Archive for December, 2009

More Snow and Avalanche Courses…

December 27, 2009

From the 2nd day of the BC Skills Camp (12/12) to Thursday 12/17, the Sawtooth received about 1.5 feet of snow.  This brought the average depths at the Yurt up to  3 feet on Souths, and 4 feet on upper shaded aspects.

We had a private Level 1 w/ the First Ascent Team the weekend of 12/19-12/21.  Kirk, Erik Leidecker and Lel (AIARE instructor from Tahoe) taught the course which was the standard 3 day hut stay, but with 5 students.   Reggie and Zach Crist also were at the yurt and they will be updating their FA blog soon…check it out.  The new snow, sitting on weak layers, created perfect conditions for an avalanche class.

While Kirk, Erik and crew were up at the yurt, Hatch and I were in town teaching a Level 1 Refresher (Avalanche Skills Advancement Workshop).  This course is slowly gaining popularity, and for good reason.  Its cheap, covers all the basics, and includes class room time, but mainly logging time in the field.  Its a great way to brush up on beacon skills, snow pit work, terrain management and any other skills people want to work on.  We toured out at Copper mountain, and found rather scary avalanche conditions.  Good thing there are conservative routes down with good skiing.  Here’s a couple photos from the ASAW:

Thanks for the photos Kelley!



First Ascent & SMG early season tour

December 23, 2009

Make sure to check out their blog throughout the year too.


Backcountry Skills Course 12/11-13 2009

December 22, 2009

In the middle of December Sawtooth Mountain Guides instructors Mike Hatch and Clark Corey ran a Backcountry Skills Course up at the Williams Peak Hut in the Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho.  We had five students and a nice mix of snowboarders and skiers.  For three days the course participants had the pleasure of familiarizing themselves with their backcountry skiing/riding gear and the terrain around the hut, learning winter travel techniques and avalanche awareness training, and meeting some nice folks.  We were blessed with 6″ of light fluffy snow and found some nice powder stashes in the trees.  Coverage was a little skimpy down low, but we made the most of what was there. A couple days later Mother Nature threw down another foot of powder to freshen things up.  Our thanks go out to Shawna, Gabe, Justin, Laura, Joe, and Mary for a great course.  Happy Holidays!

1st Turns in the Sawtooths!

December 4, 2009

Yesterday we ventured out, in hopes of finding a few turns, getting some exercise, and checking out a new zone.  Well, the skiing up high wasn’t bad at all…see for yourself.

We got turns practically off the true summit!  Not bad for the first week of December, although the coverage is still aspect dependent.   The snow is very thin down low…which makes the first part of the approach, and last part of the ski out a little dicey!  Be careful not to snag your ski under some sage brush and do cartwheels.  Lets hope the disturbance this weekend, and the change in jet next week, can push out this sunny weather and bring some snow.