Nov 082015
 
ULLR!!!

ULLR!!!

At the start of every winter season we celebrate the coming of winter with a BIG fire.  We honor the change of the season and the coming days of arcing down mountains on skis.  We honor the Norse God Ullr, known as a great skier who would leave trails of stars behind his skis and drink to his health with hopes he will smile upon us.  This year we had the annual Ullr fire up at the Boulder Yurts, where we had a giant pile of slash from recent woodcuts.   Friends, family and guides came to celebrate the new snow and the joy of the coming ski season.

And an early season it has become.  On November 1st, we were riding bikes in the spitting snow and by the 4th, we were floating down fields of powder on skis.  The recent storm dropped snow to the valley bottoms but favored the upper elevations in the Smoky and Boulder Mountains with over 20″.  This storm snow has settled significantly this week, hopefully creating a good base for our next storm predicted to drop 5-10″ in the next 48hrs.

Hopefully this portends the start of an epic ski season where we can all celebrate with Ullr!

Friends, families, sleds, fire and FUN

Friends, families, sleds, fire and FUN

November 1st and the start of the storm, perhaps the last mountain ride of the year...

November 1st and the start of the storm, perhaps the last mountain ride of the year…

Not bad for November 4th

3 days later on November 4th

Ahh, back on skis

Ahh, back on skis.  Francie breaks trail with a smile.

Fun in the snow with sleds and snow-skates

Fun in the snow with sleds and snow-skates at the Boulder Yurts

The Ullr Fire burning bright

The Ullr Fire burning bright

Francie, dropping in to a powder field

Francie, dropping in to a powder field, November 4th, 2015

Joe, enjoying some early season powder

Joe, enjoying some early season powder

We LOVE snow!

We LOVE snow!

Joe, stoked to be back on skis

Joe, stoked to be back on skis

Jun 242014
 
Evening light at the fire pit

Evening light at the fire pit

We are just back from celebrating the Summer Solstice on the point at the new Coyote Yurts. After the Beaver Creek wild fire burned the Coyote Yurts last August, its been quite a journey to bring the Coyote Yurts back to life. This past weekend marked the final (planned) stage in this process! Joe, Niels and Aysha went up a couple days early to finish construction of the outdoor areas including benches and stoop on the deck, picnic table, barbeque, new fire pit and dance floor on the point and a bike corral. It all turned out beautifully. Then it was time for friends and family to converge in this special spot to enjoy the longest day of the year. Biking, hiking, dancing, good food and good times!

Finishing the carpentry projects to get the new yurts ready for summer

Finishing the carpentry projects to get the new yurts ready for summer

Sunset on June 20th, readying for the shortest night of the year

Sunset on June 20th, readying for the shortest night of the year

the new "front stoop" makes for a great seat

the new “front stoop” makes for a great seat

Sunset June 20th

Sunset June 20th

hunter...

hunter…

Kids LOVE the yurt experience!

Kids LOVE the yurt experience!

mmm, smores!

mmm, smores!

Neve trying out the new bow

Neve trying out the new bow

Morning coffee on the deck

Morning coffee on the deck

The deck makes for a comfy hang spot any-time of day.

The deck makes for a comfy hang spot any-time of day.

The comfy new benches and a view forever

The comfy new benches and a view forever

Flowers everywhere!

Flowers everywhere!

Cleaning out the trails for the season

Cleaning out the trails for the season

Fox Peak sure is riding nice!

Fox Peak sure is riding nice!

Can't hold back a smile on these trails!

Can’t hold back a smile on these trails!

The newlyweds on the point.

The newlyweds on the point.

Dance party on the point!

Dance party on the point!

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Wow, what a view!

Wow, what a view!

Scoping the riding

Scoping the riding

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up, up...

up, up…

and away!

and away!

The driving approach to the Coyote Yurts

The driving approach to the Coyote Yurts

May 212014
 

good corn

We are just back from skiing another beautiful Idaho mountain, Kent Peak. Viewed frequently from the Valley of the Big Wood, Kent Peak requires a bit of an approach to reach the classic ski lines. As the snow lines march up the mountains with the rising temperatures, the dirt roads are opening up and allowing access deeper into the hills. Even with the open roads, Kent requires a bit of dirt walking to reach snow. But once on snow, a classic 3,000′ ski descent off the 2nd highest peak in the Boulder Mountains awaits. Good corn conditions were found. Enjoy!

It is taking some effort to reach the snow these days

It is taking some effort to reach the snow these days

Summer is beginning to show

Summer is beginning to show

A smile will go a long way when bushwacking with skis!

