Archive for February, 2011

Skate the Sawtooths

The days leading up to the trip weren’t exactly showing promise and it wasn’t like the Sawtooths got dumped on while we were there, but  somehow we got lucky. Lets back up a bit first. This fall I sent out a bunch of emails to people who I thought might be into a backcountry powderskate trip outside of Stanley Idaho in the Sawtooth National Forest. We worked the calender around a bit until we found a weekend that fit everyone’s schedule then set the date, February 10-13. With the prediction of la nina it seemed we couldn’t go wrong and with the strong start of winter it felt like we were in the money. While many parts of the west were having great winters though, the central Idaho area wasn’t. There were reports of boiler plate slabs and depressed skies all over the sun valley/stanley area and it seemed like the trip might be a bust. I really had zero expectations and would have postponed if any of the original invitees would have pulled out.

Thankfully no one did and the van was loaded and departed from Sandpoint with Eric, Cole, Jordan and Katie.

sawtooth start Skate the Sawtooths

Its about a 9 Hrs drive from my place so Thursday was dedicated to the highway. We had people coming from Logan Ut, Boise Id, southern California and Hood River for a total of ten powderskater/surfers and one telemarker.

Here’s a shot of the available quivers for the weekend. With the questionable snow people bought all their options.

sawtooth cabin board shot a Skate the Sawtooths

Early Friday morning we got the sleds warmed up and a short recon from the cabin, which is located on Fisher Creek.  I had the topos for the area and had explored in the summer but had no idea what it had to offer with respect to powderskating. There had been a pretty big fire about 3 summers ago so my hope was that the tree riding or better yet, snag riding would be fun.

A short sled ride from the cabin put us in a great location for exploring.

sawtooth sled shot a Skate the Sawtooths

sawtooth hike shot a Skate the Sawtooths

The snow was looking soft and the higher we got the better it got.

sawtooth first bowl looking Skate the Sawtooths

After the first few runs our below average expectations evaporated. The snow was great and we had three days to do as much damage as we could.

sawtooth tracked run Skate the Sawtooths

sawtooth meeting spot Skate the Sawtooths

sawtooth looking at lines1 Skate the Sawtooths

On our last day we spent the first part of the morning riding each others’ boards on this really fun cornice. In the background you can see the bowls that we spent most of our time in.

sawtooth board demos Skate the Sawtooths

Jeff built a jump with no run in right off the bat, then had people fling him at it. He stuck it and ripped turns to the bottom.

sawtooth board demos jeff jump Skate the Sawtooths

Jeremy was next with a shovit.

sawtooth board demos jeremy Skate the Sawtooths

There were plenty of boards to choose from.

sawtooths demo pic a board Skate the Sawtooths

We rode hard the whole trip and it was amazing. The sun wasn’t even supposed to be shining on Sunday so all of it felt like a gift.

It was hard to take but the weekend had to come to an end sometime.

sawtooth end of runs Skate the Sawtooths

sawtooth cabin shot everyone Skate the Sawtooths

We had the cameras rolling quite a bit, and Jeremy is a pro so I expect to see some great action photos from this trip. Lets just say a certain picture triggered remotely by the rider (Jeremy) is most definitely a cover shot and will blow some minds.

I did some amateur video editing of the weekend for you all to enjoy. Its a download and plays on quicktime. Should only take a few minutes to load, just hit the red skate the sawtooths link here > Skate the Sawtooths

sawtooth last shot van mnt Skate the Sawtooths

Kootenay Pass BC

kootpass group fish eye Kootenay Pass BC

Alan called on Sunday with a plan to meet up with Jordan and ride Kooteay pass on Wednesday. At first I thought I was too busy to go, but then the reality of the opportunity came into focus and a plan was made, kinda. As timing would have it a call from Brandon about wanting to ride his new Boyd Hill powderskate got him an invite. Combine that with my new 145′s first run and Alan on his new 36″ chiller top deck and this trip was turning into a testing expedition.

kootpass parkinglot Kootenay Pass BC

The quiver in question.

kootpass quiver Kootenay Pass BC

Out of the dirty parking lot and into the soft fluffy back country in five minutes.

kootpas hiking a Kootenay Pass BC

First ten feet of the warm up run and Alan is in the air.

kootpass alan first ollie Kootenay Pass BC

Brandon‘s first run on his new powderskate

kootpass brandon warm up Kootenay Pass BC

Find waldo

kootpass alan warm up Kootenay Pass BC

With our warm up out of the way its off to some real terrain.

kootpass mark hiking Kootenay Pass BC

kootpass alan big hit rock Kootenay Pass BC

kootpass jordan drop Kootenay Pass BC

We stayed and played in this bowl for the rest of the trip. Lots of pillow drops and with a bit of hiking steep untracked runs.

kootpass alan jordan hiking Kootenay Pass BC

kootpass alan big hit tree Kootenay Pass BC

This an amazing zone with easy access and deep snow. Can’t wait to go back.