December 14, 2016 Avalanche Education, Backcountry SkiingWhat looked like a slow start to the winter changed course in a strong way last week. By the end of the weekend, most of our mountain terrain went from barely skiable to skiable to powder skiing in very short order! The snowpack in most areas is hovering around 3-4′ in depth. While there is significant avalanche hazard at present, the snowpack has settled out to the point where there’s fantastic powder skiing even on low slope angles. We’re just about to start our second AIARE Level 1 Course of the season, there’s excellent powder touring on Galena and Banner Summits, and our first Powder Patrol of the winter is next Wednesday, December 21st. There’re even a couple nights open at the Williams Peak Hut early next week.There’s another significant storm coming in tonight, and the long term forecast looks promising. We’re expecting a busy and powder-filled holiday season. We look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones, all with a common fondness for scenic mountains, ski touring, and powder snow!Hope to see you out there! Back on Galena Summit with the winter's first AIARE Level 1 Course. Practicing avlanahce rescue during an early winter AIARE Level 1 Course. Better find the shovel! 1m base at the Williams Peak Hut, and getting deeper! SMG guide Tanner Haskins on his first day of touring. Cha ching. After a baseless, wallowy start, SMG co-owner Chris Lundy is excited to see the snowpack gaining some strength. We certainly weren't imagining turns like this a week ago. People aren't the only ones who love powder. It can only get better from here, right? Winter wonderland. Cliche? Yes. Does it get old? No. First blue sky powder day of the year. SMG co-owner Sara Lundy always smiles when she skis power.