Thursday, March 24, 2011

Smokie Mountains of Idaho UVM

"More than just ashes when your dreams come true..."
I am just returning from an amazing week of back country skiing in the Smokey mountains of South central Idaho.  This is the 10th season I have had the pleasure of skiing with a group of UVM students for their March break in Sun Valley.  Jon Abbott and I run this trip from the most comfortable back country wall tents and yurts owned and operated by my good friends Joe and Francie St. Onge of Sun Valley Trekking.  They operate 6 mountain huts in 3 major mountain ranges of Idaho.  It is from here we explore the mountain snow pack with a level 1 Avalanche  certification course and enjoy the delicate balance of earth and sky as we float down fall lines of burned timber and open bowls.  In many ways this is a very exciting week for me especially in seeing the revelation of many life time resort  skiers embracing the back country.  It is like owning a car that only goes in one direction and then realizing it can go many.  Watching this discovery is the very joy of the work i do in the mountains. Many thanks to the UVMers for all their cheer, tours and turns!
Yeah UVeey groovey new school style!

Skiing in the Burn from the huge fire three summers ago was a highlight of the trip.  Surreal tree lines and beautiful fluffy snow made a great day of touring for these Vermonters.  After 4000 feet of over hill and dale touring we were ready for to celebrate the last night in the Coyote yurt.  

My dear friend Joe St. Onge and myself still living the dream after two decades of skiing, climbing and working together.  Many thanks to Joe and Francie and the whole Sun Valley Trekking family for all there amazingly hard work to keep the backcounty huts running so smoothly!

Snow machine shuttle for the long skate out equals high client reward, yeah gotta love it!

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