If you like backcountry skiing and love getting away from people, a trip to a ski cabin can be a great experience. There is nothing like skiing for hours in the mountains and ending up in a great cabin! In the United States, the 10th Mountain Shelter System in Colorado operates a system of beautifully constructed cabins. The cabin system is named after the 10th Mountain Division of the United States Army that distinguished itself in battle during World War II in the mountains of Italy.
The cabin system started with 2 cabins in 1982 and now in 2013 it has more than 17 cabins that people can ski and walk to. Because they are so popular, people have to enter a lottery for a chance to get a reservation at one or more of the cabins. After obtaining a reservation, they are given a lock combination so they can enter the cabin when they arrive. Your party may be alone or it may be with another party. This is not a problem if some rules of conduct (or etiquette) are followed.
Being in a shack is a lot like community life. You must respect the privacy of others and give them their space so that they feel comfortable. Usually this is not a problem. Most cabin skiers have done it before. Also, the backcountry ski community is pretty laid back and laid back. Often two groups in a cabin get along very well. The two groups can share fire collection tasks. In addition, they can help obtain water from the water pump located inside the cabin. This is of great help as water is always needed for washing dishes and drinking and for personal hygiene.
Some suggestions for those who have not been to a cabin before: The group that got to the cabin first probably has the advantage of selecting bunk beds or rooms first. What
It keeps it simple even if the bunk you wanted is not available. That just happens and it has to be accepted. Mobile phones should really be turned off if there is reception. At a minimum, the cell phone’s ringer setting should be set to vibrate. Any cell phone conversation should take place outside of the main group. Most people go to a cabin in search of peace and quiet. They don’t really need to be upset over hearing a cell phone ringing or a conversation. Noise control is a big problem in some cabins if there are many skiers staying there. The quiet time usually goes from 10 at night to 6-7 in the morning.
Loud groups can become unpleasant and really annoying to another group and can lead to bad feelings in the cabin. That is not really what you want. If there is a noise problem, respectfully tell the other group that you would appreciate it if people kept their voices down. Most people often do not know that they are speaking out loud as they are so excited to be there. Be friendly, ask respectfully, and people will generally kindly obey. If not, there is not much you can do. Most of the time, after an hour or so, people calm down and get tired anyway.
During the night you can go to bed early while there is a large group of people partying downstairs in the main room. Earplugs are a must for trips to the cabin in any case. Except in the quietest cabins, there is always someone who gets up at night to use the bathroom. If it’s just one person, that’s fine. But if there are multiple people moving around all the time, earplugs are a godsend.
The next day, sharing kitchen counter space and allowing people to prepare meals is appreciated. A joint effort in dishwashing spreads goodwill among the groups and creates a more relaxed atmosphere. When people start skiing, let the other group go first. This is usually to your advantage as they will first dig up the accumulated snow on the deck and break the trail “out the door” so to speak. They will pack the bottom of the stairs and make your exit much easier. Also, they will take it as another gesture of goodwill. Once the main group is out the door, you can sweep the floor or straighten the cabin even further with fewer people in the area. Upon your departure, you will need to pack all the garbage. Also, the cabin should be cleaned in the same condition you found it. Always leave a new supply of firewood for the next group.
Skiing to a cabin is a fabulous experience. If you have never done so, you will have a memory of your life. Just remember that you probably won’t be the only group there. Just a few acts of kindness and consideration will make your stay that much more fun. But etiquette comes naturally if you have an open mind and want the other person to have as much fun as you do!