Winter Visits

Welcome to Holden in Winter

Bring your spirit of adventure, pack your sense of humor and prepare for snow in all its glorious variations. It's a season of extremes. Average annual snowfall is more than 270 inches, but the winter of 1997 delivered more than 400 inches. Temperatures generally hover in the 20s and 30s (Fahrenheit), but the recorded low was minus 32 on Dec. 30, 1968. 


Recreation includes sledding on Chalet Hill, back country skiing and snowshoeing, book and Bible discussions, board games, movies, and live variety shows, in addition to scheduled retreats and special events. Sleds, cross-country skis with boots, snowshoes and poles are readily available.

The atmosphere is quieter and more intimate with a reduced number of staff and guests in the Village. Daily worship is held in the Fireside Room of Koinonia or sometimes in conjunction with meals in the Dining Hall.    

Safety and comfort are primary. Living quarters and other buildings are kept as warm as possible, but heavy clothing is advised and all the quilts you want will be provided. Hot meals are served family-style in the Dining Hall, with an emphasis on homemade bread baked daily. Electricity is a precious commodity—by all means, leave hair dryers and other personal appliances at home.

20170829_2016_Winter_Safety_Aj_Williams_1_of_1.jpgGetting around the Village can be challenging despite constant efforts by “Mavericks” to keep pathways clear and ice-free. Lodging is not wheelchair-accessible in winter. Traction devices on your boots and other aids (such as ski or trekking poles) are advised for navigating between buildings.

Getting TO the Village takes extra planning to accommodate winter conditions and travel schedules. Please check the boat schedule as well as the “How To Get To Holden” page. Note that the downlake Holden Bed & Breakfast is not available in winter.


Advice while packing:

  • Have readily at hand (not tucked away in your luggage) cold-weather clothing for the 40-minute bus ride between Lucerne (where you'll leave the boat) and Holden Village. NOTE: Most travel goes as planned, but there is always the possibility of avalanches and other adventures that can delay that bus trip. Be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Bring extra medications and other essential personal items that you would need if weather conditions prolong your stay in the Village.
  • Since we generally have only one bus run on transport days, you should expect about a two-hour wait in Lucerne on the day of your departure. Holden has a basic A-frame cabin there with a woodstove for you to use while you wait.20121126_BusDeparture_Thompson.jpg

Weather conditions do not usually disrupt travel plans—but it occasionally happens. If your travel connections are critical, you may wish to add a couple of extra days as a buffer in case we can't meet the boat on the day you plan to leave.