Our favorite time of year is upon us…the snowpack is getting deep, weak layers have healed, and conditions are conducive to exploring the high mountains and steep terrain. In other words, it’s time for ski mountaineering!

Our first hut-based ski mountaineering trip took place a week ago with the Casperson clan and friends. Prior to the trip, 16″ of new snow fell on a stable base producing some excellent powder conditions in the alpine. After a warm up day in Meadow Bowl, we booted up What’s Up Doc in Profile Basin. Soft, edgeable conditions in the couloir gave way to a powder-filled apron below. Dreamy conditions indeed.

We’ve also found similar soft snow conditions and good stability in other parts of the Sawtooths. The Elevator Shaft served up fantastic conditions, and Drew just returned from a clean sweep of the Bench Lakes area. Joined by Kevin from last year’s Ski Mountaineering Camp, they managed to ski the Gun Barrel, Heyburn, and the Sickle in one trip!

If you’d like to learn more about ski mountaineering skills and techniques, be sure to check out our super popular Spring Ski Mountaineering Camp!

In Other News

  • Erik had a quick, fun trip to Switzerland as a member of Eddie Bauer’s guide team – always fun to explore a mountain culture steeped in tradition and history.
  • We just wrapped up another successful AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course. Although we had unusually stable conditions and we saw few layers of concern in the snowpack, the stability allowed us to explore steeper terrain and cover terrain management in more detail.
  • Marc is due back from his annual pilgrimage to Japan – we can’t wait to see the usual photos of chest deep pow!

Enjoy the photos – hope they inspire you to get after it this spring!