Spring in the Sawtooths provides the perfect venue to learn ski and snowboard mountaineering techniques.

Based at the famous Williams Peak Hut in the northern Sawtooth Range,  you’ll learn important skills such as steep snow travel, belaying and rappelling, and anchor building  – then apply them on technical tours, classic peak ascents/descents, or in aesthetic rock-lined couloirs. From entry-level ski mountaineering routes to technical steep skiing objectives, we can accommodate a variety of skill levels.

While skill development and pursuing alpine ski objectives will be the theme of the Camp, we won’t forget to enjoy ourselves and soak in the spectacular alpine ambience of the snow-covered Sawtooths!

Backcountry Magazine “Chute School” Article – February 2009

Read a trip report from previous the 2013 Spring Ski Mounaineering Camp

Day 1

  • Welcome and introductions; course overview; equipment check/issue/review
  • Discussion of avalanche danger and anticipated hazards
  • Approach to Williams Peak Yurt
  • Afternoon skills session: Basic Rope Work (harnesses and improvised harnesses, knots, basic belaying and rappeling) or short ski tour—conditions dependent
  • Optional evening skills session: Basic Rope Work (if ski tour elected upon hut arrival)

Day 2

  • “Snow School” – walking/climbing on firm snow with introduction to “French Technique” and use of an ice axe; self-belay; self-arrest presentation and practice; use of crampons; use/discussion of roping up for ski mountaineering objectives
  • Half-day ski objective with emphasis on “Snow School” skills practice
  • Evening skills session: Route Planning

Day 3

  • All day objective – classics include the South Face of Williams Peak, couloir circuit (Resurrection, What’s Up Doc, JC, etc.), Thompson Peak, Round the Block, Marshall/Meadow Loop. Options encompass techy tours with rappels and/or other rope work, classic firm snow ski objectives, and steep, sometimes belayed couloir skiing
  • Afternoon skills session: Ski Anchors

Day 4

  • ¾ day ski mountaineering objective
  • Depart from hut
  • Return to trailhead by 4:30pm

 Difficulty: Good fitness, approximately 20 days of previous ski touring experience and expert downhill ski skills required

 Duration: 4 days

 Meeting Time: 8am

 Meeting Location: Sawtooth Mountain Guides Headquarters in Stanley

 What We Provide:

  • Most technical equipment (ice axe, harness, helmet, belay device, carabiners, ropes, etc.) If you have your own equipment please bring it!
  • Avalanche rescue equipment
  • All food and portering of food to hut
  • 3 nights at the William Peak Hut
    • Sleeping bags at the hut – we will provide a compact sleeping bag liner for you to carry in
    • Footwear at the hut

 What You Need:

  • Ski crampons and boot crampons (we have some boot crampons, but they can be boot-specific – please inquire)
  • Alpine touring equipment – rubber-soled AT boots with walk mode required, Dynafit-style bindings strongly encouraged
  • Splitboarding equipment – hard boot, “Dyna-split” style set up strongly encouraged
  • Backcountry skiing clothing and equipment
  • Review the full equipment list

 Dates: 

  • April 19-22, 2018 (spots available)
  • April 26-29, 2018 (7 spots left)

Ratio: 4:1

 Rates: $895/person