Sunday, April 25, 2010

Limestone Bouldering?

Aki and I spent the weekend camping on the property near Mackay and exploring lots of rock.
Here are some boulders we found, which were sharp but pretty bomber! I'd have a hard time committing to some of the high balls without testing the holds first... but maybe a ladder (or a rope), a brush or two and some crash pads?

Limestone cracks? Yeah!

Is that hold below the lip solid? I hope so!

Nearby is a spring with some amazing pictographs on the surrounding cliffs (not the boulders).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Chutes of Narnia

Here's a little video from mid winter. The light was terrible but it's worth a quick look. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Springtime in South Central Idaho

I've guided a few hut trips recently and here are some pics from the Pio Yurt as well as the Bench Hut. Conditions in the Pioneers last week were variable and variable. Did I say they were variable? New snow arrived in early April, then the classic Pio recipe of wind and sun wrecked havoc on what would have been powder skiing. We managed to find a bit of cold, soft snow and the scenery was as spectacular as always!

The trip into the Bench Hut was timed just about perfect. Mid to upper elevation snow was cold and dry on shady aspects when we arrived and the sky was blue bird. Temps continued to rise over the course of the three days and the snow began to take a little heat, but the skiing was still great! Let's hope the heat wave subsides and we move into a cycle of corn skiing!

The new Pio Yurt! So much bigger and better!

A quick transition on top of the wind sculpted Peanut.

The Jewels at the Hyndman/Old Hyndman saddle - check out the size of those cornices!

Olin ripping the first pitch of the Thumbline outside of Bench - one of the most classic ski lines around!

Returning back to the hut, skiing the 5th Lake Bowl below the summit of Heyburn.

Chopper dropping in Defib Couloir. No shock advised, even after all that bacon!

The last of cold snow skiing this year? I hope not... Our tracks from earlier in the day on the Thumbline.

Enjoy your spring!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Steamboat Patrol Exchange

Last week, friend and fellow patroller Ryan and I did a patrol exchange with Steamboat, Colorado. Ryan had kayaked in nearby Fish Creek, but neither of us had skied there before. We Arrived to 3" of new snow the first day and another 8" the next day. Steamboat has had a similar winter as us, with low snow totals and lots of warming prior to this most recent weather system. We skied hard the first two days, mostly in bounds and in the clouds. Steamboat has some of the finest tree skiing around! They have done a great job thinning the aspens and lodgepole in skiable "lanes".
Once the storm passed and the weather turned blue bird, we began to tour into the canyon. Most of the runs involved a fair amount of traversing and sidestepping to access steep 200-1000' treed and rocky shots. When they learned that we liked to tour, their snow safety supervisor, Kyle, took us on a couple skinning tours where we were able to get beyond the tracks. Steamboat has some cool terrain with an outstanding group of patrollers. It's a neat corner of Colorado that is very different from the rest of the state. Thanks to Ryan, Sun Valley and the Steamboat Ski Patrol for a great week of skiing!


Ripping through the pillowland.
Steamboat is big. They use to do over a million skier days a year. Now down to about 850K, but they still make money.
Steamboat patroller, Ryan, leading us on a tour.
How's your aspen?
Kyle taking in the view of Fish Creek Canyon. Look closely and you can see the ski tracks.
A tour up Hahn's Peak on our last day.
Ryan topping out. I got pretty use to this view, being in the back. I didn't bring my Dynafits, and instead toured in Gotamas, Dukes and alpine boots... talk about slow and heavy!
Our last tracks at the Boat!