svtrek

Dec 112017
 

One of our guides, Crystal Winn, shares 8 tips for a successful backcountry ski trip:

1. Come Prepared:
Your guides will take care of your daily itinerary, asses the snowpack, and give you a weather report, but it’s not a bad idea to do a little investigating yourself, too. You will feel more involved and better prepared.  There is nothing better than pulling out maps and looking at the weather and avalanche forecast before I go on a trip to get excited.

2. Arrive Feeling Fit:
Try to work some sort of exercise into your schedule every day.  Whether it’s going out for a ski tour, getting in a run and some yoga, working out at the gym, or walking to work, you will be way more psyched once you arrive at 8,000 feet and begin skinning.  This way, you can focus more on enjoying touring and skiing through the beautiful burned monochromatic forest, a truly unique experience.

3. Pack Light:
You will only need the essentials you go out day touring with, plus a couple luxury items to keep you cozy in the yurts. For packing purposes think about having to carry everything you bring, on your back on day one.  We’ll get a snowmobile boost most of the way into the yurt, but the last 2 miles are on our skis.   No need for a new pair of long underwear everyday…

The yurts have everything from ceramic mugs for your coffee and comfortable sleeping mats, to magazines and games to keep you entertained.  Save room for those luxury items- click here for a pro packing list.

4. Be a Good Yurt Mate.
There are dialed methods for yurt living in the wilderness, which your guides will go over once you arrive.  Here are a couple insider tips: Make sure to dry out your ski socks and gloves by the fire, but not too close. Keep your items organized so you can find your belongings, this will enable you to get dressed first thing in the morning.  Collect snow for the snow melting pot.  It’s a good deed your yurt mates will love, but it also brings you outside to view a star filled night sky like you’ve never seen before.

Arriving at the Coyote yurts after a great day of skiing

5. Take First Tracks, But Not All of Them:
On guided backcountry trips, you’ll get plenty of first tracks.  I’ll also share a little secret from a tail guide’s perspective:  Skiing last is the best! You can see where everyone else lays down their track and then you have the rest to yourself. People tend to follow where others have gone, which leaves you with fresh tracks and the feeling of solitude.

6. Listen to Your Guide:
This one seems obvious, but I have been in many situations where a guide will lay out the law and then inevitably someone will break it. You don’t want to be “that gal”. Our guides are highly trained, experienced, and competent individuals who are in it for your best interest.  If they tell you to ski within a certain area, or tell you where not to ski, it is to keep you as safe as possible.  There could be hazards they are trying to keep you away from, or simply, they could be making sure you get another amazing powder run in.

7. Take the Powder Plunge:
The wood fired sauna will be cranking and your muscles will be sore.  Not only does it feel good to hop back in the hot sauna after plunging your bare body into the snow, but it also has really good therapeutic qualities. Wilderness spa anyone?

8. Eat, Drink, Sleep, Ski, Repeat:
The food is fabulous and tastes that much better when you’ve skied hard all day.  Your guides will build a fire and prepare dinner while you sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine with appetizers.  Even though we’ve been told a million times, I’ll remind us all again, stay hydrated.  There is nothing worse than a wine hangover holding you back from enjoying that sparkly champagne powder.  Did someone say champagne? Okay, powder usually fixes all problems.

If you would like to join us you can sign up HERE

 

 Posted by at 1:14 PM
Dec 102017
 

Steep Powder in the Bench Lakes Basin

We are just returning from a 4 hut tour on the annual Apprentice Orientation. Every year, we spend the first 2 weeks of December skiing from hut to hut with the goal of opening each hut for the winter season and conducting training with the new apprentice guides. Here’s a report for what we are finding out there:

Sawtooth: We began the orientation in the Sawtooth where we skied from the Fishhook Yurt to the Bench Hut. The approach to both Fishhook and Bench are characterized by relatively thin but very supportive snow pack in the lower elevations allowing for fairly easy skinning. At Bench Hut, we were seeing 95cm snow pack that rapidly deepened to 140cm in the Bench Lakes Basin above. While we were there 30cm of snow fell and we found excellent powder skiing and good stability.

Boulder Yurt: The approach track is in and provides easy skiing through the meadows on the way in. It’s still a bit thin in the bowls above the yurt, but careful route-finding can reward skiers with powder turns.

Pioneer Yurt: As of today, you can drive to the summer trailhead and ski all the way to the yurt. The rain crust from a couple weeks ago as made for an extremely supportive snow pack that resembles a thin spring snow pack more than an early December snow pack. Once at Yurt level (8700′) the coverage is actually pretty good for this time of year (60-100cm depending on location). We generally found widespread wind affect on the surface. Once we get a resurfacing with the next snowfall, we hope to find some excellent conditions on a supportive base.

