Built in 1971 it is the most popular hut because of its ease of access, with no technical travel or large elevation gains. Located in a spectacular setting at the headwaters of Little Susitna River. It is a gateway to the beautiful Talkeetna Mountains and offers the traveler a comfortable rest stop on the Bomber Traverse, a base camp to the assaults on the nearby granite peaks, or a destination in itself.
Water: Located in a small creek north of the hut, use the large pot in the hut.
Outhouse: North of the hut. The new, composting outhouse is called the Darth Vader and requires special handling. Do not deposit toilet paper in the outhouse-burn it, otherwise the outhouse will become useless. Do not urinate in the outhouse, it will overflow. Follow these simple rules so we can all enjoy the convenience of the new privy.
Inventory: Sleeps 8, Coleman two burner white gas stove. Bring your own fuel. Multitude of pots, pans, cups and utensils. Lantern, sleeping pads, 2 old sleeping bags for emergency use, library, emergency sleds, ropes, etc... Maintenance supplies, brooms, ladder.
Windows: The rear window bear guard opens from the outside, make sure to close it on departure to ensure that bears do not get in. Second floor is equipped with a sliding windWindowsow.
Location: Little Susitna River, 9 miles from the Motherlode Lodge, ½ mile from Mint Glacier. Elevation 4350 ft
Accessing the hut via any of the glaciers requires glacier travel skills, although the glaciers are benign, they are still dangerous, use caution.
Via Little Susitna: Foot, ski or bike. Careful time management and solid route finding skills are recommended, although easily accessible, the hut is difficult to find, especially in the dark. Plan accordingly, more than one party found themselves spending the night 300 yards from the hut in the pouring rain. Park at the Mint Trailhead across the road from Motherload Lodge. The trail has been cleared and improved for the first 5 miles in the summer of 2008, making access by a mountain bike very fast. Follow the trail, which at first follows an old mining road, but quickly changes into a narrow path. The trail becomes rockier after about three miles, then winds its way through beaver ponds and next to the river. Long parts have been improved, easing a previously muddy trek. A tenacious cyclist will be able to make it in about 5 miles, shortly after crossing a beaver dam and riding on level gravel shore of the creek. The next obstacle comes in the form of a creek crossing, which can be accomplished at high water with dry feet about fifty yards up the creek and some bushwhacking. At low water the crossing is straightforward. Trail passes some boulders and gains left slopes of the valley. While ascending the boulder field keep track of the occasional cairns, there are at least two. Two options exist for the final push. Recently the more popular, with the more defined trail, but more difficult and not recommended in the snow, climbs the right slopes of the rocky knoll under which the boulder field is located. The trail is clearly visible for the first few hundred yards. It follows a defined narrow bench, gaining altitude quickly; one might scramble at times, constantly following the slope, trending in counterclockwise direction. Finally, one is deposited right at the front door of the hut. The other way is slightly longer, from the top of the boulders round the rocky knoll on the left, trending clockwise, drop into a small valley and turn right, the hut is on the right. Do not access the hut from the end of the Little Susitna Drainage, the slopes are steep and avalanche danger high.
Via Penny Royal Glacier: Foot, Ski, crampons might be necessary. Park at the Reed lakes trail, follow the well worn trail to the Reed Lakes. Ascend northeast up the scree slope towards Bomber Pass and cross to Bomber Glacier. Keep in mind the avalanche conditions on the slopes. Cross the Bomber glacier, explore the wreckage and climb the steep slopes to access the ridge dividing the Bomber from Penny Royal glacier. The slopes are steep, advertise caution and be weary of rock fall. Cross Penny Royal going east and access the low point in the ridge between Tenemint and Hunchback spire. You are at Backdoor gap. (5650 feet, N 61 51.734, W 149 05.761) Drop down the scree slope, mind the high avalanche danger. Follow the valley bottom trending right until you reach the hut. If traveling from the Bomber hut ascend the Penny Royal glacier to the Backdoor gap- the lowest point in the ridgeline, left of the top of the glacier.
Via Moose Creek: From Moose creek headwaters climb up from the creek, through boulder fields, to the moraine which is below Grizzly Pass. Keep climbing and reach the crevasse-free glacier below the pass, continue through the pass towards the Mint Glacier. Crevasse danger exists. Keep right and drop to the glacier proper. Descend towards the right side of Jewel Lake, skirt the lake and find a path along a ridge which will take you down to the meadow. The hut sits against a small knob across from the meadow.
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