BERTHOUD PASS - As the whumping helicopter dived into the valley, Roger Hedlund's dream suddenly become palpable.
The heli had just dropped its 25th load - hand-hewed timber beams harvested from the valley floor - and the Broome Hut up the Second Creek drainage of Berthoud Pass was no longer simply a vision.
"After 15 years of planning, we just have to put it together. This is a really incredible feeling," said the president of the Grand Huts Association, who quickly recovered from his revelry to direct a team of 12 hard-hatted volunteers for the next helicopter load.
"This is an old-fashioned barn raising," Hedlund said as the rumble of the helicopter again filled the lush alpine valley. "It's going to be a tremendous community asset."
The journey to the June 1 day-long barn raising was long, with an intensive federal environmental review that examined the Broome Hut's impacts on soil, water and wildlife mere feet from the Vasquez Wilderness boundary. This winter the 1,800-square-foot, 16-bunk hut 1Ω miles from U.S. 40 will begin hosting day-trippers, overnight backcountry travelers, avalanche educators and students.
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