Coyote and Tornak: We are heading up there next and will report back with conditions later in the week.

We hope you are enjoying the early season and getting out with your friends. All the huts are looking great and we are excited for the awesome season ahead!

Snowboards always seem to get more faceshots!

All smiles after the first powder shot in the Sawtooth

ah, that wonderful feeling of laying down arcs in the dry powder!

Skinning above the Bench Hut on a cold December morning

Cranking turns through the fresh on the Triangle

The Apprentice team at Fishhook Yurt

Arriving at Bench Hut to open her up for the season

4th lake above Bench hut

Climbing to Yo Yo Ma

Welcome to the Sawtooth!

Climbing toward Dave Dog Peak with the Monolith Basin in the background

a solid strike at the Boulder Yurt

Fun and games at the Pioneer Yurt

Apres ski in a cozy Pioneer Yurt

Climbing to the moon

Felt like spring-time up in the Pioneers over the past couple of days

Coverage in the Pios

What a place!

Julie, stoked to discover the Pioneers

Skiing the beautiful meadows on the way to the Boulder Yurt

Nov 192017
 
Oct 122017
 
Dec 312016
 
Nov 252016
 
Aug 282016
 
Jul 302016
 
Solid quartzite and an awesome backdrop!

Solid quartzite and an awesome backdrop!

When the forecast called for temps to rise into the 90’s in the valley, SVT guides Joe St.Onge and Patrick Graham decided to go high. For years, we have been looking at the north wall on Cobb Peak(11,644′) above the Pioneer Yurt and wondering if the rock was good. The north face of Cobb is a massive rock wall, rising 1000-1800′ from the alpine basin and comprised of ancient quartzite rock. Quartzite is an interesting and beautiful rock type, created when sandstone is metamorphosed under intense pressure and heat. Extremely dense and compact, the quartzite on Cobb does not give continuous crack features for a climber to follow. Instead, there are varied slabs, blocks, corners and aretes that can be linked together with generally good to very good rock. 5 years ago, Patrick and Joe climbed the direct North Face in alpine conditions, climbing neve, rock and water ice to the summit (the Solstice Line) and found good rock and a spectacular setting, creating an desire to venture on a rock route. This 1100′ climb generally followed slabs and corners into a short chimney (5.8) and then onto the skyline ridge. The “Buccaneers Route” (5.8 III) had a couple 5.8 moves but was generally in the mid 5th class range. Fun stuff!

The Pioneer Yurt makes a perfect base-camp for climbing on the peaks above

The Pioneer Yurt makes a perfect base-camp for climbing on the peaks above (Cobb peak on the right)

What a setting!

What a setting!

Pato on the evening ride into the yurt

Pato on the evening ride into the yurt

Hiking above the yurt as the 1st rays of morning sun hit the high peaks

Hiking above the yurt as the 1st rays of morning sun hit the high peaks

With the baby on the way, Pato stayed "in touch"

With the baby on the way, Pato stayed “in touch”

Approaching the scree field at the base of the north wall on Cobb

Approaching the scree field at the base of the north wall on Cobb

A closer inspection revealed some nice looking rock

A closer inspection revealed some nice looking rock

Pato heading up on the lower pitches

Pato heading up on the lower pitches

Starting to get some air under our feet

Starting to get some air under our feet

Finding beautiful features midway up the wall

Finding beautiful features midway up the wall

Joe climbing into the morning light

Joe climbing into the morning light

The view from a belay ledge 400' up

The view from a belay ledge 400′ up

Lots of options to venture out onto steep jugs

Lots of options to venture out onto steep jugs

The final 400' follows a beautiful and airy ridge

The final 400′ follows a beautiful and airy ridge

Making efficient transitions with over 1000' of climbing

Making efficient transitions with over 1000′ of climbing

The upper ridge allows for some fun blocky climbing

The upper ridge allows for some fun blocky climbing

Great exposure high on the upper ridge

Great exposure high on the upper ridge

The Buccaneers Route basically follows the skyline (1st 5 pitches not visible)

The Buccaneers Route basically follows the skyline (1st 5 pitches not visible)

The descent is a walk off on the west ridge

The descent is a walk off on the west ridge

Getting some fun flow on the ripping downhill ride back to the trailhead

Getting some fun flow on the ripping downhill ride back to the trailhead

Back in the meadows after the climb (on the ridge)

Back in the meadows after the climb (on the ridge)

The climb roughly follows the red line (the first 5 pitches) with the upper 4 pitches and 4th class ridge not visible.

The “Buccaneers Route” roughly follows the red line (the first 5 pitches) with the upper 4 pitches on an exposed 4-5th class ridge not visible.

