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Backpacker Magazine – Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012

Skier's Paradise: Backcountry Hut & Yurt Destinations

Maximize your winter fun with a backcountry basecamp where you can spend all day skiing or snowshoeing, and all evening lounging by the fire. These 10 huts and yurts will make you hope the snow never melts.

by: Sarah L. Stewart

Baldy Knoll Yurt (Ben Fullerton)
Baldy Knoll Yurt (Ben Fullerton)
Bell Lake Yurt, Tobacco Root Range, MT ( Kene Sperry)
Bell Lake Yurt, Tobacco Root Range, MT ( Kene Sperry)
Coyote Yurt, Smoky Mountains, ID (Craig Wolfrom)
Coyote Yurt, Smoky Mountains, ID (Craig Wolfrom)
Tuna Yurt, Uinta NF, UT (Francisco Kjolseth)
Tuna Yurt, Uinta NF, UT (Francisco Kjolseth)

Baldy Knoll Yurt
Tetons, ID/WY
Explore a big-view ridge with 5-star skiing in all directions.

When we looked for the perfect place to test this year’s Editors’ Choice Snow Award finalists, it didn’t take long to pick the Baldy Knoll Yurt. Perched at 8,800 feet on the west slope of the Tetons, the ridgeline basecamp sits in the middle of a skier’s choice of big bowls, experts-only chutes, and mellow glades. Backcountry bonus: The view from 10,537-foot Housetop Peak, a short day tour above the yurt, affords a rare perspective of the west side of the Tetons’ iconic peaks. And the approach—5.5 miles and 2,200 feet of climbing—proved a perfect test piece for skinning up with gear-laden packs. (First-time visitors need to hire a one-day guide to show them the route and get a yurt overview. Bonus: expert advice on snow conditions.) The yurt itself? It sleeps eight, and is equipped with wood-burning and propane stoves, lanterns, cookware, and washing supplies. $355 to $395/night (plus $150 for First Day Guide); Rendezvous Backcountry Ski Tours (skithetetons.com; 307-353-2900)




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