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10th Mountain Division Hut Association. Named in honor of the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, whose troops trained in the central Colorado mountains, the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association is a nonprofit organization that maintains nearly three dozen huts in the backcountry, including a handful of huts that are located just a few miles from Aspen. You must be in good shape and have some backcountry skiing experience to reach the huts in the winter months. There is a fair amount of skiing along tree-lined trails and a good bit of high-alpine ups and downs. Accommodations in the huts vary, but you can count on mattresses and pillows, wood-burning stoves, and utensils for cooking. Huts sleep 6 to 20 people (more if you're willing to cuddle). 1280 Ute Ave., Suite 21, Aspen, CO, 81611. 970/925–5775. www.huts.org. $33 and up per person per night.
Aspen Alpine Guides. If you're unfamiliar with the hut system in Aspen or are inexperienced in backcountry travel, you should hire a guide. One highly reputable company is Aspen Alpine Guides. 970/925–6618. www.aspenalpine.com.
Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council. Subsidized by local taxes, the Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council charges no fee for the 60 miles of maintained trails in the Roaring Fork Valley, making it the largest free groomed Nordic-trail system in North America. For a longer ski, try the Owl Creek Trail, connecting the Aspen Cross-Country Center trails with the Snowmass Club trail system. More than 10 miles long, the trail leads through some lovely scenery. CO. 970/429–2039. www.aspennordic.com.
Aspen Cross-Country Center. Lessons and rentals for track skiing are available at the Aspen Cross-Country Center. Diagonal, skating, racing, and light-touring setups are available. 39551 Hwy. 82, Aspen, CO, 81611. 970/925–2145.
Ashcroft Ski Touring Center. About 12 miles from Aspen, the Ashcroft Ski Touring Center is sequestered in the high-alpine Castle Creek Valley. The 21 miles of groomed trails are surrounded by the high peaks of the Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness; a novice section passes by the old ghost town of Ashcroft. Rental gear and guided tours are available. 11399 Castle Creek Rd., Aspen, CO, 81612. 970/925–1971. www.pinecreekcookhouse.com/tours.
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