Oct 122017
 
Jan 292015
 
Welcome the heart of the Sawtooth

Welcome the heart of the Sawtooth

We have just returned back to the village after a few days exploring deep into the Sawtooth. When local skier/mountaineer (Chris) invited an old childhood friend (Matt) out from New York City to Idaho for a backcountry ski trip, Matt pictured fields of mellow powder and easy hikes. The journey Matt embarked on was something a bit different. Good thing Matt had years of experience in the inner city punk scene…

Beach break at Redfish Lake on the way to Bench Hut

Beach break at Redfish Lake on the way to Bench Hut

Approaching the Bench Hut

Approaching the Bench Hut

Arriving at the Bench Hut

Arriving at the Bench Hut

Early starts mean beautiful sunrises

Early starts mean beautiful sunrises

approaching the land of the Grendel

approaching the land of the Grendel

Climbing above the 5th Bench Lake

Climbing above the 5th Bench Lake

atop the 1st pass of the day (a couple more to go!)

atop the 1st pass of the day (a couple more to go!)

beneath the west summit of Heyburn

beneath the west summit of Heyburn

The first descent of the day into the Monolith Basin

The first descent of the day into the Monolith Basin

ripping turns down into the Monolith Basin

ripping turns down into the Monolith Basin

welcome to the deep Sawtooth

welcome to the deep Sawtooth

Joe, happy to be back

Joe, happy to be back

climbing

climbing

gap tooth grin

gap toothed buddy

granite backdrop

granite backdrop

the sneak onto Braxon Peak

the sneak onto Braxon Peak

now where are we going?

now where are we going?

Chris, at home in the mountains

Chris, at home in the mountains

There is a lot of trust here...

There is a lot of trust here…

rappel into the Bird Cage

rappel into the Bird Cage

Just a couple more steps and then skis on...

Just a couple more steps and then skis on…

and now we are skiers

and now we are skiers

and now the skiing

and now the skiing

Upper Bowl#2

Upper Bowl#2

The upper bowl of the Bird Cage

The upper bowl of the Bird Cage

Stoked to be off a rope and on skis!

Stoked to be off a rope and on skis!

Chris ripping the Bird Cage

Chris ripping the Bird Cage

the lower bowl of the Bird Cage

the lower bowl of the Bird Cage

Matt ripping under the Monolith

Matt ripping under the Monolith

Niels dropping

Niels dropping

Chris keeping strong form

Chris keeping strong form

Matt, skiing out under the Monolith after a descent of the Bird Cage

Matt, skiing out under the Monolith after a descent of the Bird Cage

the final traverse back toward home

the final traverse back toward home

after 10 hours on the go

after 10 hours on the go

Chris in space

Chris in space

beauty

beauty

Stretching the legs as the clouds break

Stretching the legs as the clouds break

Enjoying a sunny beer with a view of our ski tour from Stanley

Enjoying a sunny beer with a view of our ski tour from Stanley

The mighty Sawtooth rising above the clouds

The mighty Sawtooth rising above the clouds

Oct 202014
 
Francie riding up to the Pioneer Yurt

Francie riding up to the Pioneer Yurt

It’s the time of year when we cycle through the 6 huts in 3 different mountain ranges to get each hut ready for winter. We can remember many years when we were doing these annual chores in freezing temps and blizzards, but not this year. We have been blessed with one of the prettiest autumns we can remember here in Idaho. Perfect Indian Summer has persisted for over a month now with amazing foliage, crystal clear sunshine and generally stunning days. Much of the work we do this time of year requires access on bikes or foot. The current conditions have produced perfect melt/freeze conditions on the trails and some of the best biking of the year. Enjoy the pics from the various mountain ranges and huts and start getting stoked for the upcoming season!

Autumn tunnel

Autumn tunnel

Crossing the meadow to the Pio Yurt

Crossing the meadow to the Pio Yurt

Pioneer Yurt enjoying the Indian Summer Sun

Pioneer Yurt enjoying the Indian Summer Sun

ah, the peaks of the Pioneer Range

ah, the peaks of the Pioneer Range

The Bench Hut, waiting for a deep Sawtooth winter

The Bench Hut, waiting for a deep Sawtooth winter

Lakeview on the approach to Bench Hut

Lakeview on the approach to Bench Hut

Toby, giving little love to the hand-hewn table at Fishhook Yurt

Toby, giving little love to the hand-hewn table at Fishhook Yurt

The new Fishhook hut looks beautiful

The new Fishhook hut looks beautiful

ah, the Sawtooth from Fishhook Meadows!

ah, the Sawtooth from Fishhook Meadows!

Getting the wood in at Boulder Yurts

Getting the wood in at Boulder Yurts

Tornak Hut, ready for snow.

Tornak Hut, ready for snow.

Coyote, still an awesome destination for mountain biking

Coyote, still an awesome destination for mountain biking

Buff single track leaving the Coyote Yurts

Buff single track leaving the Coyote Yurts

The final descent back to the valley from Coyote Yurts

The final descent back to the valley from Coyote Yurts

NOW LET IT SNOW!

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!

Dec 062013
 

We are just back from the Sawtooth where SVT guides: Joe, Pato, Chris, Ed, Toby and new Interns: Trudy, Alisa and Niels braved the extreme cold temps (-22f) and fresh powder to prep the huts for the winter season. We found 16+” of new storm snow and close to 3′ of total snow at Bench Hut and some great (if cold) ski conditions. The pictures below should give you a good idea for what it is like out there right now. The ski trails are in and the powder awaits you! Give us a call if you want to get out and enjoy this beautiful early December.

The crew, getting the huts ready under -22f temps

The crew, getting the Fishhook Hut ready under -22f temps

Heading into the Teeth!

Heading into the Teeth!

Pato hard at work cutting over 30 trees that blocked the trail

Pato hard at work cutting over 30 trees that blocked the trail

Ahh, the cozy new Fishhook Hut at -22f

Ahh, the cozy new Fishhook Hut at -22f

Warm and cozy, the 1st winter night in the new hut

Warm and cozy, the 1st winter night in the new hut

My new favorite bunk in the mountains!

My new favorite bunk in the mountains!

The trees were popping with the cold temps

The trees were popping with the cold temps

As beautiful as ever

As beautiful as ever

Touring through the old growth

Touring through the old growth

Approaching Bench Hut

Approaching Bench Hut

Redfish Lake still ice free...

Redfish Lake still ice free…

Toby doing what an intern does.

Toby doing what an intern does.

Action

Action

Ski time

Ski time

Lots of fresh snow!

Lots of fresh snow!

Ed laying into the powder

Ed laying into the powder

IMG_6597

Chris, styling

Chris, styling

Cold Smoke

Cold Smoke

Toby hard at work

Toby hard at work

Alisa testing Idaho powder

Alisa testing Idaho powder

Pato, treetop flying

Pato, treetop flying

IMG_6649