Archive for the ‘avalanche education’ Category

Hut Based Avalanche Courses

January 19, 2012

The past couple weekends (1/6-8 & 1/13-15) SMG held two level 1 avalanche courses at the Williams Peak Yurt.  Participants hiked in 6 miles – to live in the mountains for 3 days while absorbing information about snowpack layering, avalanche terrain and rescue training.  Good weather, great views and even some good turns were had in both weekends.

Now our ski tracks and the layers of the snowpack are buried under several more feet of new snow!


BC Skills – Skiing & Riding at the Williams Peak Yurt

December 18, 2011
Stanley, Idaho

Stanley and the shadow of the Sawtooth Mountains

Last weekend we kicked off the Winter 2011/12 ski season with the Backcountry Skills Camp – a course covering avalanche awareness and touring skills at the hut.  Participants skied/rode for 3 days, got some avalanche rescue practice, exposure to snowpack layering, terrain management and plenty of touring.  We had a fun group, all around good vibe, and nice weather.

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Out and About

March 4, 2011

Although we’ve been pretty busy in January and February, we have managed to get out and explore the mountains on our free time.  Now March is already here and we’re starting to get psyched for the ski mountaineering camps.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story….Jan – early Feb 2011.

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BC Skills…plenty of powder

December 18, 2010

Last weekend was our Backcountry Skills Course at the Williams Peak Hut.  We focused on interpreting the avalanche bulletin, rescue skills, backcountry travel, snowpack layering and some avalanche concepts.  With a snowy early season, participants were pleased with powder conditions and fun skiing around the hut.

Neil Bradshaw Spring Hut Trip 4/15-18/2010

April 28, 2010

Neil Bradshaw put together a great group of guys from the Wood River Valley to come and partake of the fine spring ski conditions at the Williams Peak Hut.  The weather was gorgeous and the camaraderie was fantastic.  Whit Atkinson, George Kirk, Brent Estep, Mike Pogue, Per Lindfors, Tom Shepard, Pete Stommel, and Neil Bradshaw got to climb and ski some great lines in the Sawtooths and hone their ski mountaineering skills.  The crew climbed and skied a number of classic lines like: Big Fatty, Peak 10084′, Thompson Peak, Mickey’s Spire, and Carter Peak.  Pete Stommel commented that he appreciated SMG’s Kirk Bachman, Mike Hatch, and Trei Cook  for “helping this neophyte backcountry skier in his “Baptism by fire” and his first time using skins on skis.”  George Kirk while on Skier’s Summit looking over to the line he skied off  Peak 10084′ commented, ” Looking at that line before yesterday I’d say there would be no way in hell I’d ski something like that.”  All the guys rallied and made some really nice signature turns above the hut.  Thanks gentlemen and we’ll see ya again next April.  Cheers, Hatch

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January Avy Courses

January 26, 2010

This Winter Season is about Good-Decision-Making & Terrain Selection & Dialing Down Ambitions for Big Lines

Following early winter trips and courses in December at the Williams Peak Yurt, our January has rolled out a number of  AIARE Level 1  and Level 2 courses for an array of backcountry audiences.  The First Ascent Guide Team came together for a Custom Level 2 which focused on in-depth skills in Observations, Forecasting Skills and Tour Leadership. IFMGA Teton Guide, Kent McBride joined Kirk to head up the 4-day program. Our terrain nearby on Galena Pass and Copper Mountain provided striking contrasts in snow pack instabilities after a recent avalanche cycle. The Sawtooth Hotel provided the ambiance with meals and accommodations for the course.  Great venue!

Two back to back Level 1 Courses for Skiers and Snowboarder at the Williams Peak Hut were in full attendance with folks  from Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana. With a very interesting snowpack in the northern Sawtooths, small tour groups joined Kirk, Hatch and Clark to assess the mountain terrain while snowpack evaluation necessitated smart backcountry travel skills. The Skier’s Summit provided an excellent tour objective to assess  and manage hazards.

During the January mid-weeks, we had the pleasure of running two custom trainings.  The first was a 3-day AIARE Level 1 for the Greenwoods Ski Haus  pros.  A great bunch of eight backcountry enthusiasts from Boise’s most trusted ski pro shop.    Winter storms added to a changing snowpack for the sessions offering up interesting conditions for travel decisions.

The Sun Valley Fire Department joined us to run a Level 1 Training for their Team which  combined the course content with enhanced Rescue Response Skills. This course was based from their Fire station for Lectures. Galena Pass came through with an unstable snowpack for field study  and the onslaught of a natural avalanche cycle, kept the fire crew utilizing conservative decisions while riding terrain on snowmobiles. Thanks to Nick from the firehouse for bringing a team together for the course: Course Leader Michael Hatch, AIARE Instructors Clark Corey and George Di’angelo.

While heading up the Avalanche Awareness program for REI in Boise to fill out the month thru January,  Kirk joins forces with the Eco Lounge in Boise during  early February, while our Feb. 5-7  AIARE LEVEL 1 is booked with a full crew.  Anyone interested in AVALANCHES?  The season continues:  Level 2–Tour Leaderhip and Avalanche Hazard, Custom Avalanche Courses and tours with our guides in February and March.  Keep a keen eye for the ongoing snowpack season….astute observations…stay tuned!!