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!