Hans' Hut on the Whiteout Glacier in the Chugach Mountains.

Photo by Travis Taylor.

The Mint Hut near the Mint Glacier in the Talkeetna Mountains.

Photo by Travis Taylor.

Rosies Roost on the Eklutna Glacier in the Chugach Mountains.

Photo by Greg Bragiel.

Scandinavian Peaks Hut on the Matanuska Glacier in the Chugach Mountains.

Photo by William Finley.

Han's Hut

Built in 1968, originally named Whiteout Glacier Cabin, part of the Eklutna Traverse. Parties tend to get stranded at Hans's due to bad weather, make sure you have plenty of provisions to outlast a storm.

  • Water: There is a creek in the summer about 40 yards south-southeast.
  • Human Waste: Use your own 5 gal. trash compactor bags in 5 gallon bucket. Pack out all human waste.
  • Inventory: Sleeps 8-10, 2 burner Coleman cook stove, bring own white fuel. Limited cookware, lantern
  • Location: Whiteout Glacier, 3 miles south of Whiteout Pass 8 miles from Pichler's Perch, 5 miles from Rosie's Roost. Elevation 6000 feet.
  • Coordinates: 61 08.397 N 148 57.587 W

Access

 

Accessing the hut requires glacier travel skills, beware of inherent risks. See important update below if you plan to ascend or descend Eklutna Glacier. 

Traveling South: Ascend Eklutna glacier past Peril Peak, about 5 miles to the ridge dividing Eklutna and whiteout Glaciers. The two obvious passes are both easy to cross. The right one is Whiteout Pass (5250). Continue beyond the pass, on snow for about 3 miles, noting Hut Peak to the south. The hut is located on a rocky knoll about 250 feet above the level of the glacier, just north of the peak. Easily ascend slightly right, towards the cirque north of Hut Peak. Head for the rocky knoll until you see the hut. In bad visibility you may see a rather long melt out depression in the glacier near some rock bands. This is directly below the hut, so back up and ascend the glacier well to the right of the rock.

Traveling north: From Eagle glacier, below Rosie's there are two possibilities:

  1. Traditional Whiteout glacier route: Cross Eagle Glacier to the northeast, heading to the right side of Whiteout Glacier. Work your way up to the east (right) around crevasses until you are just right of the center of the glacier, and remain essentially in the middle going up the glacier. You might encounter a few crevasses, but they are usually bridged. It gets smoother about ¾ of a way up. Eventually reach the main Whiteout Glacier adjacent to the Hut Peak. Look along the northeast ridge of the peak from below until you spot the hut on a knoll, ½ mile from the summit. In poor visibility, try to keep this ridge within view until you see a long melted out depression in the glacier near the rocks. Pass by the depression and begin to ascend to the left, going wide around the ridge. Climb up about 250 feet and then turn south to the knoll and the hut.
  2. Blackout Pass route: Cross Eagle Glacier to the northeast, going down glacier. Head for a lateral moraine below the southwest shoulder of Hut Peak. Ascend gullies to eventually reach flatter ground, below southwest face of the peak. Aim for point 6435 in the distance, getting onto a small glacier which ascends to Blackout Pass, just south of point 6435. From the pass, easily cross the cirque north of Hut Peak, going east to a knoll where the hut sits, a short drop below the knoll.

Eklutna Traverse and Access Hazard - Update by Wayne L. Todd September 2011

The Eklutna Glacier is rapidly melting and retreating up the canyon. Glacier access is no longer an easy walk up with crampons. Current inherent hazards are deep crevasses, deep undercut bergschrunds, moulins, steep ice, churning water and mud on top of steep ice. The lower route is changing every year. Within two years the ice bridge over the river in the canyon will probably be gone which will create additional hazards and require more route finding.  

Climbers should be prepared with steel crampons, two ice tools (or ice tool with sharp snow axe), a rope for climbing, belaying and/or rappelling and the hardware to do such (ice screws, V thread material, belay device, harness, helmet, etc.). Snow may fill in some of the smaller hazards but may just cover the larger ones.

Overall the Eklutna Glacier is thinning which is creating more crevasses, especially below four thousand feet. Roped travel on the snow covered glacier is highly advised.

History

Built July 4-7, 1968. Plans and pre-cutting were performed by Tony Bockstahler of Alaska Woodcraft of Eagle River. It was designed on the Pichler's template with additional modifications of windows and loft vents. Materials were staged at Hans Van der Laan's house with help from Andy Goulding and friend from Seattle, Gary Hansen, Diddle Van der Pant, Hans Van der Laan, Roelf Van der Laan, Frank Nosek. The materials were transported to the snout of Eklutna Glacier with the use of Ted Schulz's truck on the evening of July 3. On the 4th at 7:00 a.m. Lowell Thomas dropped off Tony Bockstahler, John Samuelson and Dave Meyers at the hut site. At 9:30 a.m. Bell Super-Jet helicopter piloted by Don Ward of City Electric landed from Anchorage at the materials heli-pad by Eklutna Glacier. The first load was delivered to the construction crew at 11:00 a.m. At this time Hans Van der Laan was making his third trip shuttling loads up to the heli-pad, reportedly he was doing that all night long. The last load was still on the way when he was met by the helicopter somewhere down the road. Gary Hansen and Diddle Van der Pant flew with the load. At 5 p.m. a crew of Roelf Van der Laan, Jim Betty and Frank Nosek were flown in from the International Airport. They were set down on a landing field 150 yards from the cabin. The helicopter carried out Tony Bockstahler. The crew worked all day on the 5th and the cabin was completed by noon on the 6th. In the afternoon the interior was equipped with shelves, table and benches and rocks were piled on the outriggers. On the 7th Lowell flew in with Paul Crews and Hans Van der Laan and brought in some crucial bolts. At 10:00 a.m. Roelf, Jim and Frank headed out towards Eklutna Glacier. John and Dave followed shortly. The return trip to Eklutna parking lot, took 5 hours with a one hour stop. The crew left behind a Coleman stove and fuel (Scree, August 1968).

In August 2004, maintenance crew installed additional south facing window, caulked, cleaned, organized, inventoried needs. Tom Choate, Greg Bragiel, Babev, and Zlatkovski hiked in and out via Eagle River. In August 2006, another maintenance crew of Ray Nabinger and Greg Bragiel cleaned, organized, checked inventory, painted the walls and floor, removed the junk, caulked and made repairs. They flew to the sites with Alpine air and hiked out to Eagle River Nature Center. April 2009 a window was replaced by Choate, N. Murphy, Nabinger, Recktenwald, Smith, Bragiel and Taylor. Maintenance was done while traveling the Eklutna Traverse.


Gallery
Hans' Hut is located alongside the Whiteout Glacier, though quite visible this day. Photo © Travis Taylor Tom Choate and Neil Murphy repair a window that had blown out and allowed the hut to fill with snow. Watch those hands.   Photo © Greg Bragiel Eklutna Traverser's bask in the sun. Photo © Greg Bragiel Tom Choate repairs a window.  Photo © Greg Bragiel
Tom Choate, Mark Smith, John Recktenwald and Neil Murhphy gander afar. Photo © Greg Bragiel Blair Flannery and Kathy Still hike up Hut Peak, 1997.  Photo © Wayne Todd

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Many thanks to: Wayne Todd, Tim Silvers, Ross Noffsinger, Steve Gruhn, Carrie Wang, Billy Finley and many others who provided information, ideas and photos. And thanks to Willy Hersman who created, managed and hosted the first MCA website, without which this site's development would have been so much more difficult. Current website donated by Couloir Graphics.