Fowler-Hilliard Hut has burned down

Sad News to start the ski season.

The Bad News: The Fowler-Hilliard Hut in the White River National Forest used by back country skiers has burned down. Although nobody knows yet what caused the fire, one of the reasons may have been lightening, which was reported in the area. In terms of the hut, “The fire is out, but the hut, at this point, is a total loss,” said Patrick Thrasher, spokesman for the White River National Forest. This is the first time that a hut has burned down because of a fire, however, I believe that Polar Star almost burned down due to a hot tub or sauna.

The burned building was discovered Wednesday morning by a parent with an eighth-grade school group that was heading to the hut. What a bummer for these kids to walk up to a burned hut after the hike to get there.

The Good News: Nobody was injured, and the group plans to rebuild the hut.

If you had a reservation at the hut, the Tenth Mountain hut association plans to accommodate you, perhaps by offering lodging at another hut in the system.

Facts about Fowler Hilliard:

The hut sat on the side of Resolution Mountain at 11,500 feet in elevation, about four miles east of Red Cliff and four miles southwest of Vail Pass. It is known for great backcountry skiing nearby the hut.

Built in 1988, the structure was named after Ann Fowler and Ed Hilliard, climbers who died in an accident near Aspen. It held 16 people and was open from Thanksgiving through April and from July through September.

The hut was commonly accessed from Camp Hale or Vail Pass, and users could link Fowler-Hilliard trips with other nearby huts, including the Jackal Hut and the Shrine Mountain Inn.

It was owned by the Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association and operated under a special permit from the Forest Service.