Leisure: A for Adaptable

From Squaw Valley to Sugarloaf Mountain, the ski areas of the U.S. are studded with what look like oversized turkey coops. They are A-frame huts, which have become so popular as weekend ski lodges that manufacturers can scarcely keep up with the demand. All roof from the ground up, the A-frame's blizzardproof construction and snow-shedding silhouette make it ideal for ski country. Prefabricated A-frames can cost as little as $900 for a basic, small shell; another $900 equips them with heat and plumbing.

The A-frame is not a new idea; the first man who leaned two poles together and threw...

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