HUT TO HUT distances are usually longer than from trailhead to hut. Use winter specific topographic maps. Routes between huts are not often used so may not be tracked; navigation and breaking trail may be particularly challenging.
This is the shortest route from the Fowler/Hilliard Hut to the Shrine Mountain Inn. It’s a scenic challenge for those who have just reached “intermediate status” with wilderness skiing.
From the front steps of the Fowler/Hilliard Hut ski several hundred feet northeast through sparse timber, then drop a short distance to a timbered saddle at 11,480 feet. From here follow a distinct snow-covered logging road down into the Wearyman Creek drainage. Novice downhillers can relax on the low-angled switchbacks of this road. Experts can ski the glades between the switchbacks. In either case, be sure you are on the road when it makes a last switchback at 11,240 feet, then heads east and northeast on a low-angled traverse 1 1/2 miles to road’s end at 10,880 feet. Leave the road here and continue northeast on a marked 10th Mountain trail that descends through dense timber to a small clearing in the creek bottom at 10,830 feet. Continue northeast through the clearing, then climb a steep 150 vertical foot hill up into the elongated park at 11,000 feet.
Cross to the north side of the park, put your skins on, and climb east then northwest to 11,700 feet (timberline) on the west face of Shrine Mountain Ridge. Next, take a strict traverse 1 1/2 miles across the west face to Shrine Mountain Saddle (11,740 feet, the saddle just southeast of Shrine Mountain). This traverse passes through sparse timber and clearings at timberline. At the north end of Shrine Mountain Saddle, use your map and compass to get your exact travel direction. Next, you should look at the cornices and develop a safe strategy for egress from the saddle. Drop down the northeast side of the saddle, and immediately you’ll find an obvious trough. On the east side of this trough you’ll find the marked 10th Mountain suggested route. The blue diamonds take you along the east side of the trough for several hundred yards, then 1 mile northeast to the Shrine Mountain Inn.
This route includes almost 2 miles of timberline travel, where wind chill can make you wish for the sauna at the Inn, and poor visibility can break the best navigator. On the northeast side of Shrine Mountain Saddle take care to avoid any threatening wind-loaded slopes under the cornices. This is done by remaining on the small ridge east of the aforementioned trough.
Locations of Observed or Reported Avalanche Activity: No avalanche activity has been reported along this suggested route.