Some backcountry huts are different than others. At many huts, you first shake mouse poop out of tea kettles and sweep spiders from the bathroom upon entry. At Colorado’s Thelma Hut, however, that won’t be necessary.
There are hosts, you see, bearing hot afternoon soup when you show up and step out of your bindings. They’ve tended to the fire, so it’s cozy. Dinner’s probably already bubbling away on the stove. Kick off your boots, settle into the couch and drink your soup. You’ve arrived in some kind of heaven.
Nestled in the San Juans between Ouray and Silverton, Thelma Hut opened about a year ago, as a private backcountry hut operated by Bob Kingsley and his partner Allison Snyder. They own another hut about four miles away, the OPUS hut, and offer a guided service between the two. Thelma Hut can host 8 skiers at once and offers plenty of backcountry powder just outside the door. Sure, having somebody cook for you and tend the fire is an indulgence, but, so?
Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.