Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Solar Panels a the entrance to Margy's Hut - February 2005
Solar panels at Margy's Hut
Margy's Hut
(and Hunter S. Thompson)



In the fall of '04 my good friend Steve Farley suggested I join the SGSC (Slalom Gates Ski Club) and I'm glad I did! This page of photos is from the club's cross country ski trip to Margy's Hut over Presidents' Day weekend (February 19, 20, 21) 2005.

Margy's Hut sits at about 11,300 feet in the Rocky Mountains near Aspen, Colorado. The hut is maintained by the 10th Mountain Division, a volunteer organization that evolved from the efforts of folks involved in winter training for our troops during World War II. Margy's Hut, itself, is named after Margaret Craig McNamara (1915 - 1981) - wife of then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. The McNamara family, in Margy's memory, provided funding for the first two huts in the system. The hut itself was filled with many fond and loving thoughts about Margy (Click Here for more information about Margy's Hut and the 10th Mountain Division).

Leader Ron Rak Prepares the Beans - February 2007
    Ron Rak
Our group was led by seasoned SGSC Leader Ron Rak. The photo, above right (taken by Steve), is of Ron preparing an over-abundance of freeze dried beans our first night in the hut. There were a total of 11 in our group for the weekend and we were kind of divided up into groups of three to rotate through breakfasts and dinners throughout the weekend. Ron, Steve and I were assigned the first night's meal and got a little carried away with quantity - the excess beans burned nicely in the evening fire...

The trailhead for this adventure is near Lenado, Colorado - a small hamlet near the town of Woody Creek outside of Aspen. Unfortunately one of Woody Creek's more famous residents, writer Hunter S. Thompson, committed suicide during our last night in Margy's Hut - I took a few photos of his home, on our way back down the mountain, and posted 'em at the bottom of this page.

The trail itself, to Margy's Hut, was pretty steep - rising about 2,700 feet in 6.3 miles (10 km). Although our group was strung out a bit (some used snowshoes while Bruce and Carrie pulled a sled) we averaged just over five hours going up and about half that getting back down. It all turned out to be a fun trek with lots of great scenery, good friends and pretty interesting food - I highly recommend the trip to skiers and snowshoers alike!

- Roger J. Wendell, February 2005

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my backcountry skiing page...

Click on any of these thumbnail images for a larger view.
A "mouseover," on each thumbnail, will provide a small written
description. Also, all photos were taken by me unless otherwise noted...



We had bit of confusion, in the beggining,
because there were two ways up the mountain!
(Photo 4 taken by Annette)

Welcome to Lenado
Steve, Jeff, Carrie, and Ron in Parking Area
Steve and His Ford Exploder
Roger at the Wrong trailhead
Jeff and Annette
Bruce, Carrie and their Sled
Alan and Debrah
Turning Around on the Wrong trail
The Right trail



The hut was very comfortable and easily warmed by a wood burning stove. The cooking stove can also heat things up but isn't used that much except maybe for drying the skins we use on our skis for uphill travel - you can see the skins drying in photo 14 behind Alan. The outhouse (photos 17 and 18) was obviously very cold...
(Photo 13 taken by Steve)

Steve Carries Extra Liquids Up!
Roger Leans on the Stove
Steve thinks of Beth
Hut Quiet Time
Outhouse Covered in Snow
Outhouse Door


Along the trail:

Mark, Bruce, Carrie, Ron, Steve and others have good telemark skills that I wasn't able to keep up with on the hillside. However, I have plenty of stamina along the trails so I was able to capture these few shots. For me, kick and glide along a narrow trail is like being on a path to Heaven. And, of course, following a steep trail down through the trees can be more exciting than a roller-coaster!
(Photo 21 by Carrie)

Annette, Jeff, Ron, Bruce and Carrie
Following Steve
Shirley, Ron and Mark
View Near the Hut



Photos 25 and 26 were taken by somebody from another group while photo 25, itself, includes Tom and Dennis from another group. Since the hut can accommodate about 16 people there were others with us, off and on, over the holiday weekend...
(I believe Debrah took photo #31)

