Avalanche Safety & Info
We highly recommend that backcountry users have a working knowledge of how to move in and evaluate avalanche terrain. There are a plethora of good resources out there to study, train, and revamp knowledge. If you haven’t done so already taking an Avalanche Course through an accredited provider is invaluable. You can check out the AIARE website to learn more.
The hut is located in the south-central mountains of Colorado and reviewing both the CAIC Sawatch Range forecast and the Crested Butte Avalanche Center forecast can give you a more detailed understanding of snow and weather conditions at the hut.
- Colorado Avalanche Report for the Sawatch Range
- Crested Butte Avalanche Center South East Mountains
Avalanche Alternate Route
If the snow conditions up in the Aetna slide chute look concerning to you, an alternate route can be taken to the south, around the bottom of the chute in the trees. Please check the avalanche report before you go to help with your decision-making. The report can be found by clicking here. The slide zone is on a south/southwest aspect. The location of the Hut is in the Swatch Range and has a south/southwest aspect. Upcoming weather can be found by clicking here. Snow conditions are best found by checking the Monarch snow report – only a few miles away from the hut as the crow flies – by clicking here.
The map below is from hillmap.com. It shows the slope angles of the peaks surrounding the Hut. A copy of this map can be obtained by clicking below the map.
To download a copy of the map above, click below.
Please know the fire restrictions before you go up to the hut. Wildfires are increasingly a threat in our mountains and we want to be sure that we are following best fire practices at all times. We provide firewood to be burned inside the woodstove at the hut, please do not use our wood for outdoor fires. If you do have a campfire we ask that it is small and manageable and that you burn all the logs down to ash. You can deposit any ash into the cans provided. These cans should not be near or touching the hut as embers can stay alive for a long time and we do not want to burn the hut down.
If you need to evacuate from a fire, head down the valley and back to the trailhead as quickly as possible. If the fire is closer and you cannot escape down the valley, exit the hut, and go straight up the slope of Mt. Aetna behind the hut. You can gain treeline quickly from there. If you see a wildfire please call 911 immediately and alert them. Once you are safe if you can also alert us we would appreciate that.
Chaffee County Fire – (719) 395-6545
Chaffee County Police – (719) 395-6545
Chaffee County EMS – (719) 539-1914
Chaffee County Search and Rescue – (719) 581-9271