Jul 072016
 
Niner evangelist, Brad Cole, showcasing the amazing bikes deep in the Idaho backcountry

Niner evangelist, Brad Cole, showcasing the amazing bikes deep in the Idaho backcountry

We recently had the pleasure of hosting the launch of the latest Niner Bikes (the Rip and the Jet) up at the Coyote Yurts.  Two phenomenal days of riding these amazing bikes on miles of backcountry single track and enjoying the culinary delights of Chef Z and the Cyclist Menu on the point at the yurts.  Bike critics from PinkBike, Bike Magazine, Bike Rumor and Singletracks joined the crew on this backcountry cycling adventure. Great folks, awesome bikes, amazing food and stupendous riding = Good Times!!!

Niner photographer, Ian, ripping the down Edge of the World

Niner photographer, Ian, ripping the down Edge of the World

The steeds at the stable

The steeds at the stable

Bike advocate extraordinaire, Adrian Montgomery, in his element

Bike advocate extraordinaire, Adrian Montgomery, in his element

Oh yeah, cranking through 12 miles of high mountain single track on route to Coyote Yurts

Oh yeah, cranking through 12 miles of high mountain single track on route to Coyote Yurts

 Posted by at 10:24 AM
Jun 172016
 
The new firepit provides a cozy gathering place to catch the evening alpinglow

The new firepit provides a cozy gathering place to catch the evening alpinglow

We have just returned from the lofty Pionneer Mountains, high above Sun Valley. SVT guides: Joe St.Onge, Jon Preuss and Everett Coba trekked into the Pioneer Yurt to open the hut for it’s inaugural summer season. The trail in was cleared of downed timber, outdoor benches and a beautiful fire-pit were built and the yurt was set up for summer living.

After the work was completed, the peaks called for a journey into the alpine. We completed a mixed ascent/traverse of Cobb Peak, climbing perfect frozen snow/neve and aesthetic alpine rock. A classic alpine climb!

We hope the word gets out out about the Pioneer Yurt and the world class opportunities for wilderness, beauty and adventure that await visitors. The Yurt is open for reservations to both guided and self guided (DYI) groups throughout the summer and autumn seasons (and winter of course!). This is the ultimate adventure base-camp with cozy accommodations in the midst of pure alpine awesomeness.

Everett finding fun fluid movement on the west ridge

Everett finding fun fluid movement on the west ridge

Choose your line on the plentiful holds high on Cobb

Choose your line on the plentiful holds high on Cobb

The summit of Cobb Peak offers beautiful quartzite for over a 1000'

The summit of Cobb Peak offers beautiful quartzite for over a 1000′

From hand jams to in-cut face holds

From hand jams to in-cut face holds

The quartzite high on Cobb Peak is some of the oldest exposed rock in the state of Idaho

The quartzite high on Cobb Peak is some of the oldest exposed rock in the state of Idaho

Stoked to summit after a fun mixed climb

Stoked to summit after a fun mixed climb

It's not uncommon to find lady bugs, gathered by the 100's at the very summits of these 11-12,000' peaks.

It’s not uncommon to find lady bugs, gathered by the 100’s at the very summits of these 11-12,000′ peaks.

Descending the NE Ridge on the way toward Old Hyndman, a long and very exposed ridge traverse that is part of the "Triple Crown", connecting Hyndman, Old Hyndman and Cobb

Descending the NE Ridge on the way toward Old Hyndman, a long and very exposed ridge traverse that is part of the “Triple Crown”, connecting Hyndman, Old Hyndman and Cobb

The new tables and benches look great in the yurt

The new tables and benches look great in the yurt

This old porcupine has been chewing on the wood exterior of the sauna for years. I caught him in this photo when he was on his way over for his evening chew....

This old porcupine has been chewing on the wood exterior of the sauna for years. I caught him in this photo when he was on his way over for his evening chew….

A yurt in it's place

A yurt in it’s place

Hyndman Peak towers above the yurt: a perfect base-camp for climbing the tallest peaks in the Pioneers

Hyndman Peak towers above the yurt: a perfect base-camp for climbing the tallest peaks in the Pioneers

The deck gathering spot for breakfast and evening coktails

The deck gathering spot for breakfast and evening cocktails

trekking above the yurts past waterfalls and slot canyons allows access to the alpine basins above

trekking above the yurts past waterfalls and slot canyons allows access to the alpine basins above

the snow has been rapidly melting, but there is still significant snow for climbing and glissading

the snow has been rapidly melting, but there is still significant snow for climbing and glissading

Purple cliff dwellers on the ancient quartzite

Purple cliff dwellers on the ancient quartzite

Cramponing toward the north couloir on Cobb

Cramponing toward the north couloir on Cobb

JP, high in the North couloir

JP, high in the North couloir

Everett, finding the flow on neve with one tool and crampons

Everett, finding the flow on neve with spikes on the feet and a ax in hand

What a setting

What a setting