Near Mt. Rainier, there’s a delightful place to snowshoe or cross country ski. There are lots of trails, and there are four huts that you can stay in. The huts have propane heat (and a stove). They even have solar collectors so that you can have some light at night. They have pads to sleep on. There are dishes, glasses, silverware, cooking knives, and pots and pans. All you have to supply is a sleeping bag and food. All this for $15 per night! That charge is only if you want to stay the night. It’s free if all you want to do is warm up for a bit and cook lunch. This was the first time I’d ever been here, and I loved it! I’ll make a return visit. If you want to learn more, see http://www.skimtta.com/
I went with a meetup group to the High Hut. As the name implies, it’s the hut that’s at the highest altitude (almost 5,000 feet). It’s also supposed to have the best view of Mt. Rainier. I can’t confirm that, because it was very cloudy when I was up there (that gives me an excuse to return!). That didn’t matter, because everything was coated with ice. It really was a winter wonderland! All the trees at the summit had icicles on them, which made them look like Christmas trees. Beautiful!
The High Hut sleeps 8 people, so that was our group size. Unusually, everybody was an experienced hiker. I could tell, because everyone had the appropriate gear (gaiters, snowshoes, layers, etc.). After we got to the hut, we shared snacks. I brought homemade hummus. Other snacks included cheese and crackers (5 kinds of cheese!), various dried fruits, and chocolate. Yum! Oh yeah. I forgot to mention that the hut had playing cards and various games. We had fun playing Uno.
On to the pictures!
We started at about 2500 feet elevation, and it was slushy.
I like the way that the background trees just fade into the mist.
After we gained some altitude, things became coated in ice.
This is a blade of grass coated in ice.
This reminds me of lace.
Now it’s getting pretty.
The High Hut. Those stairs aren’t necessary until there is more than 6 feet of snow.
The front of the High Hut.
The ice coating is beautiful
This looks like an alien lifeform.
Ice on wood
The hut’s kitchen.
The dining room table. The propane fireplace is barely visible on the right.
Looking away from the kitchen. There is a bunk bed and a futon, but most of the sleeping space is reached by the ladder on the left.