Grand Huts receives $100,000 grant from private donor | SkyHiNews.com

Grand Huts receives $100,000 grant from private donor

Hank Shell
hshell@skyhidailynews.com

The Grand Huts Association has received a $100,000 grant from a private donor to help fund the construction of a new hut.

Grand Huts is currently looking at three potential sites for the hut, which would be the second in a system that would extend along the Continental Divide to Grand Lake.

"Our goal has always been to build a hut system from Berthoud Pass to Grand Lake," said Andy Miller with Grand Huts. "So now we're looking at three different privately owned sites up above Forest Service Road 128, which is the Water Board Road across the Divide."

Of the three potential sites, the one that's farthest along is a parcel located in the Rendezvous development, Miller said.

"Right now we have hut money in search of place to put a hut," Miller said.

Miller estimated the grant, which bought the donor naming rights to the next hut, could fund around a quarter of the cost of a new hut.

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Grand Huts, which owns the Broome Hut in the Second Creek Basin on Berthoud Pass, hopes to eventually construct five to seven additional huts, creating a continuous system from Berthoud Pass to Grand Lake.

The 1700-square-foot Broome Hut, completed in 2012, is the first and only hut in the system.

Grand Huts started working on the Broome Hut budget in 1996, Miller said, and it took nearly 17 years to find funding and permit the hut, which is on U.S. Forest Service land.

It cost approximately $400,000 to build, and around 10,000 volunteers hours were contributed to the project.

Because of its inaccessible Alpine location, the hut was constructed with the help of a helicopter.

About half a million pounds of material had to be brought to the site.

But the Broome Hut has proved to be a popular destination for backcountry enthusiasts.

The hut is close to capacity through the winter and at around half-capacity in the summer, Miller said.

It's also furthered Grand Huts' mission of promoting backcountry awareness by serving as a site for avalanche awareness classes held in conjunction with the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District.

"A really big part of what we do is try to foster this better knowledge of the backcountry," Miller said.

Grand Huts will hold its annual Progressive Dinner, a fundraising event, at YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch on Feb. 20.

For more information, visit grandhuts.org.

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-557-6010.

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