Monticello native to build ski huts for the Abajos
by Rose Egelhoff
The Times-Independent
Nov 09, 2017 | 277 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A skier takes advantage of fresh powder on the old ski resort hill in Monticello. A new system of backcountry ski huts, to be built by Dustin and Natalie Randall, are planned for the Abajo Mountains.    Photo courtesy Roam Industry
A skier takes advantage of fresh powder on the old ski resort hill in Monticello. A new system of backcountry ski huts, to be built by Dustin and Natalie Randall, are planned for the Abajo Mountains. Photo courtesy Roam Industry
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This winter, skiers in Monticello will have a closer-to-home option for backcountry skiing. Dustin and Natalie Randall, doing business as Roam Industry, are starting what they hope will become a series of ski huts in the mountains.

Dustin Randall describes the idea as “simple shelters to sleep in, cook food in and get out of the weather.” The first hut will be in place this winter, and will have more amenities than future huts, which the Randalls hope to install in coming winters.

“It’s much nicer. It’s basically like one of those tiny homes,” he said.

The first hut will be heated by propane. Future huts will be simpler, he said, heated by a wood-burning stove.

Randall, who grew up in Monticello, said he hopes the huts will give locals more access to the backcountry in the Abajo Mountains.

“I’m from here and growing up, there was really no backcountry skiing,” he said. “All we did was cross-country. But technology with backcountry ski setups has advanced greatly, so you can actually get out there on really lightweight setups and get really fun backcountry skiing in. The access in the Abajos is just awesome. The La Sals have really great skiing at least for locals … but for us in Monticello, the old ski resort hill, that’s great skiing when we have the snow. It’s a ten minute drive to get to a trailhead to get some pretty sweet skiing in whereas everything else around here … it’s really hard and longer to get to.”

Randall said the huts were inspired by his childhood experiences staying at his uncle’s cabin in the mountains, as well as by the Randalls’ travels in Wales, where they stayed in the country’s system of shepherd’s huts.

The first hut in the Abajos will be located on the main mountain loop road, overlooking Shay Mountain and Indian Creek, Randall said. Once there is enough snow, Randall will haul the hut into its location.

Roam Industry will work with the city of Monticello’s cross-country grooming system to maintain a proper trail to the hut. The company will also rent out a small fleet of fat-tire bikes for winter trail riding.

For more information or to reserve the hut this winter, call Roam Industry at 435-590-2741 or email info@roamutah.com.


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