Friday, May 31, 2013

Snow Survey Cabin

In the time before instruments were available to accurately measure the snow (especially to determine its potential as the spring/summer water source), surveyors went up into the mountains to physically take a "snow survey" to measure the snow depth.  Eventually, cabins to provide shelter for these intrepid snow surveyors became a reality.  But now that these cabins are obsolete relative to their original purpose, the federal government who maintains them,  makes them available to the public on a rental basis.  The Ski House of  the Day is one such cabin.  It's called the Snow Survey Cabin, located in the Snowy Range section of Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming.

 The Snow Survey Cabin was constructed in 1944.  It sits at an elevation of about 10,000 feet.  Access to the cabin during ski season is by way of a 6-mile ski, snow-shoe trek, or snowmobile ride in through the Snowy Range.  It's a tiny one-room cabin with a large dose of the reality of living in, around and under the deep Wyoming winter snow.  There is a front door, but just in case it's completely buried by snow (and all that's visible is the roof peek), there is also a hatch door up above the front door to climb down into.  Once inside, the basic cabin is (dare-I-say) cute, and well equipped with two sets of bunk-beds, a propane heater, a propane stove, a table and chairs, some cooking/eating utensils, etc.

There's no electricity, and the government website says that although there's no running water, there's usually enough snow for melting....  (The fee is $50 per night to rent this unique cabin).

The outhouse is just a short 40 ft. run across the snow...and if you're lucky, the door won't be snowed shut, as was the case for a couple of adventurous visitors:

It's surely not for everybody, but it's a very unique ski house, and a chance to experience a snow survey of your very own.

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