A big highlight of January was the backcountry program's first ever trip! We headed as a group to a backcountry ski lodge in the Bitterroot mountains of Montana. The hut is called Downing Mountain Lodge, and it is far different from a typical "yurt"! This hut slept 17 of us comfortably - we used the commercial kitchen to make awesome breakfast and dinner every day, relaxed by the huge center fireplace, and took in the views form the large windows of the circular building. Chores around the hut included making firewood, helping with dinner, and stoking the fireplace as well as the Sauna. For fun we made ping pong with the dinner table and a pair of skis as the net, played foosball, listened to music, had conversations by the fireplace, and ate great food!
It was great for athletes to be skiing in a new area together. We really put our heads together and worked as a team reading maps, checking the avalanche forecast, and asking locals for information. All of this hard work made for some pretty cool adventures launching form the hut. It was by no means powder skiing, but we got to do some pretty cool ridge walks and the nice weather meant we could get views into the vast Selway - Bitterroot Wilderness from the top. For some on this trip it was their first time ever skinning and they did great! This trip will definitely be a regular tradition for the backcountry program so stay tuned for signups!
Currently athletes in the program are working on their level 1 avalanche certification. This is a focused course through the American Avalanche Institute where athletes learn about avalanche rescue, digging into the snow pack layers, and reading avalanche terrain. Once February rolls around we will be touring in GTNP almost every weekend!
Mini Mountaineers start this week too and we couldn't be more excited! There are 15 kids in the program all using rental gear provided by this years sponsors (see on back of hoodie)
Lets hope for more snow this month!
Registration will open soon for our summer / next season trips get in touch if youd like to sign up -
March April 2022 - Chamonix FULL
June - Mt. Baker ski trip
August - Ecuador Mountaineering
Spring Break 2023 Arctic Sail and Ski