Skyway Warming Hut
Watch the slideshow above to see how the Skyway Warming Hut is assembled!
Over the years, members and youth Gliders endured the elements on GMNC’s trail systems with no shelter or gathering place. Gliders’ parents had to wait in cars during lessons if they did not ski and kids suffering from the cold could only warm-up in cars. Board members felt a shelter was needed to not only provide warmth but also a place to relax, be the hub for events, and build the Nordic community.
The GMNC Board has a long-time policy of requiring new programs to come up with initial funding for projects. Therefore, in the spring of 2010, three GMNC Board Members formed a fundraising committee to raise funds to purchase a warming hut. Dennis Reich, Shannon Rayborn, and Dave Knutson organized two house parties: one in Paonia hosted by Callie and John West and one in Grand Junction hosted by Joe and Ellen Ramey. Chris Hermann volunteered his services as fundraising adviser. Very generous members showed up to the fundraisers with their checkbooks or mailed in donations and $12,000 was raised. The warming hut was purchased from Weatherport in Delta, a platform was constructed, and it was ready to go for the 2011-2012 season at the Skyway trailhead. All donors name’s are posted in the hut.
The Skyway warming hut is assembled in three stages every fall before the snow falls. First, the intrepid “Hut Crew” hauls the platform to the Skyway trailhead. Typically, it takes a crew of six people approximately four hours to set up the platform. The Hut Crew then transports all the hut parts from Paonia and begins work on assembly, which takes approximately six hours. Finally, there is a four-hour workday needed to install benches, a wood burning stove, smoke detectors, and chop and stack wood.
Looking ahead, GMNC would like to provide warming huts at the other two trailheads, County Line and Ward, as well.
Need a place to stay after a full moon ski or space to host an event at Skyway? Members can rent the Hut! Contact Dave Knutson at the email below.
Also, if you would like to volunteer for the Hut Crew, email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.