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JBL "Winter" Hut Trip


Submitted By Michael Virdone

The Mountains & Stats

11 miles with 2000 feet of gain

People On The Trip

Trip Report

     The winter is in quotes in the title because it was spring conditions this weekend. Nicole and I had signed up to work the ADK warming hut for this past weekend. We took a half day Friday and drove up to Keene Valley. We departed the garden with our packs full of food and gear and headed in to the ADK Hut near the JBL. The parts of the trail that weren't terrible were awesome (if that makes any sense).

      Most of the trail was hard packed snow however every little brook and stream was open and running plus there were a few bare spots to contend with. We wore snowshoes for the traction and had to deal with these sections as we came to them. In some spots the woods were clear enough nearby to bushwhack around, other times we had to tiptoe across. We reached the hut in about 2 hours, made our evening radio call, and settled in for the night. A few hours later Pete & Dana (our hut co-crew) arrived and once they unpacked we all went to bed.

      The next morning we woke up, prepared breakfast, checked in with the Loj, and visited the camps to make sure everything was ok for the tenants. After a while Nicole and I decided to go on a quick hike up Short Job for some vertical gain plus maybe some views. We took the bridge to the camps to cross the Johns Brook and then picked our way across the Orebed. From the five way junction we climbed the trail to Short Job, the trail conditions here were better, but we still had to pick our way around bare spots. Most of the grade up Short Job was moderate until you near the top where there is a steep section.

      At the top we enjoyed views of the upper great range (Gothics, Saddleback, and some of Basin). After poking around and finding some more views of Big Slide we made our way down. We decided to take our chances on the way back and crossed the Johns Brook on foot. Both crossings were tricky but manageable (with MSR Denalis on).

      In the afternoon Peter & Dana went for a walk while Nicole and I ate lunch and generally lounged around. After lunch Peter wanted to go for another hike in the direction of Yard. We took the trail behind the JBL and climbed up to the junction to Yard. I decided we had gone far enough (we were planning on going out an hour and then turning back and it was 50 minutes at the time). The trail up to Klondike notch seems like it would be a pain in the butt in summer because there seemed to be a lot of mud and rocks.

      Back at the hut we enjoyed a delicious dinner that Peter & Dana brought along. After that we all lounged around and eventually turned in for the night.

      Sunday morning we ate breakfast and then hiked out. The trail conditions had improved slightly (the snow was more supportive) but we still wore snowshoes for traction. We hauled out and made it to the car in just under 1.5 hours (faster than in summer)! It ended up being a fun trip and we look forward to working the hut again.

The Good and The Bad

The Good:

Living in luxury in the hut
Getting some fun little day hikes in
Making awesome time from the Hut to the Garden

The Bad:

The damn mattresses in the hut are vinyl so you stick to them something fierce

The Drive

Uneventful, We stopped at Cascade ski shop on the ride home, they were EXTREMELY helpful (I was trying to find a backcountry ski setup). I highly recommend them to anyone trying to get into the sport


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