Nov 252016
 
Aug 282016
 
Apr 212016
 
Arriving into the basin with all you need on your back

Arriving into the basin with all you need on your back

When the days are long, the nights are cold and the peaks are covered under a thick blanket of snow it’s time to traverse the big mountains. Every year we choose a destination from the plethora of beautiful mountains that surround our valley. The Sawtooth, White Cloud, Smokey, Pioneer and Boulder Mountains all hold phenomenal potential for wilderness ski traverses and ski camps. This year we decided to take advantage of perfect melt/freeze conditions and good high elevation coverage to explore the southern Boulder Mountains around the ghost town of Boulder City. While a bit sunburnt, we were not disappointed.

This steep south facing ridge-line held many beautiful lines like this one named "Jose Cuervo"

This steep south facing ridge-line held many beautiful lines like this one named “Jose Cuervo”

A room with a view

A room with a view

The Egret arcing the coombacks

The Egret arcing the coombacks

fun turns back to camp

fun turns back to camp

What a place to call home for a few days!

What a place to call home for a few days!

nothing like a fire to warm the soul while winter camping

Nothing like a fire to warm the soul while winter camping

Comfy after the sun set around the fire

Comfy after the sun set around the fire

Artsy Alex shot

Artsy Alex shot

Lunch break at 11'000' while waiting for the corn to soften

Lunch break at 11’000′ while waiting for the corn to soften

many aesthetic ridgelines surround the Boulder Basin with tons of ski lines

many aesthetic ridgelines surround the Boulder Basin with tons of ski lines

Alex in his Idahome

Alex in his Idahome

Alex carving

Alex carving

The Egret laying into the corn

The Egret laying into the corn

Niels dropping

Niels dropping

A happy crew

A happy crew

Whoop!

Whoop!

Spring fun

Spring fun

Climbing couloirs

Climbing couloirs

Even found some powder on high elevation north shots, like this one dropping into the newly created Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness

Even found some powder on high elevation north shots, like this one dropping into the newly created Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness

The exit is getting a little thin in the low country

The exit is getting a little thin in the low country

Apr 152015
 

 

Oh Yeah!

It’s been a tradition for over 30 years now, where every April, a few hearty souls embark on an adventure deep in the Sawtooth. Huge loads are packed up to huts that include great food, cold beer, chainsaws and gas.  Over 8 cords of wood are cut (4+ at each Bench and Fishhook huts).  One by one, we drop the abundant beetle killed pine trees and haul in the logs on shoulders and in sleds while on skis.  The piles of logs can be intimidating, but every year we get it all in, bucked up and stacked in preparation for the following season.  When the cut is done, the focus turns to skiing.  We build the huts, cut the wood and haul the loads because we are skiers, inspired by the magic of the mountains that we live and work in.  The Sawtooth smiled upon us this year with perfect conditions for both the cut and the skiing.  Some cool new lines were explored, like the “skilunking” adventure in the “Bat Cave”,  as well as some true classics in perfect conditions.  Enjoy the pics!

Alisa schralping the powder ribs toward the 4th Lake

Alisa schralping the powder ribs toward the 4th Lake

crossing the 4th Bench Lake

crossing the 4th Bench Lake

Heading toward the Bat Cave on Mt Heyburn

Heading toward the Bat Cave on Mt Heyburn

JP, psyched

JP, psyched

Getting ready for some skilunking

Getting ready for some skilunking

JP climbing toward the light to see whats above

JP climbing toward the light to see whats above

Niels finds the passage

Niels finds the passage

JP on the upper couloir, leading toward the Bat Cave

JP on the upper couloir, leading toward the Bat Cave

Steep traverse above the cave

Steep traverse above the cave

Dropping into the cave with a little added security

Dropping into the cave with a little added security

JP exiting the cave onto the 1000' powder slope below

JP exiting the cave onto the 1000′ powder slope below

Toby, ripping through the cave

Toby, ripping through the cave

take a deep breath and let 'em rip!

take a deep breath and let ’em rip!

Alisa inspired to spread her bat wings

Alisa inspired to spread her bat wings

Burning slash after cutting and hauling 5 cords of wood, on skis.

Burning slash after cutting and hauling 5 cords of wood, on skis.

Dinner time at the Fishhook Hut, rustic comfort deep in the Sawtooth

Dinner time at the Fishhook Hut, rustic comfort deep in the Sawtooth

 

Bluebird.  Fresh snow and splitter weather

Bluebird. Fresh snow and splitter weather

Approaching the top of Silver Saddle

Approaching the top of Silver Saddle

Toby with the final turns into the Monolith

Toby with the final turns into the Monolith

Toby, stoked after skiing perfect powder on Silver saddle bowl

Toby, stoked after skiing perfect powder on Silver saddle bowl

James, entering the Monolith Valley

James, entering the Monolith Valley

Sawtooth Beauty: The Monolith stands proud above this hanging valley, where aesthetic ski lines abound

Sawtooth Beauty: The Monolith stands proud above this hanging valley, where aesthetic ski lines abound

making the ascent toward Braxon Peak

making the ascent toward Braxon Peak

The Wily Coyote Col

The Wily Coyote Col

The final steps toward Braxon Peak

The final steps toward Braxon Peak

James

James

The heart of the Sawtooth

The heart of the Sawtooth

Making our way from Braxon Peak toward the Birdcage

Making our way from Braxon Peak toward the Birdcage

Aysha, dropping the sneak route into the Birdcage

Aysha, dropping the sneak route into the Birdcage

Bridcage looking pretty sweet.

