Apr 052013
 

Watch out! The interns have gotten ahold of the blog! On Tuesday, nine of Sun Valley Trekkings finest converged on the Redfish Lake parking area to find a not-so-snow-covered road in to the summer trailhead. After a few hours of hauling sleds full of food, beverages, and most importantly chainsaws the few miles (and 1,100 feet up) in to Bench hut, the real work began. Areas of standing dead trees were selected and the saw fairies sprang into action! Amid hoots and hollers, trees fell left and right until a carpet of soon-to-be firewood lay scattered across the isothermic mash-potato snow.

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As the sun moved across the sky, the carpet of downed trees that was laying a few hundred yards from the hut was moved, piece by piece to the wood rick, bucked into firewood sized chunks, and stacked in preparation for next years flakes to fall.

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By the end of the afternoon and caked with sawdust, the firewood fairies emerged from their chainsaw slinging, log carrying dust cloud to find a full wood rick, a three-inch mat of sawdust, and a case of PBR. Boots were removed to sighs of relief, as the Irish crickets sounded off, making quick work of the beer.

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The fairies slept well that night, with visions of peaks and coolers dancing in their heads, for tomorrow was to be a ski day the likes of which have never been seen. Though not a flake fell from the sky that night, Wednesday’s objective was cold dry snow, and with that singular goal in mind, the fairies gladly traded their work-gloves for ski gear, and headed up toward the peaks

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Ascending to the 5th Lake Saddle, hopes of cold dry snow became blurry with heat-induced mirages. Glopping skins and beads of sweat made even the surest believers in cold snow doubt their tour plans. And then, with one short traverse and two quick turns, we struck it rich, skier style!!

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Looking back at our tracks, eyes moved higher. A pair of coolers towered above us as we began to transition back to climbing mode. Wet, crusty glop turned to dry, fluffy powder as we ascended up into the confines of the coolers, and one by one each skier had his turn to enjoy the fruits of his gravity-fighting labors.

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Amid hoots and cries, the cooler and runout were completely shralped, harvested of their majestic white blankness in favor of deep arcing turns. Another transition and climb back up brought the group to a turning point, and the decision was made to divide and conquer ski. Three of the interns and Patrick opted to attempt the Heyburn Cooler, while Joe and two others decided that the original cooler still needed more shralping. More bootpacking, heavy breathing, and jaw-dropping views, found us transitioning back to downhill mode.

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And just like that, we reached the lake, and prepared ourselves for a downhill battle with the late afternoon isothermic snowpack that stood between us and the hut.

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One of the lesser known products of these woodcuts are fairly large piles of “slash” that aren’t wood-stove-worthy, and what’s a firewood fairy to do but put flame to flammables, sit back, and enjoy a nice little campfire.

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Again, sleep evaded no-one that night, and after an early morning of cleaning and buffing out the hut, the fairies were on their way to Fishhook Yurt for more chainsaw slinging and log hauling.

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With full wood ricks at both Bench and Fishhook, the firewood fairies deemed their job complete, and, the next morning, headed back to the trailhead, satisfied that yet another winter could be shared with so many, around a roaring wood stove.

Cheers!
The Firewood Fairies

 Posted by at 1:59 PM
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!

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 Posted by at 12:09 PM
Feb 072013
 

As of today, all our locations except Fishhook have been converted from kerosine lantern to solar powered LEDs. The solar upgrade uses Goal Zero equipment and also includes a mp3 speaker too. The benefits are twofold, it’s a step in the green direction and the noise pollution from the kerosine jets is gone which makes for an entirely new nighttime experience. Thanks to West Howland for capturing these images of our Bench location.

 Posted by at 12:57 PM
Apr 132012
 

Our newest employee, Craig Wolfrom, was up in the Sawtooth Mountains these past few days with a few of our guides and interns to capture some images of the great spring skiing accessible from our Bench Hut. Here are some of the images he captured. We still have availability and the snow is fantastic. Give us a call if you are interested in a Sawtooth trip!

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Craig caught a glimpse of the participants skiing our Sawtooth Monolith Expedition:
Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Photography of spring skiing at Sun Valley Trekking's Bench hut, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

 Posted by at 11:44 AM
Mar 122012
 

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Joe St.Onge guided a group of great skiers visiting from their home near the Wasatch this week. They stayed at the new Bench Hut in the Sawtooth Mountains. Strong lungs and legs took the team up into the alpine, skiing into the Monolith Basin one day followed by a circumnavigation of Mount Heyburn, including a descent of the Iliad Couloir, and an exploration into the Land of the Lotus Eaters. A good time was had by all, entranced by the magic of the Sawtooth and a half foot of Idaho’s white gold!

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with Sun Valley Trekking.

 Posted by at 10:55 AM
Feb 082012
 

Earlier this week in the Sawtooth Mountains, Marc Hanselman guided a group of skiers for three days using our Sun Valley Trekking Bench Hut as basecamp. He reported back saying the trip was great with good snow stability, splitter blue skies, and untracked pow! Here are a few photos from his tour…

Marc Hanselman guiding skiers above the Bench Hut in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.

Marc Hanselman guiding skiers above the Bench Hut in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.

Marc Hanselman guiding skiers above the Bench Hut in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.

Marc Hanselman guiding skiers above the Bench Hut in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.
All photos Copyright Marc Hanselman, 2012.

 Posted by at 12:38 PM