There are three types of fun. Type one fun is fun in theory, fun in the moment and fun to talk about afterward. Type two fun is fun in theory, causes a bit of suffering in the moment and fun to talk about afterward. Type three fun is questionable in theory, intolerable (if not outright dangerous) in the moment, and sticks with you the rest of your life, often accompanied by an incredulous "What the f$%k was I thinking?!"
I experienced all three types of fun over a three-day hut trip in Colorado's backcountry.
The Fowler-Hilliard Hut lies about six miles west of Vail Pass at an elevation of 11,500 feet. On New Year's Eve, we snowshoed up the aptly named Resolution Road and broke trail through the backcountry, arriving at the hut exhausted and dazed seven hours after we set out. But the hut's wood-burning stove was toasty and dinner was hot, and we stayed up just long enough to ring in the New Year with our 16 fellow hut-trippers and new friends.
Over the next day and a half, we explored, cooked, talked, sledded, danced, read, napped, played music, played games and drank plenty of Bailey's on snow before trekking out on Friday afternoon. With the trail broken and our spirits high, we sped down the shady path and back to our cars in less than three hours.
This was my first hut trip, and it was a beautifully exhausting experience that I won't soon forget. A huge thank you to each and every fellow hut-tripper for making 2015's beginning so magical. Prosit Neujahr!