A smile will go a long way when bushwacking with skis!

Where the snow turns to water...

Where the snow turns to water…

Where skiers become skiers

Where skiers become skiers

ahhh, back in the alpine!

ahhh, back in the alpine!

The summit ridge of Ryan is rather sharp...

The summit ridge of Kent is rather sharp…

Looking north into the Boulder Mountains

Looking north into the Boulder Mountains

Looking south into the Pioneers

Looking south into the Pioneers

The 1st jump turn onto the face of Ryan

The 1st jump turn onto the face of Kent

perfect edging

perfect edging

fun ski

fun ski

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making our way home

making our way home

May 152014
 
The Devils Bedstead in all its majesty

The Devils Bedstead in all its majesty

May showers bring Powder to the high peaks and we were able to experience some of this magic the other day here in the Pioneer Mountains, Idaho. A surprise visit from our old avalanche forecaster, a pro skier and a local doc coincided with Joe returning from the Hawaiian Islands and the Trail creek road having just opened. Recent cold temps and new snow led to great conditions on one of the most iconic ski peaks in Idaho. Thanks to Dylan Crossman for some of the great shots here, enjoy!

Clearing "the bush"  on the approach

Clearing “the bush” on the approach

Trying to get a view through the white-out

Trying to get a view through the white-out

Great booting conditions

Great booting conditions

Climbing in the white-out

Climbing in the white-out

Feeling the exposure high on the face

Feeling the exposure high on the face

taking it all in

taking it all in

Climbing on the moon on the summit pitch

Climbing on the moon on the summit pitch

Nothing like being perched high on an alpine face

Nothing like being perched high on an alpine face

Terry topping out on the summit

Terry topping out on the summit

loving the Coombacks and the view down the ski line

loving the Coombacks and the view down the ski line

Whoohoo!

Whoohoo!

Powda!

Powda!

Can't beat the conditions

Can’t beat the conditions

Dylan Crossman showing how its done

Dylan Crossman showing how its done

the lower face

the lower face

and back to boots for the walk out, stoked.

and back to boots for the walk out, stoked.

Mar 142014
 
The team on day 1 approach to Coyote

The team on day 1 approach to Coyote

Wow, what a great 3 days of spring skiing at the new Coyote Yurts! Bob and Kate (from our local backcountry ski shop: the Elephant’s Perch) joined our Canadian friends, Bernard and Sheri, for an action packed 3 days exploring the new burn skiing around Coyote with Joe. Splitter blue sky days made for an amazing backdrop of peaks, powder, corn and shadow lined burn skiing. We barely scratched the surface of the new north facing burned timber skiing possible and we skied a lot!

Oh yeah, the new Yurts are awesome too!

The 1st exploratory burn turns on the approach

The 1st exploratory burn turns on the approach

yep, Bob thinks it skis pretty good!

yep, Bob thinks it skis pretty good!

almost to the yurt on day 1

almost to the yurt on day 1

nothing like good corn snow to make you smile

nothing like good corn snow to make you smile

ahhh, the big south slopes of Little Round Top on the approach to Coyote are sweet

ahhh, the big south slopes of Little Round Top on the approach to Coyote are sweet

and a bit of corn on the souths

and a bit of corn on the souths

evening glow lighting up the ski tracks, a great view at the end of a fun day

evening glow lighting up the ski tracks, a great view at the end of a fun day

Day 2 heading out from the yurt

Day 2 heading out from the yurt

shadow skin

shadow skin

there's a lot of new burn skiing out there

there’s a lot of new burn skiing out there

Sheri enjoying the burnin' powder

Sheri enjoying the burnin’ powder

wow

wow

yes

yes

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coming home after a long day of FUN skiing

coming home after a long day of FUN skiing

Day 3

Day 3

the view from Coyote Yurts is pretty sweet

the view from Coyote Yurts is pretty sweet

what goes up...

what goes up…

...must come down

…must come down

1200' north facing burn lines out the door of the Yurt

1200′ north facing burn lines out the door of the Yurt

yep, Bob likes it

yep, Bob likes it

just open enough

just open enough

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yeoman's duty, Niels and Alisa carrying BIG packs on the way out

yeoman’s duty, Niels and Alisa carrying BIG packs on the way out

cranking corn turns on the exit from Coyote

cranking corn turns on the exit from Coyote

pretty much sums it up!

pretty much sums it up!

