March 1, 2013

OPUS Shindig-Ski

OPUS short for Ophir Pass Ultimate Ski hut, sits in the midst of the magnificent San Juan's of Colorado

Owner, designer and operator Bob Kingsley spent numerous years guiding amid Colorado’s renowned 10th Mountain Division Huts. During this time the game plan was put into motion... Bob's dream to find the perfect location to build  his own dream hut. In 2006 he purchased a 10 acre mining claim on the east side of Ophir pass.  After five years of hauling materials via helicopter, snowcat, and countless human powered trips to the remote location, the hut was finished and opened its doors for the 2012 winter season.

Its kinda of hard to call the OPUS a hut, perhaps a mega-hut is more appropriate.  As its 3-stories and 4 bedrooms are able to comfortably sleep 16 guests.  The entire structure is built from both locally sourced and reused timber, some as far away as an old dairy barn in Wisconsin. The amenities and completely off-the-grid design are what makes the OPUS the ultimate ski hut.  No need to boil-water to fill your water bladder for the days tour, as  melt-water is the main source of water. A series of copper gutters and pipes collect snowmelt from the southern aspects of the pitched roof.  The water is filtered multiple times before being stored in one of two storage tanks (350 and 500 gallon).  There are also solar panels on the roof, which provide electricity, water heating capabilities and in floor heating.  Two wood burning stoves help keep the hut at a toasty 70 degrees. The kitchen is equipped with both a gas stove and a large flattop wood burning stove, which is also equipped with a heat exchanging oven.

So whats missing you say....showers?  Well just recently Bob finished a sauna about 30 yards from the lodge.  After drawing straws for fire stoking duty, give it about 45 minutes then strip down thrown on those slippers and brave the cold before achieving complete relaxation in a balmy 160 degree wet sauna.  As for the shower part, once you've reached cooking temperature, take a snowbath.       

As for the skiing and terrain options...lets just say its world class and endless!   

Shitshow Sledding

 During our stay we witnessed Bob's cooking for other groups....lets just say next time this sled may only have beer loading it down :)

OPUS - Ophir Pass Ultimate Ski hut

Icicles and Spindrifts
Notice the copper gutters for the snow-melt water collection


Moon over Crystal
Todd - Below Pt. 13200'
With Paradise Basin, "Camel Hump Glades", and "Crystal Fortress" in the background


Dishwater
Mike - Eying "Crystal Fortress"
McQuade's

"Camel Humps" Transition

OPUS

Todd- Riding the "Camel Humps"
Our tracks from earlier in the day are seen descending ridge-line at right edge of photo
(see pic below)


Contemplation of Descent - "Crystal Fortress"

Ronia - OPUS mascot and ultimate ski dawg

Thomas - "Yellow Pants" Scores a Rest

Suit Up



Thomas - Paradise Basin looming Overhead

Day 4 - OPUS Fills Up

OPUS

Da Crew OPUS 2013
See ya next year, Who's in?