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
crossing the 4th Bench Lake
Heading toward the Bat Cave on Mt Heyburn
Getting ready for some skilunking
JP climbing toward the light to see whats above
Niels finds the passage
JP on the upper couloir, leading toward the Bat Cave
Steep traverse above the cave
Dropping into the cave with a little added security
JP exiting the cave onto the 1000′ powder slope below
Toby, ripping through the cave
take a deep breath and let ’em rip!
Alisa inspired to spread her bat wings
Burning slash after cutting and hauling 5 cords of wood, on skis.
Dinner time at the Fishhook Hut, rustic comfort deep in the Sawtooth
Bluebird. Fresh snow and splitter weather
Approaching the top of Silver Saddle
Toby with the final turns into the Monolith
Toby, stoked after skiing perfect powder on Silver saddle bowl
James, entering the Monolith Valley
Sawtooth Beauty: The Monolith stands proud above this hanging valley, where aesthetic ski lines abound
making the ascent toward Braxon Peak
The Wily Coyote Col
The final steps toward Braxon Peak
The heart of the Sawtooth
Making our way from Braxon Peak toward the Birdcage
Aysha, dropping the sneak route into the Birdcage
Bridcage looking pretty sweet.
Joe drops in
Skiing the final slopes below the Monolith
Alisa mid powder carve
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
JP, having fun
Sweet, and its not over!
Chris, slashing some more powder on the way back to the hut
Niels and the afternoon back light
Why is Toby smiling so much?
What we were really doing up at the Sawtooth Huts