First major winter storm of the season
Up ’til now, our fall has been characterized by high pressure and little snowfall. High and dry as they say. At long last, the pattern has finally shifted, opening the door to a decent Thanksgiving storm and the possibility of more snow later this week. Since Thursday morning, our area has picked up 12-16″ of new snow – which isn’t quite enough for widespread ski-worthy coverage, but we’re getting close. Regardless, the Sawtooths are looking much whiter and our ski gear is at the ready. One more good storm and it should be game on!
Sawtooth Mountain Guides would like to welcome a few new faces to our amazing (and much appreciated!) staff. Jamie Weeks began work as a snowboard guide 20 years ago and has worked for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Valdez Heli Ski Guides, and Exum Guides. He’s one of the few AMGA-certified Snowboard Guides, and we’re fortunate to have such a qualified splitboard guide on our staff. Jamie’s had long-time ties to Stanley, and this summer made it his full-time home.
Lara Antonello has joined our team as the Williams Peak Hutkeeper. While she hasn’t officially started, she did come to our annual fall woodcut and quickly proved her mettle. Lara has an education in wildlife biology and has worked all over the west in the natural resources field, including a summer in Stanley working for the Idaho Fish & Game. Lara will be the smiling face hut renters will meet at the start of their trip and is responsible for the upkeep and stocking of the Williams Peak Hut – we’re excited to have her!
This winter, SMG co-owner Chris Lundy is returning to the Sawtooth Avalanche Center (SAC) as an avalanche forecaster. He worked there previously from 2004-2012, spending his last two seasons as the director. Chris left the SAC when he and his wife Sara became co-owners of SMG in 2013. Chris is excited to return to forecasting, but still plans to ski guide and teach avalanche courses for SMG whenever he can.
In other news…
You may have seen on social media that we installed new decking at the Williams Peak Hut. The old deck was showing it’s age and was a bit out of level (ahem). The firewood is now in and things are ready to go for the winter! One of the first hut-based programs of the season is our Backcountry Skills Course – which covers trip planning, avalanche safety and rescue, backcountry equipment use and repair, as well as uphill and downhill ski/travel techniques. It’s a great intro to the sport of backcountry skiing, and the perfect way to dust off the summer cobwebs in a stunning location!
If you haven’t quenched your thirst for new ski gear on Black Friday, be sure to check out guide Drew Daly’s review of the new Salomon/Atomic Shift Binding. If you’re looking for something that you can trust inbounds but still allows efficient touring, don’t miss the review.