Fowler/Hilliard Hut rebuilt after fire |

Fowler/Hilliard Hut rebuilt after fire

Scott Willoughby
The Denver Post

WHITE RIVER NATIONAL FOREST – Lifelong pals Onie Bolduc and Kevin Hochtl will always have a special connection to the 10th Mountain Division Huts Association’s Fowler/Hilliard Hut.

In September 2009, Bolduc was among the last people to spend a night at the original Fowler/Hilliard Hut, effectively ending an era dating to 1988 that came to a close when the structure burned to the ground less than a week later.

Late last August, his buddy Hochtl became the first to sleep in the new and improved version of the popular backcountry cabin, launching a fresh era for the hut named for avid mountaineers Anne Fowler and Ed Hilliard.

“There’s nothing better than putting a group together and coming up to a hut,” Bolduc said from the front porch of the tidy new structure Sunday.

“It’s such a cool experience,” Hochtl added. “We grew up doing this with our families. It’s awesome.”

The backcountry skiing buddies from Vail had made their way to the hut, at 11,500 feet, to sample some of the surrounding snow-covered slopes, along with the handiwork of the hut’s rebuilders. Hochtl, a coach with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, spent a portion of his summer working on the new hut’s plumbing and gas lines alongside Duncan Robinson, with whom he shared the inaugural overnight during a four-day work mission.

Like a proud papa, Hochtl eagerly showed off the hut’s new amenities, giving credit to the general contractor, Structural Associates from Carbondale, along with the Fowler and Hilliard families and the 10th Mountain Division Huts Association itself for the vision to resurrect the high-country classic on U.S. Forest Service Land some 6 miles west of Vail Pass.

Read more: Fowler/Hilliard Hut rebuilt after fire – The Denver Post

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