Apr 202014
 

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

I’ve just returned from a trek that covered 65+ miles of hiking over the volcanic lava fields in and around Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve here in South Central Idaho. Our expedition was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness act and 90th anniversary of Robert Limbert’s exploratory adventure which culminated in his 1924 National Geographic article and subsequent establishment of the area as a National Monument. I’ll be working on an essay in the coming days and weeks and will update this post with the transcript. Until then, enjoy the images!

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Backpacking in the wilderness of Craters of the Moon in Idaho.

Feb 012014
 

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

A dream came true the other day–I was able to take my oldest kiddo, Kaia (9 years old), out on her first backcountry ski tour! We went up to Galena Pass and skinned up a few hundred vert to the top of a mellow slope, dug down to the ground (a whoping 1.5′ of snow) for some snow analysis, and then enjoyed our first turns together as backcountry partners!

We had a blast and Kaia, on her own, mentioned how she enjoyed the quiet and the spectacular views. Since this trip, she’s been begging to get out again!

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Backcountry skiing with kids in Idaho.

Sep 292013
 

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

South Central Idaho recently received a few early season snow storms that have covered the alpine region of some of the nearby ranges with early snow. Christopher Cook, Russel, and I made plans to take “our skis for a walk” this morning in hopes of making a few turns.

When I woke up at 4:30 today, it wasn’t because my alarm sounded, rather, it was the rain that was pelting our metal roof. Rain is not welcome on ski days and I wondered if I should stay in bed. I rolled out and into the kitchen where I realized that I was up early and had beat the coffee machine’s timed brew. After getting the coffee started, I walked upstairs to grab a rain cover for my camera bag and almost stepped in a puddle of green and sparkley diarrhea left by my dog, no doubt caused by her having eaten a bowl of my kids homemade magic-sand. Not the best start what could be the first day of the ski season, but, minor considering the larger picture.

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

I cleaned up the dog mess, cooked a few eggs while the coffee brewed, and then checked the snowtel sites to see if it was snowing up high. Two of the higher snow sites were recording temps in the high 30′s. Enough said, might as well keep with the plan and head up into the alpine to see if we could link some turns.

Leaving Ketchum the temperature was 42 and by the time the truck was on the trail in 4-low, it wasn’t dropping like we’d hoped-still just 40. Though we were passing patches of snow, we were stuck in the rain. That said, looking up canyon looked revealed vistas that gave us hope and we kept on with each roll of the tire, step of the boots, and finally slide of the skins until the temps fell and the precip morphed into its beloved frozen crystal state. Then, at that magic moment with the skins off our skis, goggles on, and boots buckled tight, we all enjoyed the return of that ever addicting, phenomenally fascinating, feeling of skiing. This time, for the first time, in Idaho in September!

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

A photo of backcountry skiing in Idaho

Aug 202013
 

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

I was able to go out on a few tours of the Beaver Creek fire here in my home area both yesterday and today. As an adventure sports photographer, I wanted to get out to document what happens to the trail system after a fire. Knowing that Greenhorn burnt hot just a few days ago, as seen in my previous blog post, I was grateful to have the opportunity to tour the area with Public Information Officer this morning. Here are some of the images showing the effects the fire had on the landscape surrounding the Greenhorn Gulch trailhead.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Photograph from the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho near Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Aug 162013
 

A photograph of the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, August 15th, 2013.

Six years ago the Castle Rock Fire burned a crescent around our ski area peak, Bald Mountain. At it’s closest, it was 13 miles from my home. Mornings were filled with smoke so thick you couldn’t see the hill 300 yards away, in the afternoon, Baldy looked like a volcano erupting. Eight days ago, lighting struck a hillside about 15 miles south of the southern most point of the Castle Rock fire–a spot only 5 miles west of my town. The winds blew to the north for the first five days and ran all the way to Castle Rocks most northern scar. Then, a few days ago, the winds switched and blew to the east and the fire moved with them. The fire lines moved over a ridgetop and into two of the most prized canyons that spur off the Big Wood Valley, Deer Creek and Greenhorn Gulch. This evening, the fire torched Greenhorn, home to nearly a dozen world class hiking and mountain biking trails, creeks, thick woods, and beautiful meadows. Grouse spent Fall afternoons on the dried grass ridgetops and hid amongst their craggy sections. In the spring, the wildflowers were mind blowing, especially on a blue bird day. To see the arrowleaf balsomroot compliment that clear shade of blue was utter perfection. Today, I saw colors I didn’t know nature could create, an orange unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Flames leaped higher than any I’ve ever seen. Aircraft were dwarfed by the plumes of smoke. Smoke ignited. People pulled over on the sides of the highway and gaped, as they should have. It was intense, both sad and scary. I know it’ll grow back. I know it’ll be beautiful and that the skiing is going to be ridiculous. But, Greenhorn was cool and a bunch of us are gonna miss the way it was.

A photograph of the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, August 15th, 2013.

A photograph of the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, August 15th, 2013.

A photograph of the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, August 15th, 2013.

A photograph of the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, August 15th, 2013.

A photograph of the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, August 15th, 2013.

A photograph of the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, August 15th, 2013.

A photograph of the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, August 15th, 2013.

A photograph of the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, August 15th, 2013.

Jul 042013
 

Mountain biking the Fox Peak to Adam's Gulch trail near Ketchum, Idaho.

My good friend Scott Corkery and I headed up into the Smoky mountains just north of Ketchum, Idaho, yesterday afternoon to connect the Fox Peak to Adam’s Gulch mountain bike trail. It’s one of the longer rides in the area and though a storm surrounded us, the rain fell everywhere but where we were! The flowers are going off up high right now, so, get out and enjoy!

Mountain biking the Fox Peak to Adam's Gulch trail near Ketchum, Idaho.

Mountain biking the Fox Peak to Adam's Gulch trail near Ketchum, Idaho.

Mountain biking the Fox Peak to Adam's Gulch trail near Ketchum, Idaho.

Mountain biking the Fox Peak to Adam's Gulch trail near Ketchum, Idaho.

Mountain biking the Fox Peak to Adam's Gulch trail near Ketchum, Idaho.