Nestled in a hairpin turn of the continental divide, in the Centennial mountains is the Hellroaring hut. Only 2.5 hours outside of Jackson, Wyoming and a whole new region I was fortunate enough to go explore.
After a scenic 7 mile snowmobile ride we arrived at the Hellroaring Trailhead, dialed our packs and went out for around a 2 hour tour to the hut. It was a moderately cold day with a fresh blanket of snow. The snow was staying light and on the trees, getting us excited to have it to stick around. Shortly after arriving, that blanket of snow was blown away by high winds for the next 3 nights. We knew that would affect finding good snow on top of the hot sun beating down through windows in the clouds. While making our way to go check out the prominent mini-golf area visible from the hut we had passed by a small zone near the creek crossing that seemed to have potential. After dealing with variable conditions on the face we went back to the lower zone by the creek. The little canyon the creek runs through provided just enough protection from the weather to save about 8” of cold powder on 500 vertical feet of around 35’ slopes with trees and open pockets. The area is a terrain trap with the creek at the bottom but with stable conditions it’s a good powder stash and is really close to the hut. The rest terrain surrounding the hut is unique because there is every aspect, couloirs, gladed trees at various slope degrees and cliffs to play on. Dominating the southwest skyline looking from the yurt is Mt Jefferson at 10,513’, which offers some alpine terrain and long consistent corn runs for spring conditions.
The hut itself is about 8’x24’ rectangular, wood floored, vinyl WeatherPort tent that can sleep up to 8, with cots on one side and fireplace/cooking area on the other side. Couldn’t have slept better with river bed pads on ‘Disc-o-bed’ cots. A lot of times in yurts there isn’t a couch/living room space but these cots go into a futon mode, and everyone knows how good it feels to chill on a couch after a long day! The wood stove cranks, everything was dry after a few hours and some boot liners were a bit melted but luckily, still ridable. The kitchen consist of 2 propane burners, table, pots/pans/plates/utensils and cooler for food storage.
The shape of the mountains creates a lot of hidden gullies which are a heads up for terrain traps and can make navigating more challenging. The owner of Hellroaring Powder Guides, Sam Hansen, not only had the hut dialed with GoalZero solar power system and a homemade insulation but is available for catering or guiding! We saved a ton of time and energy having him with us the for first couple days and I would recommend hiring him for the best experience. All in all I now have a hit list there and plan on returning!