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!
Pato, Francie and JP caught up with some of the Sirens and Bros this week to explore some of the goods to be found high on Galena Summit north of Ketchum. Recent snowfall and cold overnight temperature have kept shady slopes soft and deep above 8500′. Our guest could not have asked for more as the sun warmed our faces and the powder soothed our souls! It was all smiles as we linked ridge after ridge on both of these classic Sun Valley Trekking ski tours. To book a trip with one of our expert ski guides, give us a call, and we’ll help you drop in proud!
SVT guides Joe St.Onge and Chris Marshall went for a recon tour above the Boulder Yurts today to check conditions for future tours. Good ski conditions were found above 9000′ and some stability issues including: new wind slabs (30cm deep) which were producing easy failures and planar shears in isolated areas as well as triggering a fairly large loose snow/sluff avalanche in the deep facets in steep terrain. Have fun and heads up out there!
We are closing out 2013 with 53% of average snowfall, which makes finding the awesome ski tours a bit of a challenge. But we are working overtime to find the best snow and most fun tours and would love to share some of our hard work with you! Check out some pics from yesterday to see what we are up to.
Every winter the guides of SVT gather to run training seminars and workshops. Typically we focus on particular goals at each training, dusting off skills, sharing lessons and tricks and evaluating how to do things better and more efficiently. This years early season training was focused on winter rescue. We discussed and practiced avalanche rescue, emergency shelters and stoves, 1st aid and then ran 3 separate sled evacuations off Titus Ridge to the trailhead. Check out the photos below to get ideas for different possibilities and approaches to addressing a forced bivy or having to evacuate a partner with a broken leg.
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.
SVT guides: Joe St.Onge, Patrick Graham and Chris Marshall went for a tour out in the Smoky Mountains yesterday to check the early season conditions. Despite a relatively thin snow pack, good turning conditions were found and a beautiful tour was had. Careful route finding and conservative choices are key to avoid the many thin snow hazards that are present right now. With that in mind, there is some fun skiing to be had right now!
We Did It!! Less than two months after the Beaver Creek Fire incinerated the Coyote Yurts, we have built a beautiful new Coyote. Two yurts connected by a covered breezeway, new sauna and outhouse are ready for backcountry travelers.
This situation was extreme. There was the worry and anticipation of a major wild fire burning around three of our huts. The confirmation that Coyote was gone was rough. On our first visit to where the yurts were, the fire was still burning and the shock of the impact of the fire on a place we know and love was heavy. But it was the recognition that it is all OK. These mountains and forest depend on fire. We can rebuild, the skiing will be phenomenal and the burned forest will bloom again soon. It will just take hard work, some money and time.
In a two week push and cold snowy weather broken by spectacular blue sky days we built the new Coyote yurts. This effort truly took a village to realize, and THANK YOU to all who helped!
The new Coyote is a unique and beautiful hut and we hope it is enjoyed by many in the years to come!