Sylvan Lake TH to Peter Estin Hut

Begin at the Sylvan Lake Trailhead with Nordic wax. From parking, ski up the distinct snow-covered West Brush Creek road-cut (also called the Eagle Road) around the north and east sides of the lake, then up into the Brush Creek valley for 4 3/4 miles to Crooked Creek Pass.

Leave the West Brush Creek (Eagle) Road at the summit of the pass and turn NW (on the west side of an obvious fence) up a road-cut that climbs just over 1/4 mile to a switchback, then SE to another switchback, then around the west shoulder of point 11,087. The road, still an obvious cut, follows a long traverse on the north side of point 11,087, then drops 260 vertical feet to a saddle near the head of Spine Creek (10,700 feet). Stay on the road from the saddle for another 1/8 mile NE to a switchback. Leave the road here and climb E 1/4 mile and 90 vertical feet to the top of the ridge separating Spine Creek from Little Lime Creek. Here your route converges with the Lime Ridge Trail (see Lime Ridge route below and on Harry Gates Hut page) and continues N up a well-marked route through aspen and conifer, then through a sparsely timbered logging area.

The Peter Estin Hut is slightly hidden from the trail; you can ski past it if you are not paying attention. To prevent this mistake, as you ski through the forest use your altimeter and map to identify the three-trail confluence that you hit at a broad saddle (Hat Creek Saddle) just west of the hut. Swing E at the saddle, and when you break through a grove of pines the hut will be in front of you. Sniffing for wood smoke can help too, but your compass is more reliable than your nose. A GPS can help as well.

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