May 262014
 
Cobb Peak


The ski season continues here in Idaho, where an intrepid crew spent a fun couple of days skiing the peaks, bowls and basins above the Pioneer Yurt. It definitely takes some effort right now to reach the good skiing, but it is there if you work for it. Endeavor and Enjoy!

Climbing through the green valley to find the snow Climbing through the green valley to find the snow

Hitting snow right at Pioneer Yurt

Hitting snow right at Pioneer Yurt

Ahh, back on skis climbing Duncan's Ridge

Ahh, back on skis climbing Duncan’s Ridge

From sea level to 11,000' in 2 days!

From sea level to 11,000′ in 2 days!

Creamy corn

Creamy corn

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stoked!

stoked!

yehaw!

yehaw!

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slashing wet corn

slashing wet corn

pure mountain water

pure mountain water

The creeks are running full

The creeks are running full

north couloir on Cobb is enticing...

north couloir on Cobb is enticing…

our objective: Hyndman Peak

our objective: Hyndman Peak

Climbing

Climbing

up with Old Hyndman as backdrop

up with Old Hyndman as backdrop

carving down Hyndman South Face

carving down Hyndman South Face

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hard to not smile!

hard to not smile!

whoohoo!

whoohoo!

the crew

the crew

the siblings, a long way from NH!

the siblings, a long way from NH!

saying goodbye to winter

saying goodbye to winter

the final steps down into the valley

the final steps down into the valley

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.

May 092014
 
 SVT Guide, Joe St.Onge, remembers a May ski day on his child’s 2nd birthday:

 

Patrick Graham approaches the summit of Ryan Peak

Patrick Graham approaches the summit of Ryan Peak

It was May, locals had hung up their skis and our busy ski guiding season was coming to a close.  It was time to ski for ourselves.
 
My wife was pregnant with our second child and do to deliver within the week.  We had a check-up with our doctor and she said that it did not look imminent.  I took that diagnoses as: I could go ski the next day.  My wife is a skier and guide and she gets it.   She encouraged me to get one last ski in before the snow melted and another baby entered our lives.
 
It was a last minute tour plan.  I wanted to ski something “new”.  Ryan Peak is the tallest in the Boulder Mountains of Central Idaho.  It’s been skied, but not regularly as the approach is big.  I had a concept that it could be approached from the “other side” and had found out that the dirt road that crosses a high pass had just been plowed, allowing access to the “other side”.  A quick call to two of our guides and the plan was hatched for the next morning, early.  Conditions were perfect spring corn: firm for the climb and silky for the decent.  The approach was fast and fluid.  We followed wolf tracks up the remote canyon and later heard the howls from a den echo while on the peak.    We spied amazing future lines, one of which we skied later in the week when the doctor said it may be a couple more days before the baby came.  It was awesome.