Bridcage looking pretty sweet.

Joe drops in

Joe drops in

Neils, stoked

Neils, stoked

Toby, stoked

Toby, stoked

Skiing the final slopes below the Monolith

Skiing the final slopes below the Monolith

Alisa mid powder carve

Alisa mid powder carve

Oh Yeah!

The team working back toward the Silver saddle and the Bench Hut

The team working back toward the Silver saddle and the Bench Hut

and more powder brings us back to the 5th Bench  Lake and closer to the Bench Hut

and more powder brings us back to the 5th Bench Lake and closer to the Bench Hut

ahhh...

ahhh…

quite nice

quite nice

JP, having fun

JP, having fun

Sweet, and its not over!

Sweet, and its not over!

Chris, slashing some more powder on the way back to the hut

Chris, slashing some more powder on the way back to the hut

Niels and the afternoon back light

Niels and the afternoon back light

Why is Toby smiling so much?

Why is Toby smiling so much?

What we were really doing up at the Sawtooth Huts

What we were really doing up at the Sawtooth Huts

Jan 292015
 
Welcome the heart of the Sawtooth

Welcome the heart of the Sawtooth

We have just returned back to the village after a few days exploring deep into the Sawtooth. When local skier/mountaineer (Chris) invited an old childhood friend (Matt) out from New York City to Idaho for a backcountry ski trip, Matt pictured fields of mellow powder and easy hikes. The journey Matt embarked on was something a bit different. Good thing Matt had years of experience in the inner city punk scene…

Beach break at Redfish Lake on the way to Bench Hut

Beach break at Redfish Lake on the way to Bench Hut

Approaching the Bench Hut

Approaching the Bench Hut

Arriving at the Bench Hut

Arriving at the Bench Hut

Early starts mean beautiful sunrises

Early starts mean beautiful sunrises

approaching the land of the Grendel

approaching the land of the Grendel

Climbing above the 5th Bench Lake

Climbing above the 5th Bench Lake

atop the 1st pass of the day (a couple more to go!)

atop the 1st pass of the day (a couple more to go!)

beneath the west summit of Heyburn

beneath the west summit of Heyburn

The first descent of the day into the Monolith Basin

The first descent of the day into the Monolith Basin

ripping turns down into the Monolith Basin

ripping turns down into the Monolith Basin

welcome to the deep Sawtooth

welcome to the deep Sawtooth

Joe, happy to be back

Joe, happy to be back

climbing

climbing

gap tooth grin

gap toothed buddy

granite backdrop

granite backdrop

the sneak onto Braxon Peak

the sneak onto Braxon Peak

now where are we going?

now where are we going?

Chris, at home in the mountains

Chris, at home in the mountains

There is a lot of trust here...

There is a lot of trust here…

rappel into the Bird Cage

rappel into the Bird Cage

Just a couple more steps and then skis on...

Just a couple more steps and then skis on…

and now we are skiers

and now we are skiers

and now the skiing

and now the skiing

Upper Bowl#2

Upper Bowl#2

The upper bowl of the Bird Cage

The upper bowl of the Bird Cage

Stoked to be off a rope and on skis!

Stoked to be off a rope and on skis!

Chris ripping the Bird Cage

Chris ripping the Bird Cage

the lower bowl of the Bird Cage

the lower bowl of the Bird Cage

Matt ripping under the Monolith

Matt ripping under the Monolith

Niels dropping

Niels dropping

Chris keeping strong form

Chris keeping strong form

Matt, skiing out under the Monolith after a descent of the Bird Cage

Matt, skiing out under the Monolith after a descent of the Bird Cage

the final traverse back toward home

the final traverse back toward home

after 10 hours on the go

after 10 hours on the go

Chris in space

Chris in space

beauty

beauty

Stretching the legs as the clouds break

Stretching the legs as the clouds break

Enjoying a sunny beer with a view of our ski tour from Stanley

Enjoying a sunny beer with a view of our ski tour from Stanley

The mighty Sawtooth rising above the clouds

The mighty Sawtooth rising above the clouds

Jan 202014
 

Joe St.Onge, Patrick Graham and interns: Niels Meyer and Alisa Mcgowan have just returned from 7 days in the Pioneer Mountains on a winter mountaineering training with a production crew from the BBC. An action packed week focused on learning skills related to avalanche safety, forecasting and rescue as well as backcountry skiing and mountaineering skills. the Pioneer Yurt served as base camp and the team also put in a high camp at 10,500 for a alpine ascent of Hyndman Peak. Conditions included a generally low snowpack and wind affected snow with hazards related to widespread wind slabs. The less then optimal ski conditions were balanced by the phenomenal setting and wonderful crew from the BBC. We look forward to seeing the ambitious and sure to be amazing footage to be produced by this intrepid film crew over the next couple of years!

