MORE CHALLENGING WINTER ROUTE TO JANET’S CABIN FROM VAIL PASS TRAILHEAD 5.7 miles
For experienced groups only, this challenging route requires more difficult route-finding and trail-breaking than the popular Union Creek Trailhead options. This route forms the bulk of the hut-to-hut connection between Janet’s and the Shrine Mountain Inn. Most of the route follows timberline, skirting high around several mountainsides. It’s a more interesting trip than Guller Creek, with tremendous views and plenty of challenging navigation.
Begin at the Vail Pass Trailhead. Put your skins on and ski south across Tenmile Creek, then take a slightly climbing traverse south then southwest into Wilder Gulch. Cross south through Wilder Gulch at the 10,600′ level. Leave Wilder Gulch and climb 1 mile up the south ridge of Wilder Gulch to a shelf at 11,280′. Move south off the ridge here, and take a traversing climb another mile to timberline at a small saddle and knob in the Stafford Creek Drainage (11,640′). Traverse the head of Stafford Creek by following an 11,600′ contour, and gain an open saddle on the south ridge of the drainage at 11,680′. Take a slightly dropping contour southeast from the saddle 1/4 mile down to Janet’s Cabin at the head of Guller Creek. The hut is just below the last timber a few hundred feet northwest of Guller Creek. If you find yourself above timberline you have gone too high.
Locations of Observed or Reported Avalanche Activity: No avalanche activity has been reported along this suggested route.
To reach the Vail Pass Trailhead, drive I-70 14.3 miles east from Vail or 5.4 miles west from Copper Mountain Resort. Take Exit 190 and park at the indicated overnight parking area.