Family Hut Trips: A Love Story
March 13, 2017
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What do you want to know about hut trips? Please read this reflection and comment below.

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A Picture of Perfection:

There is an image seared in my mind, part real and part predefined. Cai and I used to read a series of books by Holly Hobbie about two pigs called  Toot and Puddle. My favorite is “Let it Snow” and housed in those pages is a beautifully simple picture which speaks volumes to me. It has probably even shaped how I imagine some of my favorite moments. Big, fat flakes of snow falling, the stillness of sheltering in the trees, the quiet glide of skis through fresh, dry snow and sharing this emotion with someone special. On the third day of our first hut trip Cai and I had one of those moments. We both felt it and our friends managed to capture it.

The First Trip:

There were a lot of moments that trip. The children were 7 and 10 and they were troopers. It was a week of contrasts, a mellow shake down day, a day of pleasant gradual climbing that gave us time to explore, a brutal, long day of breaking trail in heavy snow and the exit day which combined exciting downhill with a flat slog for the car.

Yet for all the trials the children experienced there were an equal number of times when they displayed an ecstatic joy. Removed from electricity, running water, flushing toilets, alarm clocks and the usual paraphernalia of modern life we slow down; even when our days are big. We  pare down what we bring because it all goes on our backs (or in the sled). The end result is a simplicity it is rare to find in an urban setting.

The Value of these Ventures:

Our days consist of cutting wood and collecting water, we share a lot of stories around the stove, we live collectively, supporting and looking out for each other. The cadence of our day is defined naturally, the daylight shapes the start and the end, hunger dictates our meals, tiredness our rests. Movement is a metronome of shuffling feet. Shelter is prized and respected, food appreciated and the fire revered. The thing that stands out the most though is how conversation is an important part of the day, something that is valued. It’s elevated currency leads to an effort to lift it up. Even though there is more of it, the time is not to be squandered. Thought goes into what is to be talked about and the stories shared that trip were monumental. So much so they inspired new traditions with both families.

Since that experience there has been an annual family hut trip. Last year Cai even went without me causing, me to sulk with my broken leg. Each year they tend to become a little bigger in scope. Each year the children demonstrate what they are capable of and each year the parents are blown away.

What Will Help You?

This year we are taking a videographer with the intention of capturing the essence of this love story. We are currently creating the storyboards for a few different offerings. Some instructional and some that show the value of adventure in a child’s life. If there is anything you would like us to include, please comment below.

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1 comment

  1. Wil – I think this an incredible project idea! I have never done a hut trip and have lived in Colorado half my life. The things that keep me from doing it is having any know-how of how to judge weather/terrain for safety, how/when to get a reservation and where (I feel a need to go scout the hut in the summer!), and what level of skills/age my kids need to be at before we start. There’s also the question of gear, sleds, and so forth. I have friends who have done this with young children but they were also big skiers and we’re just starting that. Anything you can do to demystify the whole thing would be incredible!