Feb 232014
 

Wow.  What a past 3 weeks it has been!  Our mountains have received snow for 22 of the past 26 days.  The snow totals are impressive, with the Sawtooth having received approximately 7′ over this period and the other mountains in our area receiving over 4-5′!

The relatively dry early winter left us craving deep powder, but also left us knowing that when/if it came we would be facing a difficult avalanche problem.  This is currently our situation: We have very tricky and dangerous avalanche conditions in the backcountry which has the potential to linger for a long time. The plethora of new snow has fallen on a highly variable and extremely weak early season snow pack.  This is a relatively unique stability scenario that should be treated with respect and caution.  We are seeing many avalanches on most aspects and elevations and starting on relatively low slope angles.  We are also seeing large avalanches triggered remotely from afar and running long distances.  Skiers should be acutely aware of keeping slope angles less than 30 degrees and to stay away from run out zones (both large and small).  This is a great time to hire a professional guide who is acutely aware of the current stability issues and well trained and experienced with navigating out of avalanche terrain.  We are finding excellent ski conditions on safe terrain (see pics below)!

The skiing has been phenomenal.  We have been too busy skiing the deep powder over the past few weeks to keep up on the blog posts, so we are posting a series of photos from the various mountain ranges, huts and tours we have been guiding over the past few weeks.  Enjoy!

YES!

YES!

Powder Flight on the pass

Powder Flight on the pass

Skinning the Cross

Skinning the Cross

yehaw!

yehaw!

Skiing the gentle powder

Skiing the gentle powder

SVT Guide Joe St.Onge Kung POW

SVT Guide Joe St.Onge Kung POW

 

SVT guide, Chris Marshall, getting face-shots on the pass!

SVT guide, Chris Marshall, getting face-shots on the pass!

ahh, the beauty!

ahh, the beauty!

Skinning in the Pios

Skinning in the Pios

Powder on the Peanut above the Pioneer Yurt

Powder on the Peanut above the Pioneer Yurt

Skinning above the Pioneer Yurt

Skinning above the Pioneer Yurt

 

Sirens of Snow traversing Galena Summit

Sirens of Snow traversing Galena Summit

A buried Bench Hut is a beautiful sight!

A buried Bench Hut is a beautiful sight!

Deep powder above Bench Hut

Deep powder above Bench Hut

Easy sliding in the deep powder

Easy sliding in the deep powder

A cozy Bench Hut after a day of deep powder skiing

A cozy Bench Hut after a day of deep powder skiing

FUN!

FUN!

Loving the low angle Powder!

Loving the low angle Powder!

Sep 202013
 

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: info@svtrek.com  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....

Joe surveying the damage….

What used to be Coyote Yurts

What used to be Coyote Yurts

the old 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

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 back at the yurts from the fire pit on the point

looking up to the headwaters of Baker Creek

looking up to the headwaters of Baker Creek

The new burn skiing on Little Round Top, next to Coyote Yurts!

The new burn skiing on Little Round Top, next to Coyote Yurts!

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What was left of the kitchen yurt

What was left of the kitchen yurt

New growth beginning!

New growth beginning!

Building the new wood shed, Job # 1

Building the new wood shed, Job # 1

.Looking forward.

.Looking forward.

5 cords cut and a new wood shed done (again...)

5 cords cut and a new wood shed done (again…)

Taking out problem trees.

Taking out problem trees.

The debris from the burned Yurts and sauna

The debris from the burned Yurts and sauna

An example of the top of the East Fork of Baker

An example of the top of the East Fork of Baker

Cleaning up the burnt yurts was Dirty Work

Cleaning up the burnt yurts was Dirty Work

Long dirty days make cold beer taste really good.

Long dirty days make cold beer taste really good.

May 112013
 

The past week has been a beautiful one in the Wood River Valley. Warm sunny days with passing thunderstorms have created perfect tacky trails and beautiful riding. Below are some shots of riding in the South Valley this past week. Enjoy!

MTB Croy May 2013-28 MTB Croy May 2013-27 MTB Croy May 2013-25 MTB Croy May 2013-23 MTB Croy May 2013-22 MTB Croy May 2013-19 MTB Croy May 2013-16 MTB Croy May 2013-15 MTB Croy May 2013-14 MTB Croy May 2013-13 MTB Croy May 2013-11 MTB Croy May 2013-9 MTB Croy May 2013-3 MTB Croy May 2013-4 MTB Croy May 2013-5 MTB Croy May 2013-6 MTB Croy May 2013 1 MTB Croy May 2013-8