Climbing above the Pioneer Yurt to the Peanut

Climbing above the Pioneer Yurt to the Peanut

Getting ready for a movie night at the Pioneer Yurt

Getting ready for a movie night at the Pioneer Yurt

Entering into the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods

Entering into the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods

Duncan's Basin

Duncan’s Basin

Alpine glow on Cobb

Alpine glow on Cobb

the Team

the Team

Stoked after carving turns on the wind buff

Stoked after carving turns on the wind buff

finding soft-ish snow in the Hyndman basin

finding soft-ish snow in the Hyndman basin

IMG_7195

What a place to learn to ski!

What a place to learn to ski!

and phenomenal light

and phenomenal light

Spindrift and sunset= mountain magic

Spindrift and sunset= mountain magic

ahh, freedom of the hills!

ahh, freedom of the hills!

Climbing toward high camp

Climbing toward high camp

squeezing the last light out of each day with a ski

squeezing the last light out of each day with a ski

The snow kitchen  at high camp

The snow kitchen at high camp

High camp beneath among the giants

High camp beneath among the giants

High camp 2

High camp 2

climbing on Hyndman Peak

climbing on Hyndman Peak

The Team high in the mountains!

The Team high in the mountains!

Apr 242013
 

Joe St.Onge and Patrick Graham (with assistant guides Toby Citret and Sam Felch) just returned from 4 days in the Pioneer Mountains. The goal of the trip was to teach the skills and techniques used in ski mountaineering and to apply those skills climbing and skiing the spectacular peaks of the Pioneers. This area holds fanatstic opportunties for ski mountainnering, with big peaks (up to 12,000′), large vertical relief (3,000’+ runs), aesthetic mountain features and a cozy yurt in the middle of it all. While we found good to excellent conditions at the mid elevations, the highest peaks were still holding transitional snow that was good for climbing, but a bit challenging for skiing. Long days, great tours/climbs and lots of learning in a beautiful setting made for a fun trip!

Pio Mountaineer 10

Pio Mountaineer 16

Pio Mountaineer 17

Pio Mountaineer 18

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-2

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-4

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-6

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-7

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-8

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-11

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-12

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-13

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-14

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-15

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-16

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-17

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-18

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-19

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-20

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-21

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-22

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-23

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-24

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-25

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-28

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-29

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-31

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-32

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-33

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-34

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-35

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-36

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-37

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-38

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-39

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-40

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-41

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-42

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-43

Pioneer Mountains Ski Mountaineering-44Pio Mountaineer 1

Pio Mountaineer 2

Pio Mountaineer 3

Pio Mountaineer 4

Pio Mountaineer 5

Pio Mountaineer 6

Pio Mountaineer 7

Pio Mountaineer 8

Pio Mountaineer 9

Pio Mountaineer 11

Pio Mountaineer 12

Pio Mountaineer 13

Pio Mountaineer 14

Pio Mountaineer 15

Mar 262013
 

A foot of new snow, cold temps, low wind and a hardy group of men from the north provided the necessary ingredients for a phenomenal week in the Sawtooth Mountains. Guides: Joe St.Onge and Chris Marshall and apprentices Toby Citret and Sam Felch led the group from Bench Hut to Fishhook Yurt climbing and skiing and average of 6-7000′ a day and crossing many high passes, dropping many a perfect powder run and climbing a few peaks along the way including Thompson Peak, the highest in the range. This fun group of skiers ran High and Wild in the beauty of these mountains!

Men of the North 9

Men of the North 8

Men of the North 6

Men of the North 5

Joe St Onge_breaking trail

Joe St Onge_dave dog peak

Joe St Onge_monolith lunch

Joe St Onge_on rope

Men of the North 1

Men of the North 2

Sun Valley Trekking-backcountry-ski-sawtooth-Bench Hut-Fishook Yurt-76

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Portrait_men of the north trip

Men of the North 10

 Posted by at 12:09 PM
Sep 132012
 

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Joe St.Onge just returned from a 14 day traverse of the Boulder/White Cloud Mountains in Central Idaho with a special group of young leaders from the Wild Gift. While forest fires raged in the mountains near our route, we were fortunate to find clear skies as the so called “doughnut hole” followed the group through its entire trek. Many rugged passes were crossed and beautiful alpine basins and lakes visited on this primarily off trail route through the spectacular Idaho backcountry. Please check out our friends at the wildgift.org to find out more about this unique program and these amazing young entrepreneurs with a mission.

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

Wild Gift backpacking in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Idaho

 Posted by at 1:04 PM
Aug 082012
 

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

SVT guide Joe St.Onge spent 5 days traversing the White Cloud Mountains with a group of fathers/daughters. Joe taught the group the tricks of traversing rugged mountains off trail, climbing peaks along the way in a spectacular setting. The group taught Joe what it means to be an awesome father to wonderful 13 year old girls, a goal joe had for his two little girls… Check out the pictures of a snow slide into Headwall Lake, wild fun in a wild place!

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

Fathers and daughters hiking in the White Cloud range of Idaho.

 Posted by at 5:42 PM