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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 …

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Uncategorized, What We're Made Of

What We’re Made Of: Hempitecture – Two Entrepreneurs and Forbes’ “30 Under 30”

Sun Valley has held its own over the years as a home to burgeoning entrepreneurs and start-ups. Joining the ranks of locally-made brands like Smith and Scott, Hempitecture is making a splash on the building industry with their hempcrete building material. And not only has the company been making strides in using their material to build new buildings across the nation, founder and CEO Mattie Mead was recently named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30”.  Mead began Hempitecture as part of his senior thesis at New York’s Hobart College where he was studying architecture and environmental studies. His thesis explored more sustainable ways of building and drew upon existing examples that use vernacular (true to place) architecture like adobe in the southwest. His research eventually brought him to the UK and France where builders use hempcrete, a construction material made from hemp. It was a light bulb moment for the senior who, in addition to the thesis, was inspired to create the start-up that would become Hempitecture.  It was 2012 then and industrial hemp was still federally illegal and on the Controlled Substances Act. Despite these odds, Mead was driven. “I just knew there was this opportunity that was missing from …