Archive for March, 2011
Sorry about the lack of updates but this last month has been a whirlwind of big pow days, pressing decks and another epic road trip. After our last visit to the sawtooths I emailed Cory Smith at mtnapproach.com about his new approach skis that fold up small enough to fit in a pack.
Cory, who lives in Sun Valley and works at Smith Optics, checked out my post on the Sawtooths and extended an invite to come down for a few days of riding and filming at the Smith Optics private back country zone. Well I may be busy with work and family stuff but a invite like this doesn’t come along very often and so I jumped at the chance. I got the ok to bring along a friend and Cole happened to be in the right place at the right time so he scored the second seat. Not sure what exactly was in store we loaded up the car and hit the road. All we knew was there would be another group of riders hitting some jumps and that me and Cole would be able to explore the zone and hopefully find some pow. We got into Smiley Creek late and found the bunkhouse, which was a really old two stories cabin that had been patched up just enough to keep the heat in. After introducing ourselves to the crew inside we found a spot on the floor to throw down our bags and go to sleep.
The next morning the crew was a little confused about what to do we us. We didn’t have our own sled and the snowcat with the crew cab wasn’t working. Luckily a few of the guys tandemed us up to the zone. Our first day was great, we were able to catch a couple of rides up the mountain from the crew and caught deep pow turns on the way down. They were all pretty busy scoping jumps and making sure they were ready if the sun peaked out so any rides we got we really appreciated. We even hiked a couple of laps too just cause the cat tracks were so easy to travel. The next day we woke up to high winds and grey sky and every one in the bunkhouse was in no hurry to get going except us. Luckily we had left our skates at the yurt so they had to give us a ride up. Somehow it ended up just being Cole and I and two brand new sleds on loan from Ski-doo.
It was officially on!!! We rode non stop for the whole day, doing as many laps as we could. About half way through the day it even started dumping which really made it seem like we had stumbled upon a gold mine of opportunities.
All the terrain in this pic is part of the Smith Optics private reserve. With the help of the cat they have built tons of big hits into soft powder landings. All they needed was a little sunshine to make it all pay off.
The last morning brought blue skies and no extra sleds for us. This was okay seeing how our visit was pure luck in the first place and we were just thankful for the amazing two days we got. We packed up and headed home, stopping off briefly for a soak at a roadside hot springs. Big thanks goes out to Smith and Cory for letting us sneak in the back door of Prospecting Idaho, lets hope we can find a way to get back there next year.