On August 20th, the Beaver Creek wild fire consumed the Coyote Yurts. This massive wild fire began as a lightening strike on August 7th in a remote drainage on the south west corner of the Smokey Mountains. Over a period of a couple weeks, the Beaver Creek Fire grew and spread to cover over 100,000 acres and directly threatened the town of Hailey on the southern boundary and burned much of Baker Creek on it’s northern edge. The fire basically ringed the outer boundary of the Castle Rock Fire of 2007.
When the fire spread into the East Fork of Baker Creek there was a valiant fire fighting effort to protect both Coyote and Tornak Huts, but despite these efforts Coyote Yurts were completely destroyed. While the fire came relatively close to Tornak Hut, this beloved hut was fortunately spared. In fact, much of the area around Tornak show no sign of fire and is generally as beautiful as it always is. Passing Tornak and entering the top of the East Fork drainage, there is significant signs of fire and much of the north facing timber in this drainage burned hot. The good news is that these burned timber slopes have opened up some amazing new ski lines, some of which are long (1500’+), due north and fall line. For those planning on skiing here this winter, start thinking of run names, because we will have a lot of great new lines to ski and name!
We are rebuilding the Coyote Yurts! We have been working non-stop since we got news of the loss of the yurts to plan, gather materials and start the rebuild. Our goal is to have the new yurts up and ready for the 1st winter snows. Typically, these snow can begin in late October in this zone, so we have limited time to do a lot of work. We have already been on site to clean up the burned debris, take away dangerous trees and recut the 5 cords of winter fire wood (and build a new wood shed). We have built beautiful new bunks, couches and are working on a custom kitchen and large dining table made of rough sawn pine boards. We will build a sauna in town and transport it on site. We have received one slightly used Yurt and have another new one arriving next week. We will be building the decks and yurts the 1st couple weeks of October on site. The end result should be a beautiful array of two yurts connected by a covered deck. We are moving the yurt site a little bit to get it off of the burned ground and let it come back. The views will be stunning from the new yurts and the area in front of the yurts and on the point is unaffected by the fire and is as phenomenally beautiful as it always was.
This is a fairly monumental effort that we are engaged in. We are dedicated to have this well-loved hut back in the hands of the backcountry community for this upcoming winter and future years. But we could use some help! We have set up an “Indiegogo Campaign” to facilitate those that are interested in helping financially. Please check it out and pass this link along to those that may be interested. We are also looking for help in the field with the building. We are planning on building on site October 3-8th and could use some extra hands, especially those with carpentry experience. Please email us if you are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org And you can also help by booking some nights at the new Coyote Yurts for this upcoming winter or summer and enjoying a awesome new hut with superb skiing and biking!
Thanks to you all for being such a supportive backcountry community!
Joe surveying the damage….
What used to be Coyote Yurts
the old yurts
The Point in front of the Yurts is basically untouched by the fire and will be the focal point of the new Yurts
looking back at the yurts from the fire pit on the point
looking up to the headwaters of Baker Creek
The new burn skiing on Little Round Top, next to Coyote Yurts!
What was left of the kitchen yurt
New growth beginning!
Building the new wood shed, Job # 1
5 cords cut and a new wood shed done (again…)
Taking out problem trees.
The debris from the burned Yurts and sauna
An example of the top of the East Fork of Baker
Cleaning up the burnt yurts was Dirty Work
Long dirty days make cold beer taste really good.