At Sawtooth Mountain Guides, your experience is what matters most. We pride ourselves on providing a mountain adventure that exceeds your wildest expectations. Don't take our word for it, read what others have to say!
Our trip to Williams Peak Hut looks rough on paper: 80 year old cancer patient with his two portly sons, one of whom had never used climbing skins, and the boys packed in enough cheap wine to compress vertebrae and eliminate brain cells. If not for the courage of a fearless crew, and support from all over the SMG organization, we would have turned back 1/3 of the way to the yurt. For sure, when I broke a binding beyond repair in the last 1/4 mile of the skin in, I started planning my walk out the next day.
But Everett and Jaime patched me up and turned a disaster into an awesome ski trip by literally carrying it on their shoulders. Everett skied out my old busted stuff and loaned me his supercharged skis and boots...so far beyond the call of duty. Both of these guides are seasoned pros, I can only hope we added some laughs to the stories they tell around a fire later on.
I was wrecked at the end of the skin in and at the end of each ski day. Fortunately, yurtmeister Lara kept the fire warm and a plentiful table of fresh, delicious nutrition back at the hut. She's one of the most joyful people I've met, and I doubt I'd have regained my salubrity without her hearty salads.
I went from "never again" to getting replacement bindings that will get me up there next year... probly carrying a bit less wine... or maybe just in better shape.
PS TripAdvisor is pretty limited in "what sort of visit was this" options. "Friends " only partly describes this trip.
I took the Intro to Backcountry Skiing Course based at Bogus Basin Ski Resort in Idaho. The first day was split into two parts, first half was lecture and the second half was in the filed. The second day was 90% in the field. The lecture covered everything we needed to know to get started. The instructors Kirk and Erik went over the equipment needed and how to use it. Avalanche awareness and snow knowledge and how to stay safe. Then we went into the backcountry near Bogus Basin and performed avalanche beacon drills, everyone got to use their beacons, probes and shovels. Had a quick lunch and skinned up to the summit of Moore's Mountain. They showed us how to best choose a route up as to not spoil the downhill skiing. Learned how to transition in deep snow. Then skied back down the mountain. The second day was all about trip planning and how to stay safe, map reading and how to translate the map to the area we were in. We went back to Moore's mountain and skied the northern aspect of the mountain, transitioned in fresh deep snow, and skinned back up. Along the way we got to experience equipment issues and how to resolve them, slope evaluation and snow conditions with fresh snow. We then went back to the base area and had a debriefing and discussion on the trip. I can't say enough good things about Kirk and Erik, these two are the real deal when it comes to Backcountry anything!! Their backcountry skills are second to none! Their ability to teach these skills to those that want to learn is second to none! I wish there were more stars to this rating because they deserve more! I can't wait to take the Avy 1 & 2 classes from them in the coming years! I will only use Sawtooth Mountain Guides!
My wife and I took this class to learn more about avalanche safety so that we could expand and improve our backcountry skiing experience. Our objectives were to learn more about how to avoid dangerous avalanche terrain and how to best rescue someone in the event of an unfortunate circumstance. Lastly, we wanted to have some fun. Our experience with Sawtooth Mountain Guides exceeded our expectations in each. The guides were fabulous, extremely knowledgeable and fun to be around. It was a fantastic experience! I would highly recommend this course with Sawtooth Mountain Guides!
We did a back country ski tour with Skylar of Sawtooth Mountain Guides, it was a fun adventure with safety the top priority. Skylar was very knowledgeable about the local area and avalanche awareness. He was exceedingly good at explaining the risks and how he mitigated them by proper route selection and planning. It was also a ton of fun! We skied some pristine powder and had a great time all day. SMG is a well managed company with a strong safety culture that starts at the top. I have the highest regards for the management there as their values show in all the guides. I’ve climbed and skied with Other guide services around the world but none match the professionalism of SMG. Highly recommended!
Matt was an incredible guide. While I have done a little bit of skinning up groomed routes, this was my first time in true backcountry. Matt was incredibly knowledgeable, patient and willing to educate our group on fundamentals and of course, staying safe. All in all, an incredible day and I just booked another trip (the ultimate testimony!). Truly a 5 star experience.
