December 14, 2015 Backcountry Skiing, Courses, Williams Peak HutThe seemingly slow start to the 2015-16 winter came to an abrupt end with a series of firehose storms targeting central Idaho. Over the past week, the mountains have picked up 3-4 feet of new snow. The storms started warm and wet – creating a nice solid base – and finished cold and dry. The perfect storm as they say!The mountains from Galena to Banner Summit now have a supportable 3-5′ base with excellent ski conditions. While there are some avalanche concerns with weak snow near the ground from the Thanksgiving dry spell, we expect this will improve and we look forward to having a good foundation to start the winter.We were able to enjoy the fantastic early season powder during this year’s Backcountry Skills Course at the Williams Peak Hut this past weekend. While we had difficulty finding bad snow in which to practice survival ski techniques, we made up for it with plenty of trail breaking and powder turning! In three short days, we covered the basics of backcountry skiing equipment, skinning and skiing techniques, and avalanche safety – all while managing to track up many of the slopes adjacent to the hut.Well, at long last, the 2015-16 winter has arrived in a flurry of flakes – time to get out and enjoy it!