitchen’s clean, but the backcountry’s a mess.’ After last year’s experience, we couldn’t deal with a mess. But looking above the hut our hopes lifted—the prominent 1,600-foot Outpost Couloir was free of tracks. We had studied the steep, bony chute with longing the entire 2009 trip, but avalanche danger kept us away. This year, it would hang over our heads like a giant Canadian dare…”
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