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 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

Mar 282015
 
Training 'em young

Training ’em young

It’s Spring Break for the local school kids and what better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than to ski into a backcountry yurt! The Boulder Yurts are a great choice for families with younger kids as the approach is pretty easy, the sledding and skiing is super accessible and FUN and the yurts provide an amazing venue to get away. This week has seen a bunch of local families heading up to the Boulder Yurts with lots of adventures and fun had! Check out these pics of an overnight with SVT owners/guides (the St.Onge family) and friends. Good times!!

Family train

Family train

Break time

Break time

Sister love

Sister love

exploring the shed like a Pine Martin

exploring the shed like a Pine Martin

Donna Julia and family

Donna Julia and family

as one family leaves another arrives, Spring Break at Boulder Yurts

as one family leaves another arrives, Spring Break at Boulder Yurts

girls exploring cozy nooks

girls exploring cozy nooks

Fun Girl

Fun Girl

Beer/milk cave

Beer/milk cave

Spring Break!

Spring Break!

Sledding action #1

Sledding action #1

sledding action #2

sledding action #2

Sledding action #3

Sledding action #3

Sledding action #4

Sledding action #4

Sledding action #5

Sledding action #5

Dinner time!

Dinner time!

the Lei

the Lei

IMG_3659

Smores!

Smores!

mmmm.....

mmmm…..

Morning light

Morning light

Story time

Story time

Yurt art!

Yurt art!

on the way home

on the way home

Jan 052014
 

SVT guides Joe St.Onge and Chris Marshall went for a recon tour above the Boulder Yurts today to check conditions for future tours. Good ski conditions were found above 9000′ and some stability issues including: new wind slabs (30cm deep) which were producing easy failures and planar shears in isolated areas as well as triggering a fairly large loose snow/sluff avalanche in the deep facets in steep terrain. Have fun and heads up out there!

Yes!

Yes!

Boulder Mountains

Boulder Mountains

Skinning Light

Skinning Light

Alpine Smokies

Alpine Smokies

Skis pretty good!

Skis pretty good!

Fall-line facets

Fall-line facets

Skiing among the ancient White Barks

Skiing among the ancient White Barks

D2 avalanche triggered in the full depth facets, ran fast.

D2 avalanche triggered in the full depth facets, ran fast.

IMG_7041

Chasing shadows

Chasing shadows

Oct 252012
 

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

A group of SVT employees and friends, led by ring leader, Joe St Onge, remodeled the Boulder yurt in the early part of October. Bunks were shuffled to create more room and many features added or changed, All new are the: stove, kitchen counter and shelf, dining table, book and game shelves/storage, a two person couch (decked out with leather pillows no less), shelves for top bunks in addition to retaining bars and ladders to help the little yurters. A new shell and roof were put on and around the large yurt! The most noticeable change is that the shell now offers two east facing windows! The added natural light is amazing. We are calling this Phase One as adding a Goal Zero solar system to power interior lights and small speaker are going to happen very soon!

It should be mentioned, an overnight detailing session by the St Onge and Wolfrom family had a fun event happen-Finn lost his first tooth while brushing his teeth. Upon spitting into the slop bucket, Finn not only spit out his toothpaste, but his tooth too! It was looked for, however, never found. Still, the Tooth Fairy was very kind and paid up even though Finn only had a note in place of the traditional offering. As he kept saying, “I really lost my tooth!”

Weekend reservations at all our huts and yurts are filling the calendar fast, be sure to give us a call or check our availability here.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Image of Sun Valley Trekking's newly remodeled Boulder Yurt.

Thanks to Craig Wolfrom for use of his images!

 Posted by at 2:18 PM
Mar 052012
 

We were pleasantly surprised when we learned that the Colorado Yurt Company had a replacement roof in stock for our Boulder Yurt and even more stoked to have had it arrive only one week after the wind storm incident. The roof arrived last Thursday and we were on site by 9am on Friday! Within six hours, the finishing touches were complete, the wood burning stove fired up, and a round of beers enjoyed. Once again, all is well up at the beautiful Boulder yurt!

Getting the new lattice riveted in place:
Images of Sun Valley Trekking's Boulder Yurt.

Images of Sun Valley Trekking's Boulder Yurt.

Setting up the ring and rafters:
Images of Sun Valley Trekking's Boulder Yurt.

Images of Sun Valley Trekking's Boulder Yurt.

Adding insulation:
Images of Sun Valley Trekking's Boulder Yurt.

Our new lid!
Images of Sun Valley Trekking's Boulder Yurt.

Job well done!
Images of Sun Valley Trekking's Boulder Yurt.

 Posted by at 9:31 AM
Feb 272012
 

On February 22nd and 23rd, a storm raged through the Smoky mountains bringing with it abnormally high winds.  Early in the morning on the 23rd, we believe a rare micro-burst came down on the area surrounding our Boulder Yurts.  This sudden blast of wind snapped a neighboring live tree in half whose top section came down on the smaller of the two yurts.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.  While the impact did collapse the roof, the damage to the structure was not wholesale; only six 2×4 rafters and a dozen of the lattice wall boards were damaged along with tears in the roof.  Please keep in mind that the tree that snapped was a living, healthy tree, there were no “standing dead” trees, and that this was a very unexpected occurrance.  We have already cleared the debris, ascertained what repairs are necessary, and have ordered the appropriate materials to get Boulder back up and running at full capacity.

The larger Boulder Yurt and the hallway were unaffected by this incident and have been in continual use since the accident.  Feel free to give us a ring if you have any questions.

Here are some images from Friday’s clean up session…

The culprit:

Now & for a limited time, Boulder yurt offers a spectacular outdoor deck area!

The yurt facility is still functional:

 Posted by at 10:09 AM