Bottom Line = Guide Help Climbing Borah Peak - was EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR I am fairly experienced mountaineer, but lack expertise in several areas and was in less than ideal shape, so - Was looking for guide help from Sawtooth Mountain Guides - to 1. Increase the safety-factor (vs. solo) in a significant way (5 stars) 2. Decrease my overall travel time (adding to item #1) yet go my desired slow pace Having a guide that had made this climb via standard route >30 times (38 if memory serves) meant - No wrong turns in the dark or accidental class 4-5 detours = decrease mental energy use (always greater if you are doing the route-finding and decision-making). 3. Allow me to choose the start time (way early) and pace, with the result I had hoped for (slow, but still off the ridge before lightning time). JP (Jonathan Preuss) was ideal guide - very accommodating and providing the needed expertise in all its forms. And he was a nice guy to talk with on the climb. Thanks much. Paul BTW - For those only interested in the mountain - It was good fun - There are plenty of other sources to gain more specific info.
6 stars if Trip Advisor would let me! In a nutshell, this guide service R-O-C-K-S, and Matt Scrivner was an amazing guide, cook, companion, and all-around amazing guy.
A long-time friend of mine joined me last minute on this 5 day trip in the Sawtooths -- climbing, hiking, fishing, exploring. SMG took care of everything (loaner gear, food, tents, portaging, logistics, boat tickets, planning, adjusting the plan for weather events). We saw a big swath of the east side of the Sawtooths, climbed Elephant Perch and the Super Slabs, caught a lot of trout, and hiked about 25 miles in total. Gear was up for the cold nights, and for the rain we encountered. Safety was job one, but the guide service did SO MUCH more than just show us where to go and make us safe.
1. FOOD -- amazing. Flat out great. Guide-created menus. Mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegarette. Homemade soups. Burritos. Eggs and ham breakfasts. Granola. Sandwich makings for lunch one day. Pasta dishes with various sauces. Appetizers. Just incredible. And not freeze dried -- the real deal.
2. SAFETY -- the guide carries a radio, plus a rescue beacon device that can text via satellite to get weather updates. They bring some spare gear and first aid. And are trained in first aid. Most of all, they know the trails and landscape INSIDE OUT and you always feel like they are watching out for you. We got snowed off of the Warbonnet climb and the guide was super fast and efficient at getting us down safely. Great work Matt!
3. THE PLACE -- the Sawtooths are PRIMO hiking, climbing, and outdoor camping locations. The sunrises and sunsets. The moon. The stars. The snow and sleet. The sweeping views. The streams and rivers. The reflective lakes. The cliff views. The mountain tops. The hawks, and falcons, and other wildlife. This is the REAL deal for outdoor camping and experiencing the outdoors in a wonderful, isolated setting.
4. FISHING -- Our guide didn't do much more than point us in the right direction and we went in with 4 and 5 weight fly rods and caught as many fish as we could count. Not big, but a lot of fun. And a good way to have a small adventure alone without the guide right next to us. Two good fishing spots in different parts of the range, both productive and very enjoyable. So, get a rod and a license and add this to your mix if you like the idea.
5. CLIMBING -- Matt was excellent at leading us up some wet rock on Elephant Perch, and showing us the ropes on the Super Slabs. This is a GREAT place to get in some serious rock climbing and to improve your skills.
OVERALL RATING: A+
SMG is the real deal. Don't think twice about trusting your life to these folks and just go into the backcountry for a true adventure!
I am so stoked that I took my family up the super slabs with Sawtooth mountain guides. We are not climbers, but love outdoor adventure. The super slabs were perfect. My two boys (ages 10 and 12) were scampering up the rock with one of the guides in no time. My wife and I were quite a bit slower. It was challenging, but doable. A multi pitch climb in a gorgeous mountain setting. I’ve never done anything like it. The guides were awesome! So cool!
My wife and I, ages 62 and 67, today hiked up the giant slabs with Eric has our guide. We cannot speak highly enough of Eric‘s confidence, skill and encouragement. Neither of us had ever climbed anything more than a flight of stairs and this was a totally new experience for us. We made it to the top and wow what a sense of accomplishment came with it. If you want to truly forget your cares and worries go rock climbing up some serious terrain . You are forced to focus on the task at hand and your worries just fade away. Look forward to doing it again next year with SMG.