Backcountry Exploration Program

The Backcountry Exploration Program is funded in part by the Tenth Mountain Division Foundation, Inc. to honor all 10th Mountain Division soldiers killed in action, veterans, and the legacy they created.

outdoor ed class

10th Mountain’s Backcountry Exploration Program encourages the use of huts by educational non-profits, promotes a better understanding and appreciation of the natural mountain environment, and develops individual self-reliance among hut users. To this end, we assist non-profits financially, and offer guidance in trip planning. Who can participate? Non-profits with an educational emphasis such as schools, youth organizations, churches, and senior citizen groups have received up to 50% off on whole hut rentals (Monday–Thursday nights).

To get started, read the following, complete our preferred online Discovery Questionnaire (also available as a PDF) and submit a copy of your organization’s Colorado Certificate of Exemption for Sales & Use Tax (shows a 98-XXXXX number): email, fax 970/925-5317, or mail to 1280 Ute Ave Ste 21, Aspen CO 81611. Discounted reservations can’t be made online, so give us a call at 970/925-5775 M – F, 8 – 4 to discuss availability, hut options (see also Family & Kids Trips), and to book a trip!

(If you would like to print this page click here for the PDF version; BEP Information )

Alpine Resource Center (Located near Leadville, the moderate route to Sangree’s climbs 1,470 feet over 3.2 miles.)

One unique option for educational groups is the Sangree M. Froelicher Hut, home of the Alpine Resource Center. The Center is a 600 square foot seminar room on the lower level of the hut, offering classroom tables, a library with 300+ books, its own heat stove, and 10 beds (increasing the hut capacity to 26). The Center provides a unique educational setting, encouraging the exploration of mountain ecology, mining history, astronomy, land stewardship, and history of the 10th Mountain troops. The seminar area is open to qualifying non-profits free of charge; the additional 10 sleeping spaces can be booked by these groups only on an as-needed basis at the same discounted rate as the hut.

Reservation Policies

Work Projects

Hut maintenance is largely supported by volunteer hours. We offer free or discounted hut space in exchange for volunteer projects. This hut space can be used for the current trip or for a trip at a later date. Projects usually take 6+ hours and may include hut cleaning, painting, firewood stacking, landscaping, and snow shoveling. 10th Mountain provides all tools, equipment and supervision. Work projects may not always be available.

Leadership Guidelines

The following guidelines should be strongly considered when choosing a trip leader and planning your trip. Group leaders must be qualified and must be responsible for making effective decisions in the field. If your group does not have someone with sufficient leadership skills, workshops may be offered by outdoor shops or schools in your area, or there are guide services listed on our website that may be of assistance to your group.

Suggested Outdoor Skills and Group Equipment (See for suggested equipment lists by season.)

Other Leadership Considerations

Ideas For Education

The unique, outdoor hut experience is conducive to learning. To complement your educational goals, an interpretive library is provided at most huts (titles below), and our Alpine Resource Center at Sangree’s Hut has an expanded library plus a meeting room. Some interesting topics to explore while at the hut include:

Several books suggested by educators with activities appropriate for the hut environment are listed below. While designed for kids, many activities are appropriate for all ages. These books are not available at the huts.

Some Titles from Interpretive Libraries found at most huts:

Leave No Trace Principles (For more info visit or contact NOLS at 800-332-4100.)

More people are seeking the beauty of backcountry environments. To lessen this increased impact, please:

Etiquette - Hygiene - Upkeep

Let’s keep the hut experience positive and the huts in great condition. Share these important practices with your group, and check out our short Hut Planning & Arrival, Hut Set Up, and Hut Clean Up videos.



Upkeep: (Before Departure)