We are just back from the Sawtooth where SVT guides: Joe, Pato, Chris, Ed, Toby and new Interns: Trudy, Alisa and Niels braved the extreme cold temps (-22f) and fresh powder to prep the huts for the winter season. We found 16+” of new storm snow and close to 3′ of total snow at Bench Hut and some great (if cold) ski conditions. The pictures below should give you a good idea for what it is like out there right now. The ski trails are in and the powder awaits you! Give us a call if you want to get out and enjoy this beautiful early December.
SVT guides: Joe St.Onge, Patrick Graham and Chris Marshall went for a tour out in the Smoky Mountains yesterday to check the early season conditions. Despite a relatively thin snow pack, good turning conditions were found and a beautiful tour was had. Careful route finding and conservative choices are key to avoid the many thin snow hazards that are present right now. With that in mind, there is some fun skiing to be had right now!
We Did It!! Less than two months after the Beaver Creek Fire incinerated the Coyote Yurts, we have built a beautiful new Coyote. Two yurts connected by a covered breezeway, new sauna and outhouse are ready for backcountry travelers.
This situation was extreme. There was the worry and anticipation of a major wild fire burning around three of our huts. The confirmation that Coyote was gone was rough. On our first visit to where the yurts were, the fire was still burning and the shock of the impact of the fire on a place we know and love was heavy. But it was the recognition that it is all OK. These mountains and forest depend on fire. We can rebuild, the skiing will be phenomenal and the burned forest will bloom again soon. It will just take hard work, some money and time.
In a two week push and cold snowy weather broken by spectacular blue sky days we built the new Coyote yurts. This effort truly took a village to realize, and THANK YOU to all who helped!
The new Coyote is a unique and beautiful hut and we hope it is enjoyed by many in the years to come!
On August 20th, the Beaver Creek wild fire consumed the Coyote Yurts. This massive wild fire began as a lightening strike on August 7th in a remote drainage on the south west corner of the Smokey Mountains. Over a period of a couple weeks, the Beaver Creek Fire grew and spread to cover over 100,000 acres and directly threatened the town of Hailey on the southern boundary and burned much of Baker Creek on it’s northern edge. The fire basically ringed the outer boundary of the Castle Rock Fire of 2007.
When the fire spread into the East Fork of Baker Creek there was a valiant fire fighting effort to protect both Coyote and Tornak Huts, but despite these efforts Coyote Yurts were completely destroyed. While the fire came relatively close to Tornak Hut, this beloved hut was fortunately spared. In fact, much of the area around Tornak show no sign of fire and is generally as beautiful as it always is. Passing Tornak and entering the top of the East Fork drainage, there is significant signs of fire and much of the north facing timber in this drainage burned hot. The good news is that these burned timber slopes have opened up some amazing new ski lines, some of which are long (1500′+), due north and fall line. For those planning on skiing here this winter, start thinking of run names, because we will have a lot of great new lines to ski and name!
We are rebuilding the Coyote Yurts! We have been working non-stop since we got news of the loss of the yurts to plan, gather materials and start the rebuild. Our goal is to have the new yurts up and ready for the 1st winter snows. Typically, these snow can begin in late October in this zone, so we have limited time to do a lot of work. We have already been on site to clean up the burned debris, take away dangerous trees and recut the 5 cords of winter fire wood (and build a new wood shed). We have built beautiful new bunks, couches and are working on a custom kitchen and large dining table made of rough sawn pine boards. We will build a sauna in town and transport it on site. We have received one slightly used Yurt and have another new one arriving next week. We will be building the decks and yurts the 1st couple weeks of October on site. The end result should be a beautiful array of two yurts connected by a covered deck. We are moving the yurt site a little bit to get it off of the burned ground and let it come back. The views will be stunning from the new yurts and the area in front of the yurts and on the point is unaffected by the fire and is as phenomenally beautiful as it always was.
This is a fairly monumental effort that we are engaged in. We are dedicated to have this well-loved hut back in the hands of the backcountry community for this upcoming winter and future years. But we could use some help! We have set up an “Indiegogo Campaign” to facilitate those that are interested in helping financially. Please check it out and pass this link along to those that may be interested. We are also looking for help in the field with the building. We are planning on building on site October 3-8th and could use some extra hands, especially those with carpentry experience. Please email us if you are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org And you can also help by booking some nights at the new Coyote Yurts for this upcoming winter or summer and enjoying a awesome new hut with superb skiing and biking!
Thanks to you all for being such a supportive backcountry community!
Ahhh, the new hut at Fishhook is closing in on completion. We are just returning from a few days in the Sawtooth, dodging thunder and lightning storms while working to complete the latest addition to backcountry lodging deep in the beautiful mountains of Central Idaho. Every piece of wood in the new hut (except the door) came from within a 100 yards of the site. Chainsaw carpentry at work. The new hut is a wall tent design, similar to the Bench Hut but 1/2 the size. This hut creates a spacious but cozy layout for gathering a large group to cook, eat and enjoy the views from the 20′ long window gazing up at the highest peaks in the Sawtooth. We kept the old yurt, changing the orientation, giving it some much needed love and turning it into a cozy sleeping hut. We look forward to many a stoked skier gliding into these huts in the coming season!
It’s late summer and the legs are strong and the high mountain single track beckons! Here are some pictures from the past week including riding around Redfish Lake, with a visit to the Bench and Fishhook Huts, and a ride along the new Osberg Ridge trail that takes one right to the door of Coyote and Tornak Huts!
We are just back from completing the first phase of a Fishhook Hut renovation. The goal is to give the 33 year old hut a long awaited facelift and create a cozy new cooking, eating and gathering area with a view. The end result will be a new hut (based on the design of the recently built Bench Hut, but 1/2 the size) connected to the renovated old yurt that will become a sleeping hut with bunk space for 12. The old wall tent will be dismantled. As of the end of last week, we completed the framing of the new hut and it looks awesome! The new hut is built with 100% beetle killed lodge pole pine from within a 100 yards of the site. The entire project has been powered by human muscle, chainsaws and goal zero solar power: backcountry carpentry at its best! There was even a sighting of the Grendel…