January 13, 2015 Backcountry Skiing, Williams Peak HutAfter such a powder-filled December, what will the New Year bring? Time will tell of course, but so far we’ve seen less stormy weather and a stable snowpack. Conditions have allowed us to explore steeper alpine terrain that we often don’t get to until much later in the season. Recent warm temps have left breakable crusts in many locations, but we’re continuing to find cold, dry, stable snow on high elevation north slopes.January is also the month when our avalanche education programs launch into full swing – we’ve already taught a Level 1 and Level 1 Refresher up at the hut, and this weekend we will be teaching no fewer than three Level 1’s! We find it exciting that more and more people are seeking avalanche education, and hope it leads to safer backcountry experiences for all!Speaking of avalanche education, folks in the Boise area looking to learn about avalanches or refocus the avalanche eyeballs, SMG Co-Owner Chris Lundy will be giving a free avalanche awareness talk at REI tomorrow night at 7pm. And we still have a few spots left in our January 30 – February 1 AIARE Level 1 Course.Be sure to check out the photo gallery below and 3-D panorama from the top of Big Fatty. Happy New Year and hope your winter is off to a great start! Powder conditions just getting better through the New Year The stormy holiday weather finally revealed the mountains A much needed dose of sunshine Returning from the Fishhook Hut A family New Year trip to the Fishhook Hut. The kids had no trouble staying entertained! Clearing weather led to stable conditions and tours into the alpine Justin nears the top of Big Fatty Big Fatty feels the first kiss of skis for the season Exploring an unnamed chute in Meadow Bowl Crossing Stanley Lake Creek begins a challenging approach to McGown Beginning the ascent of McGown's north couloir Conditions were not primo, but it's not every January you can have a ski mountaineering adventure!