Progressive Dinner raises money for backcountry huts " Grand County |

Progressive Dinner raises money for backcountry huts " Grand County

Tonya Bina
Tabernash, Colorado

The Grand Huts Association is forging ahead to sustain the outdoors experience for generations to come.

Nearly halfway toward its $400,000 goal to build an off-the-grid visitors’ cabin at 12,000 feet in the popular Second Creek Basin, the Grand Huts Association is hoping it can recharge others’ appreciation for the outdoors.

Named after a charitable donation of $100,000 in the name of the Broome family, the Broome Hut would be the first of nine huts that would make up Grand County’s future hut-to-hut system from Second Creek to Grand Lake.

Hut-to-hut systems in other Colorado counties such as Eagle and Summit have been known to generate considerable tourist income as well as increase outdoors awareness among new users.

Once constructed, the Broome Hut at Second Creek cabin ” in its engineering design stages ” would be open to school interpretive trips, youth-group excursions, avalanche training and family or group overnights.

Day trail users would have access to its warming hut and a restroom to minimize impacts to the basin area, according to Dave Maddox of Grand Huts.

The eco-friendly hut as part of a future nonprofit hut system would accommodate up to 16 guests with a caretaker quarters for two.

The hut is designed to exemplify low-impact living, with photovoltaic solar for power, heat exchanger panels in the structure for interior heat, windows sized and located to take advantage of sun, composting technology, recycled water and solar hot water to

augment heat.

Since no wood can be gathered at the basin, a pellet stove is planned for back-up heat. A stone Trombe wall is also part of the design to store heat that can radiate back into the structure.

“Being at timberline, it’s cold up there,” said Maddox. “Without propane heat, which we don’t want, we are trying to maximize collecting solar energy in every way possible to run the structure.”

Challenged by the Broome family to match the $100,000 grant donated short of two years ago, Grand Huts is hoping its annual Progressive Ski Dinner will boost fundraising efforts. Over the past two years, the dinner and accompanying silent auction have raised about $20,000 for the Grand Huts project.

Devil’s Thumb donates its facility, 30 local restaurants supply the food and a wealth of area donations make up silent auction items, creating a full-moon winter event that celebrates the outdoors as much as its cause.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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