February 8, 2014 · 8:00 AM
Advanced intermediate overnight cross-country ski trip.
A February trip to Benson Hut could mean trailbreaking through deep snow, struggling to avoid overzealous ski patrolmen on the outskirts of Sugar Bowl, and encountering blustery conditions along the wind-scoured Sierra crest. Digging out the front door of the hut could take 45 minutes, and the trip leader is likely to ask you to play Scrabble once you are inside, using a set where half of the wooden letters have been used up as kindling.
But while a visit to Benson Hut could mean all of the above, it could also mean good skiing in fresh powder in the trees to the west of the hut, or an ascent of nearby Anderson Peak if conditions permit. Plus I will bring a fresh set of Scrabble letters.
Saturday morning we’ll head to the hut early. The ski in from Donner Pass is about six miles and includes over 2000 feet of cumulative climbing. Sunday we’ll do some skiing below the hut to the west, or possibly venture a mile or two to the south if there is no significant avalanche hazard, before we return to Donner Pass. Metal-edged skis and climbing skins are required.
To reserve a spot, please call or email to check availability, and to get my address so you can mail a check for $30. The fee covers the one night at the hut, and a communal dinner. I will need to get your phone numbers, email address, a description of your experience and equipment. Also any dietary restrictions, medical conditions. It could be truly glorious!