Dick and Judy Opsahl
Los Alamos Mountaineers
Photo Gallerys: Jan Studebaker
We have visited Uncle Bud's Hut at 11,380 feet
twice in recent years. Both of these exquisite trips
were carefully and completely orchestrated by Dick and Judy Opsahl. Uncle
Bud's is owned and rented by the
Division Hut Association. The ski in
requires a six mile backpack from the outskirts of Leadville, Colorado.
The hut is very deluxe, accommodates 20 skiers, has two gas stoves for
food preparation, a wood stove for heat, two great out-houses, mattresses
for sleeping, and views that are inspiring.
Views from the
south window-wall include a panorama of 14,421-foot Mount Massive and the
bare pate of Bald Eagle Mountain. The hut was built as a memorial to 10th
Mountain Division veteran Bud Winter (1925-1945), who was killed in action
in Italy during World War II, and was one of 33 soldiers who completed the
legendary "trooper traverse" winter ski crossing from Leadville to Aspen
in February of 1944. Funds for the hut were given by Bud's brother, Dr.
Fred Winter. His sister Laura contributed the proceeds from her poetry
book Laura's Lines.
amazed that Cosima could snow shoe in with a recently broken tibia on the
2005 trip. She
broke it in a skiing accident on Christmas at Colorado's Wolf Creek Ski
Area. Cosima wisely skied in the area around the hut, and stayed off the
higher peaks for safety.
attempt to illustrate the amenities of the hut, most of the trips
participants, and several high mountain ski trips that the boldest of us