Another awesome spring day skiing with the Sirens of Snow on Galena Peak!
We are just back from a 3 day mission into the Pioneer Yurt with goal of supplying the yurt with cords of firewood and other supplies for the next season. We transitioned from snowmobiles to chainsaws to skis and alpine axes, cutting lots of wood and climbing and skiing some classics in the process. Conditions are spring like on the big peaks and skied great.
Wow, what a great 3 days of spring skiing at the new Coyote Yurts! Bob and Kate (from our local backcountry ski shop: the Elephant’s Perch) joined our Canadian friends, Bernard and Sheri, for an action packed 3 days exploring the new burn skiing around Coyote with Joe. Splitter blue sky days made for an amazing backdrop of peaks, powder, corn and shadow lined burn skiing. We barely scratched the surface of the new north facing burned timber skiing possible and we skied a lot!
Oh yeah, the new Yurts are awesome too!
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!
Wednesday’s storm brought 10-20″ of fresh powder to the mountains of Central Idaho. With storms few and far between this season, the fresh snow brought big grins to all (skiers and farmers alike). Stability varies with the new storm and sensitive wind slabs can be found in exposed areas. Check the local advisory for the details: sawtoothavalanche.com and enjoy!
Joe St.Onge, Patrick Graham and interns: Niels Meyer and Alisa Mcgowan have just returned from 7 days in the Pioneer Mountains on a winter mountaineering training with a production crew from the BBC. An action packed week focused on learning skills related to avalanche safety, forecasting and rescue as well as backcountry skiing and mountaineering skills. the Pioneer Yurt served as base camp and the team also put in a high camp at 10,500 for a alpine ascent of Hyndman Peak. Conditions included a generally low snowpack and wind affected snow with hazards related to widespread wind slabs. The less then optimal ski conditions were balanced by the phenomenal setting and wonderful crew from the BBC. We look forward to seeing the ambitious and sure to be amazing footage to be produced by this intrepid film crew over the next couple of years!