The Paradox of the Backcountry Ski Hut

As skiers we live with the paradox of thriving on what has the potential to kill us. This is not a diminutive fact; and out of this lives a smaller but important dilemma–the paradox of the backcountry ski hut. The backcountry ski hut requires inclement weather for its survival. And yet when this weather rolls in so do the cancellations. The very same thing that keeps us prosperous as a business has potential to bring us down when people decide that the thing they visit huts for–powder– is the reason they decide to cancel. It’s too much, it’s not the right kind, it’s all over the roads, it’s blowing too hard. We hear it all.

Our policy at the Opus Hut is that if the avy danger is high a free transfer of dates is guaranteed. We do not offer refunds for lower danger. This is our policy because we are a business. We provide jobs, and we provide good times (we hope) to those who are willing and able to assume some level of risk and responsibility.


We do not want to sound callous. The last thing we want is to put lives in danger. Backcountry skiing involves some degree of risk and when we book a hut trip and sign that waiver we are assuming a level of danger, and unpredictable weather–because this is Necessary for our sport, and backcountry hut skiing is extreme. It is scary and unpredictable, but also adventurous, dynamic, and sensuous. It is a paradox; one whose followers must respect in order to keep viable for all who would like to engage in it.


OPUS to Blue Lake to Telluride Tour

Columbine Lake

Columbine Lake

Blue Lake 12:6 :15

Blue Lake

Blue Lake 12:6:15 Steve H.

Blue Lake/ East Basin


East Basin/ Blue Lake


Columbine – East Basin Col


Columbine Lake/ Mill Creek

A beautiful Easy tour from the OPUS to Telluride. Eight miles, six hours, four thousand vertical.

Climbing directly north out of the OPUS and over to Columbine Lake. Then traverse the Mill Cr. Basin north to the rock towers at the Columbine – East basin Col. Drop several terraces to Blue lake , then exit Bridal Veil Creek past Bridal Veil Falls to the Pandora Mill and Telluride.

Looking Good

With the early season snowpack just above average, we’re looking good for the coming season. Early storms have left up to four feet of base in the Northern San Juans, and conditions are already great.


El Nino ?

Big talk of big snow and the seasons have definitely turned. Foliage peaking soon and first snows should be just around the corner.




Alpine Summer

The lakes are still icy and the flowers are just getting started in the Alpine.IMG_2053 IMG_2029

Summertime at the OPUS- Yoga/ Hiking retreat this weekend July 10-11

The snow is going fast up high and gone on the sunny slopes. The wildflowers are within two weeks of peak color.

There are a few spaces available for this weekends yoga/ hiking retreat, contact us at


Columbine Lake 7/4/15

Hardrock 100 this weekend

Ophir Pass Open


April Snow Showers


As usual, April snows have produced some of the best powder skiing of the year !

Spring Thing – Ophir Pass Road is Plowed

Great corn skiing this year, and the road is open from the Silverton side. IMG_1310

Pulver and Firn

Powder and Corn

Powder on the north aspects and corn on the southern aspects.

Some of the best Powder skiing is yet to come.

May showers

May showers

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OPUS Hut | Ophir, Colorado | 970.708.0092