Markley Hut is targeted for replacement in Braun system | AspenTimes.com

Markley Hut is targeted for replacement in Braun system

The Alfred A. Braun Hut System south of Aspen hopes to complete an overhaul of its structures next summer with replacement of the Markley Hut.

The caretakers have applied with the U.S. Forest Service to replace the Markley Hut with a new structure that would be twice the size at a site with more sun and better views, according to Forest Service case manager Allan Grimshaw.

The existing cross-country ski hut is about 40 years old. It’s in a shady spot that is difficult to service because of surrounding wetlands.

“It’s just a cold hole,” Grimshaw said of the site. “It’s tucked right up against a north-facing slope.”

The hut is located about two miles south-southeast of Ashcroft on the south side of Express Creek. The new hut would be about 600 feet away, on the north side of the creek. The size would increase from 550 to 1,000 square feet, including the deck. It would still have eight beds.

“The proposal makes perfect sense all the way around from my thinking,” said Grimshaw.

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If approved, work on the Markley Hut would begin in summer 2003.

The nonprofit association that oversees administration of the huts remodeled the Tagert and Green-Wilson huts in the first year of its renovation plan. The Barnard and Goodwin-Green huts were remodeled in subsequent years.

Remodeling on the exterior and interior of the Lindley Hut is under way this year, and a new vault toilet is being constructed.

The problems with the site of the Markley Hut spurred the association to plan from scratch.

“This would be the first new structure,” said Hawk Greenway, the hut system manager.

In all of the renovation work, the association has stuck to its philosophy of providing an intimate experience in small huts. They must be reserved as a whole by cross-country ski groups. All huts are surrounded by expert terrain.

Reservations are handled by the 10th Mountain Hut System, but the Braun system operates autonomously.

Greenway said the renovations have been paid for through donations. In-kind help will also be sought on the Markley Hut work.

Grimshaw said the huts aren’t covered by historic preservation guidelines. “A rule of thumb is less than 50 years old is probably not historic,” he said.

Forest Service experts are reviewing the application. However, the analysis may not require an environmental assessment and certainly not a more complicated environmental impact statement, Forest Service officials have determined.

The review will include a public scoping or comment opportunity. Anyone with questions can contact Grimshaw at 925-3445. Written comments can be sent to him at USDA Forest Service, Attn. Allan Grimshaw, 806 West Hallam St., Aspen, CO 81611.

Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com