Life: Janet’s Cabin

First day this winter to point skis downhill. Was the snow that great? No. Did we care? Not much. Life at Janet’s Cabin pretty much lends itself to skiing. The morning after my big trek in, I huddled around the table drinking coffee and eating breakfast burritos with 20 happy, hip, adventurous folks. And right there, from the dining room table, you can look out onto the snow-covered mountains and imagine a line. Bill was the only one keen enough to actually get a run in before breakfast, and he was ready to head outside again, as soon as we finished up the dishes.

So, I happily followed his freshly-broken trail. Bill was on a telemark set-up, and I’m a randonée gal, so we were doing some work for our turns.

Straight out of the cabin, we headed to a nearby high point and then started cruising down:

Joolee (above) is just learning to tele ski, so the gentle slope here worked well. To be honest, I was also glad not to be dropping into some steep bowl on my first day back on skis this season. There are no ski lifts or rope tows up here, so once we got to the bottom, we simply put our skins back on our skis and repeated the process until we were tuckered out. Meanwhile, back at Janet’s Cabin…

Lots of others were passing their time playing cards, reading books, napping, taking turns in the sauna (yes, there’s a sauna up there at 11,600 feet). The wood-burning stove in the dining area made this part of the cabin the most cozy place to hang out.

We split up the cooking responsibility into teams of four or five people, so that night I was part of the Thai curry dinner crew. When you’re cold and tired, good food always comes as a relief. And having fresh veggies like that up at a hut felt like such a luxury.

My only previous experiences with huts have been the ones I’ve stayed at for climbing in the Alps, and having food this good usually doesn’t happen on a climbing trip, when things like ropes and gear are more essential to survival than fresh broccoli.

The cool thing about going to a place like Janet’s Cabin with a group of friends is that the company makes the entire place so much better. Sure, you could go somewhere like this by yourself and be blown away by its natural beauty. Or, you could go there and share it with others and stay up late chatting around the table or listening to your friends sing around the stove. When given a choice, I think I’ll always pick the latter.


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