After a brief meeting and food portioning party the night before, our
crew of eight assembled at the Ashcroft trailhead sometime around 9:30
a.m. (we’re not here to smash any records) to begin our skin into the
Lindley Hut. The crew consisted of local Aspen photographer
extraordinaire Tony Prickl, Folsom Custom Skis athlete and ski-builder
Mike McCabe, Aspen ski bum and nifkin slayer Jeremy Rubingh, Squaw
local Hunter Claxton, the token girl Courtenay, and the TREW crew:
Tripp, John, and Stink.
The skin into the Lindley hut is only about four miles and your gaining
less than a thousand vertical feet, so it shouldn’t take a group of
healthy, young, twenty-something year-olds more than a couple hours to
reach the hut. Nevertheless, we strolled at our leisure, soaking up
the sunny sights and laboring under the weight of heavy packs (stuffed
with liberal amounts of beer and Beam).
We arrived at the hut with the sun still high in the sky, and after a
quick lunch we loaded up some camera gear and set out to explore the
glades and pillows that littered the horizon beyond the hut. We
followed the skin track of a previous group (I think Eliot might have
gone on that trip?) up the steep and treed face to the southwest of the
hut. A short, steep pitch with some rocks and small cornices towards
the top of the rolling mountains beckoned to be ridden and
photographed. After yo-yoing the face a couple of times, we packed up
our gear and started coasting on back to the hut.
We descended the last, steep face before the hut one-at-a-time, but the
second skier managed to set-off two slides in his wake. The slides
were voluminous and caused considerable worry for the remainder of the
group still waiting to descend. We decided to traverse above their
lines and head skier’s-right towards a heavily treed section. Stink
led the traverse and while cutting the top of a slope, sent that to the
ground as well. All slides were on a northeastern facing slop that was
very shallow and rotten because of previous early-season slides.
Everybody returned to the hut unscathed and washed down that healthy
shot of reality with several shots of Beam.
It could have been an apparition, but I’m pretty sure Aspen local
Fletch Yaw skate-skied his way into the Lindley Hut armed with booze,
ammunition, and his 37mm for a solid night of debauchery. None of us
are really sure because he skated out the same night in order to show
up in time for work the next morning, and we awoke to foggy memories of
playing Jenga, spoons, and some backyard target practice.
We spent our second day at the hut doing lots of digging. We dug pits
at several different aspects and due to a less than stellar performance
by a couple persistently weak hoar layers; we spent the rest of the
afternoon digging a giant kicker. We even squeezed in a few hits to a
varying amount of success before we lost light.
The activities of our final night in the hut involved a game called
“assassin,” in which people were assigned a target, a weapon, and a
location and you have to lie, scheme, and backstab until you were the
last man standing. I’m just glad Fletch brought the handgun the
previous night or else things might have gotten a little too real…
The final day the group split up. Those who wanted to get a head start
on showers and clean clothes skied out, and those who wanted to session
the kicker a bit stuck around. The landing stayed soft, but the light
played finicky games all day and never really came out and popped.
Which is fine, because when 6’4” 200 llb JP sends a forty-foot
lawn-dart wearing the TREW yellow PowFunk and the teal TREWth bib, you
don’t need the sun.