November 16, 2014 Backcountry Skiing, Williams Peak HutThere comes a time each year when the season has clearly changed from fall to winter. Summer and fall activities like hiking, running, and biking become a thing of the past, and we are left with no choice but to think about skiing and riding. This year, that happened this past Friday.A westerly storm track left 1-2 feet of new snow in the mountains. We were able to ski into the Williams Peak Hut yesterday to work on some yurt projects, and although the coverage was thin, it sure felt good to be sliding.Various reports indicate that while folks are getting out on skis, the coverage is still thin and you’d be pushing it to ski anything without a friendly sagebrush base. The Sawtooth Avalanche Center is reporting dangerous avalanche conditions due to a weak, faceted base underlies the new snow on upper elevation slopes. So while it’s certainly time to get fired up about skiing, you might have to rein in that enthusiasm a bit to ensure an injury-free early winter!At SMG, we’re getting geared up for winter with some hut projects (stay tuned for more on that) and looking forward to our Backcountry Skills Courses and our AIARE Level 1 Programs.Welcome to winter … now keep praying for snow! Stanley eventually picked up nearly a foot of new snow. The drive into the Redfish Trailhead was a bit touch and go. Starting to feel like winter, especially in the high peaks. Looks like some shoveling ahead! 16" of new snow at the Williams Peak Hut. The rear view mirror as we skied out at dusk.