The lottery has opened for those who want to bunk down this winter in the Ostrander Ski Hut in Yosemite National Park’s backcountry.
The trek from Badger Pass Ski Area to the hut at 8,500 feet is not for beginners. “All routes require considerable stamina and cross-country skiing experience,” the Yosemite Conservancy says on its website.
The conservancy runs the lottery because of the high demand from skilled skiers who want to enjoy the solitude of the remote winter site in Yosemite. The lottery opened Tuesday and continues until Nov. 19,
“It’s the perfect winter retreat to leave crowds behind and head into isolated backcountry with breathtaking views of Half Dome, the Clark Range and Mount Hoffmann,” Mike Tollefson, the conservancy’s president, says in a statement.
It costs $35 a night per person to stay Mondays through Thursdays, and $55 a night to stay Fridays through Sundays. The money goes for upkeep of the hut, which was built in 1941 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The hut sleeps 15. Guests pack in their own gear and food, and sleep in bunk beds with mattresses.
An overseer is on the premises when it’s open, usually from mid-December to the end of March. Wood for heating is supplied too.
There’s no electricity, but there are solar-powered lights that run at night and two outdoor toilets.
Here’s how the lottery works: You have to apply online by 5 p.m. PST on Nov. 19. Lottery results will be emailed starting Nov. 24.
On Dec. 1, remaining spots that haven’t been reserved will be available by calling (209) 379-5161.