A popular hut for cross country skiers near Ashford has burned to the ground, the Mount Tahoma Trails Association announced today.
At meeting in Ashford this morning the group unanimously voted to rebuild the Snow Bowl Hut, one of four huts in a trail system that gets 1,300 overnight visitors each winter.
The organization is seeking funding and volunteers to help rebuild the hut. Visit skimtta.org for more information.
"Our volunteer force can use a lot of support right now, moral and financial," MTTA board member Judy Scavine said via e-mail Saturday.
MTTA officials believe the hut burned down on March 21. The cause of the fire has not been determined as in under investigation.
Visitors to the MTTA’s Copper Creek Hut on March 21 reported seeing a large fire. However, because the Snow Bowl Hut has been inaccessible the last two years because of flood damage it wasn’t until April 3 that the organization could arrange for a flyover to check the hut.
"The sight was devastating," said MTTA board member Mike Dunn. "The hut was completely gone. To think of all the work that went into that Hut, the camaraderie of the volunteers, the enjoyment of the visitors. … It’s just so sad."
The two-story hut on Department of National Resources land accommodated 10 overnight guests and came equipped with a kitchen, sleeping pads and large sundeck.
The MTTA recently celebrated the purchase of a new $165,000 Pisten Bulley Snowcat to groom its 50 miles of trail. They’d hope to start raising money for a second groomer.