Feb 262014
 

Last month we ran the 1st ever backcountry snow-bike hut trip to Tornak Hut. The low early season snow left many us searching for the powder stashes and scraping by, cracking the occasional joke about running snow bike trips instead of ski trips. That’s when serendipity hit and an old friend and one time guide with SVT suggested a fat bike hut trip for an upcoming article he was writing for the New York Times. Why not? We kept the plan was loose, made sure the participants were strong and unfortunately waited 3 days too long, biking in after 8″ of fresh Idaho powder fell. The biking conditions were perfect before the new snow, but good times were had even if the uphill biking was a bit tough with the fresh powder. This trip showed us that Fat Bike trips to the huts is both possible and FUN. So for those of you more inclined to pedal than skin: this is another great way to have an adventure in the Idaho backcountry!

You can check out the NYT article here:

Ahh, spinning on the way to Tornak

Ahh, spinning on the way to Tornak

Taking a break and releasing some tire pressure for the deep snow

Taking a break and releasing some tire pressure for the deep snow

Yep, its deep off the trail

Yep, its deep off the trail

Some spots were a bit soft, but spirits were not!

Some spots were a bit soft, but spirits were not!

The final downhill to Tornak Hut

The final downhill to Tornak Hut

Unloading gear, from bike to hut

Unloading gear, from bike to hut

the cozy hut life

the cozy hut life

and cold beer was earned

and cold beer was earned

flowing the 9 mile down hill

flowing the 9 mile down hill

cruising

cruising

IMG_7541

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!

Feb 022014
 

With the recent storm dropping 10” of light density powder and little wind, the skiing was amazing the past few days. The cold morning temperatures left SVT guide, JP, and Bernard with empty bowls and pristine ridge-lines to lay down some beautiful tracks.

IMG_2515

IMG_2531

IMG_2543

IMG_2560

IMG_2561