Trips to the Braun and Friends’ Huts are a serious backcountry endeavor which demand careful planning, and the trained skills of travel and decision making in remote, avalanche terrain. These trips are not to be taken lightly even for the most experienced backcountry skier/rider. If you and your group do not have the equipment for and substantial experience with: decision making, and travel in serious avalanche terrain, and the use of navigation skills and tools in difficult conditions, choose another hut system or hire a professional guide.
In addition to the backcountry risks described below, the Alfred A. Braun Huts and Friends’ Hut are located in areas of serious avalanche terrain with recurring avalanche cycles. Routes to and between the huts are not marked or maintained.
Avalanche Cancellation Policy:
Because the Alfred A. Braun Huts and Friends’ Hut are located in areas of serious avalanche terrain with recurring avalanche cycles, an additional opportunity to cancel due to avalanche danger exists for these huts. Groups with reservations in these huts may cancel on the scheduled day of their trip (or the next business day) if the avalanche danger is higher than what their group feels comfortable with. These groups will be given a full hut credit for a future hut trip. This credit is not transferable between huts in the Braun Hut system (including the Friends’ Hut) and huts in the 10th Mountain system. No refunds will be given at any time, for any reason. Visit Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s website: https://avalanche.state.co.us for up to date avalanche information. If you or members of your party are generally uncomfortable travelling in serious avalanche terrain, consider alternative huts in the 10th Mountain system.
Skiing and wilderness travel in the Elk Mountains have inherent risks, hazards and dangers that cannot be eliminated; they are very real and not to be taken lightly. People have died or been seriously injured traveling and recreating in this area. A partial list of risks, hazards and dangers a backcountry user can
encounter using these huts include:
- Hazardous mountain environments with serious avalanche terrain where avalanches occur and where additional wilderness hazards exist that may not be obvious or visible (such as cliffs, hidden streams, etc.) where weather is changeable and unpredictable and can be extreme.
- Route finding and skiing in a wilderness environment where routes and slopes are not marked, maintained, controlled or patrolled, where snow conditions vary and change, and where above tree-line travel can be extremely difficult or impossible.
- Altitude sickness and exposure, especially if your groups become lost, delayed, or separated and members do not reach the hut.
- Travel in remote areas and use of simple huts where outside help will be slow to arrive, cannot be communicated with, or is unavailable due to conditions.
- Human factors, especially those related to group decision making and perceptions of expertise and differences in physical condition and skills.
The Huts > Alfred A Braun Hut System > Markley Hut
The Markley Hut is part of the Alfred Braun Hut System is located in the Elk Mountains between Aspen and Crested Butte. You can learn more about Colorado’s first hut system and how to support its work at www.braunhuts.org.
Markley Hut is the shortest distance – 2.3 miles – from a trailhead of any hut in the Elk Range, but entails avalanche risk because of the typically weak Colorado snowpack. Starting at the Ashcroft cross-country ski area south of Aspen on Castle Creek, the hut route is a gradual climb up Express Creek where the hut sits hidden among trees below the road at a low elevation, compared to other Braun Huts.
The Markley is quaint and cozy, a perfect shelter for a close group that wants to get closer. Ski touring is just out the door, but avalanche conditions are a constant concern among timbered basins and ridges of Green Mountain, with open slopes and regular historic avalanche runs.
Markley is often linked with the Goodwin-Greene Hut and access to Richmond Ridge several miles above. Skiers pass it on the way to Opa’s Taylor Hut, and day trippers note the smell of wood smoke as they pass by when the hut is occupied. For its proximity to the trailhead, the Markley feels remote, quiet and peaceful.
Alfred A Braun Hut System
Markley hut is a one-level structure with loft that sleeps a total of 8 (2 doubles, 4 singles – 2 singles can be combined to make a double upstairs).
Outhouse, Covered Walkway
** Winter only
- Firewood, starter paper, matches, axes
- Propane for kitchen burners
- Cooler for cold food storage
- Snow collection buckets and large pot for melting snow on wood-burning heat stove (bring your own filter)
- Pots, pans, potholders, dishware, cooking and eating utensils, percolator or French press, salt & pepper
- Paper towels, dish soap, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, trash bags, toilet paper
- Solar powered lighting
- Mattresses, pillows
Book This Hut
The Markley Hut is located just off of Express Creek Road approximately 2.3 miles above Ashcroft. The trailhead and parking for Express Creek Road is just a few hundred yards before the Ashcroft trailhead parking on the left. The ski in is fairly gradual but does pass under 4 major avalanche paths.
The Alfred Braun Hut System was designed to be a back-country SKI system. As such the Alfred Braun Hut System strongly discourages the use of snowmobiles for access to the huts. The hut system was created for non-motorized travel. As such, snowmobile use can often detract from this unique experience. Our huts are located on U.S. Forest Service land, and each hut has unique travel management restrictions as governed by Forest Service Travel Management Plans. Around the immediate environs of each Alfred Braun Hut is a USFS developed recreation site envelope with snowmobile restrictions. Access to and from each hut is managed within the Developed Recreation Site Boundary. Snowmobiles should not drive to the front door of any hut. There are no snowmobile play areas within the Developed Recreation Site boundaries. Snowmobiles are not allowed in Wilderness Areas, or on private land without permission. In the winter of 2010-2011, the fines for snowmobiling in the Wilderness Areas were $550 per snowmobile. You must know where you are if you expect to remain legal and safe. PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON A SNOWMOBILE TO GET YOURSELF OR YOUR EQUIPMENT TO A HUT.
Markley Hut from Ashcroft Trailhead
A chance of rain and snow showers before noon, then a chance of thunderstorms and rain and snow showers likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 46. South southwest wind 15 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
A chance of thunderstorms and rain and snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. South southwest wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.
Slight Chance Snow Showers
A slight chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 37. West wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. West southwest wind 0 to 10 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 41. West wind 0 to 10 mph. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Mostly clear, with a low around 24.
Sunny, with a high near 48.
Mostly clear, with a low around 28.
Sunny, with a high near 50.
Mostly clear, with a low around 30.
Sunny, with a high near 50.
Mostly clear, with a low around 31.
Sunny, with a high near 51.
Mostly clear, with a low around 30.