Carrie, Bruce, Dennis, Mark, Tom, Shirley, Roger, Alan
Roger, Jeff, Annette, Shirley, Steve, Debrah, Ron, Mark, Carrie, Bruce, Alan
Ron Rak Cooking for Us!
Carrie, Steve, Debrah and Somebody's rear...
Mark and Shirley
Roger Making Water
Debrah, Dennis and Shirley




Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson

As I mentioned near the top of this page, journalist Hunter S. Thompson killed himself during our last night at Margy's Hut (February 20, 2005). Although I've lived in Colorado most of my life I never paid much attention to Mr. Thompson nor did I read any of his work. However, what I did know of him I liked - he always sounded like the kind of guy that my home state is (or at least was...) all about - independent thinking, freedom, and a kind of feistiness that scares churchgoers and politicians.

Anyway, the road to the trailhead we used, at Lenado, ran right in front of Thompson's property. Steve was driving and agreed to stop in front of what was clearly Thompson's home - it was the only place with security guards strategically stationed in the driveway...

I got out of Steve's Ford Exploder (I think that's what he calls it!) to take a couple of photos. Ron stopped, on his way down the mountain as well, and agreed to take a photo of me in Mr. Thompson's driveway (photo #33). That's when the two security guards (photo #33) approached me from behind to ask me to leave.

These two particular guards were very much moved by Mr. Thompson's passing - probably having known him or being neighbors or something. One said to me, "I hope someday somebody does a carnival dance on your grave when you die!" as he was escorting me away from the property. I assured the guards that I didn't mean any disrespect and explained that we had heard of Thompson's death while on the trail coming down from our skiing trip. That night I returned home to find that Mr. Thompson's passing was making international news. After hearing all the reports about him he sounded even more like somebody I would have liked to have known...

Security Guards Escort Me Away from Hunter S. Thompson's Property
Hunter S. Thompson's House
News Media at Woody Creek for Hunter S. Thompson
Woody Creek Store
Woody Creek Inn

Apparently Hunter S. Thompson was very fond of the Woody Creek Inn (photo #37). The day after his death the dirt road in front of the bar was completely full of media vehicles (photo #35) in addition to our small caravan making its way back to Denver. (I have a few photos of the Woody Creek Tavern's restroom on my Toilet Matters page.)




Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for red, pink, and "Watermelon Snow" at the bottom of my Snow Day page...



  1. 10th Mountain Division
  2. 12ers
  3. 13ers
  4. 14ers
  5. Alpine Rescue Team - Evergreen, Colorado
  6. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  7. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  8. Amazonia and Ecuador
  9. Backcountry Skiing
  10. Bear Safety
  11. Camping
  12. Climbing
  13. CMC Colorado Mountain Club
  14. Colorado Avalanche Information Center
  15. CORSAR - Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card
  16. Gear - Stuff for the Backcountry...
  17. Grand Canyon
  18. High Altitude Medicine Guide
  1. Hiking
  2. Leave No Trace - Center for Outdoor Ethics
  3. Lightning Safety
  4. Pikes Peak
  5. Russia
  6. Skins, Wax and Waxless Skis
  7. Slalom Gates Ski Club
  8. Snow Caves
  9. Snow Day
  10. Survival in the backcountry
  11. Telemark by Satoshi
  12. Telemark and Backcountry Skiing Online Magazine
  13. Ten Essentials and then some!
  14. Travel
  15. Travel Two
  16. United Kingdom - England
  17. United Kingdom - Wales and Scotland
  18. Waypoints


Warning! Climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing are dangerous and can seriously injure or kill you. By further exploring this web site you acknowledge that the information presented here may be out of date or incorrect, and you agree not to hold the author responsible for any damages, injuries, or death arising from any use of this resource. Please thoroughly investigate any mountain before attempting to climb it, and do not substitute this web site for experience, training, and recognizing your limitations!


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