View Post
Backcountry, What We're Made Of, Winter

What We’re Made Of: The Sawtooth Avalanche Center

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center is an incredible community resource, serving all who live and recreate in the Wood River Valley. Offering forecasts, weather, snow observations, accident reports, education and events, Sawtooth Avalanche is so much more than simply an avalanche organization. Serving those working, recreating and traveling in the Sawtooth National Forest, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center begins daily avalanche forecasts in the fall after enough snow has accumulated and continues until about mid-April. These forecasts encompass a wide area of wilderness—2 million acres—and are broken into zones as well as a list of common backcountry locations. Those zones are Galena Summit and eastern mountains, Soldier and Wood River Valley mountains, Sawtooth and western Smoky Mountains, and Banner Summit.  Sawtooth Avalanche’s forecast area doubled in late 2019 after receiving a grant from Idaho’s Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund Covering an area this big for a relatively small organization is no easy task which is why Sawtooth Avalanche depends so much on help from the community. The public is encouraged to submit avalanche, snowpack, or weather observations through the sight (though they are not screened, edited or checked for accuracy by Sawtooth Avalanche). Nevertheless, these observations are crucial to ensuring safety in such …

View Post
24hrs in Sun Valley, Backcountry

24hrs in Sun Valley – February – Paddy McIlvoy

In this monthly series, we check in with some of our favorite locals to find out how they would spend a perfect 24 hours in Sun Valley. February is the time of year when a Sun Valley winter really hits its stride. Not only are snowstorms filling the mountains and turning the streets of Ketchum into a snow globe, but the longer days mean there are more hours to explore the outdoors. No one knows how to better pack a day full of winter adventures in Sun Valley than Paddy McIlovy, Managing Partner of Backwoods Mountain Sports in Ketchum. Backwoods is “an outdoor shop run by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts,” and it’s a great spot to check in on daily conditions, buy or rent gear, and get stoked for a day in the backcountry. We caught up with Paddy to see how he would spend a perfect February day in Sun Valley. Here’s what he said. What would you eat for breakfast? A muffin, straight out of the oven, from the kitchen at Galena Lodge. They are just so good. Ok, so a muffin first thing, then what? Oh no, the muffin isn’t the first thing. It’s a reward! Before breakfast, I’d …

View Post
Backcountry, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Sun Valley’s Backcountry: A Short Guide to Long Runs

Sun Valley is a gateway to endless, powder-filled backcountry terrain with awe-inspiring views. Accessible by helicopters, hut systems, snowmobiles, and by human powered means, enthusiasts will revel in the area’s expansive mountain ranges. Here is a short guide to making safe and endless turns across the surrounding bowls, peaks, and glades.