Monday, January 11, 2016

Backcountry Ski Tour

This past weekend I ski toured out Owl Creek to see what the snowpack was  doing and if there is any soft snow to make some turns.  Here's what I found...
Cold Temperatures and clear skies keeps the snow soft

Savier's (Silver Peak) Pk looms in the background as I stop to dig a hole in the snow

Surface hoar growing on a White Bark Pine bough.  Amazing!

Turns from the ridge.  Snow surface is weak and faceted, but soft and fun skiing.

The Austrian Chutes as seen from the Coyote/Owl Creek divide.

Skiing is an amzing way to see the world.  Join the OLA and come skiing with the Community School!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Middle School and OLA Climbing Weekend 

Photo: Hayden Terjeson

October 17, 18 Middle School and Outdoor Leadership Academy students teamed up and traveled down the City of Rocks for a weekend full of fun routes and hilarious jokes!
Photo: Hayden Terjeson
Here Kyle Cohen gives an active belay as his partner moves through the crux of Collossus (5.10c), with weather that threatened rain throughout the weekend we were able to set up and climb in the most popular locations, as other climbers were no where in sight.

Photo: Hayden Terjeson
Above Sawyer Newhouse and Ridge Dirksmeier warm up on the Twinkie.  This highly featured crag is perfect for honing movement skills and proper lowering position.

Photo: Hayden Terjeson
Ridge catches extra air after sending a challenging route on Bath Rock.

Photo: Hayden Terjeson
In camp tents came alive with the glow of headlamps, the sound of Therm-a-rests being inflated, and sleeping bags fluffed up for sleeping.  We climbed until the very last bit of light left the sky!

Photo: Hayden Terjeson
Tired and hungry students watch Travis manage the grill.

Photo: Hayden Terjeson
Zach fully focused on day two.  We dodged the rain again!  This is a great route found in Castle Rock State Park, just outside of the City.

Photo: Hayden Terjeson 
Kohler Wood feeling the exposure in sea of holds on Castle Rock.  This fine route was one of many we set up during our second day of climbing.

Photo: Hayden Terjeson
Sawyer takes a deep breath after working through a tricky section of patina plated granite.  Good work Sawyer!

Photo: Hayden Terjeson 
Katherine Estep balancing her way up Zinger (5.8) on Castle Rock.  

Photo: Hayden Terjeson
Kiran Merchant casually cleans the draws off of Ryobi in the Hostess Gully.
Photo: Hayden Terjeson
OLA Leaders taking a break between routes.  Thanks for all the help y'all, and can't wait until next time!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Swiftwater Rescue Class, 2016

Setting safety on the California Salmon. 

Ready to tune up your Swiftwater rescue skills this summer?

On July 29th and 30th, the Community School, in partnership with White Otter Adventures, will be offering a Swiftwater Rescue Course, to help prepare private boaters, guides and trip leaders for a variety of river rescue and safety scenarios.  With a mix of classroom instruction, hands-on practice, and exciting rescue scenarios, this class will aim to leave all the participants prepared for whatever difficulties they may face on the river.  Even if you're an ultra-conservative and responsible boater (like we all strive to be), if you spend enough time floating Idaho's beautiful rivers, you will need these skills--whether for yourself or for another party of river users.

Participants who attend the class will receive American Canoe Association Swiftwater Rescue Level 4 Certification.  Here are the tentative details:

Dates: 7/29-7/30
Time: 8 AM - 5 PM
Location: Sunbeam, ID
Cost: $190 per participant
Prerequisites: Must be 16 years old, in good health and overall fitness, possess solid swimming ability, and be comfortable swimming in moving current during river drills.
Course Capacity: 15 participants
Instructor: Elliot Jacobs, SWR Level IV, ACA Whitewater Instructor
Contact:  Elliot Jacobs,
Minimum Gear Requirements (email Elliot if any of this is a problem; we have some gear that we can loan out):
  • Clothing suitable for extended swimming in cold water (wetsuit or drysuit)
  • Helmet 
  • Suitable River Footwear
  • PFD (type III or V)
  • Throw bag, 15+ft of 1 inch tubular webbing, 2 prusick loops (P-cord with diameter smaller than throw bag rope diameter) and 2 locking carabiners
  • Whistle
  • Boat and Paddle
  • Lunch for both days
To Register: You can find a registration form at the Community School Summer School!

See you on the river!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A little blower pow for ya'll during Christmas Break

This photo should prove to explain exactly how our day went.

You know those days when you wake up and immediately can tell that it's just not gonna work out for you?  Well Dec. 26th was one of those days for sure.  Cole, Cooper, Will, Linea (a SVSEF girl shredder) and I planned a day backcountry ski adventure up at Galena to be pretty straight forward and mellow.  Leave from Cole's house at 9:30, ski for a couple of hours and get back to town around 2.  It was our day off and we didn't want to wreck our selves.  However, once I arrived at Cole's house I realized I had forgotten my liners, skins and gloves.  Classic noob mistake.  So I go back home, grab my gear and we are off a mere 45 minutes late.  Not to bad... should be fine... day should get better from here...  But to bad the junk show-ing was just about to begin.  Once we got to Avi bowl we dropped Coops car off and piled into my car and headed to the top of Galena.  Once up there we proceded to put on our gear until I heard Cole say, "Ben, can you unlock the car?".  Yeah sure Cole, one second, let me just grab my keys... which were, oh no... in my center consul.  So there we are, on the top of Galena, with a locked car, no keys and all of Cole's backcountry gear in my car.  After about 10 minutes of discussing whether or not I should smash my window we decided to have Cole ski down to Cooper's car on the side of the road and hang out while we take a few "quick runs".  So after this "minor" mishap we were off.  At that point, the only thing that went according to plan was our beacon check.  So by that time, my junkshow points were quickly rising above 5, Will had a few for his almost broken skins and Linea had none and Cooper was killen it, just laughing away at this classic situation.  As our touring day continued of course we ran into some minor problems.  Will face planted off a 20 foot cliff onto a wind-drift after he neglected to scope his landing.  I decided to get blisters, Cole didn't even get to ski, and Linea got her skins all snowy.  If somebody wrote a book about things not to do when approaching a backcountry ski day, this would be it.  On the bright side, we did everything correct regarding backcountry awareness and actual skiing, but for some reason, things just weren't working out for us otherwise.  Once we finally got home, I went to my dad's office where my brother, Tim Kanellitsas, had brought the spare keys for my truck.  So then again, we were off back to Galena at around 3:30.  But could you guess what happened then?!?!?  Pretty obvious, once we got to the top of Galena for a third time the spare keys didn't work... at all... Not even the false hope of them working with the "half-in/no turn" type of key.  Long story short.  We were a complete junk show from the start, skiing was great, gear worked fine, finally got my car at around 6pm and made it out alive with some pretty great memories and epic laughs.

Gotta love the backcountry...

Here are some photos.

A little booter to a complete backslap...

At least it was deep...

Speaks for itself...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Powder Ski

Elliot, Gunnar and I went for a little backcountry ski on Sunday 12/16.  We ascended Mushroom Ridge then skied down into Westernhome Gulch.  The skiing was blower.  After that we ascended the west ridge or Gladiator Peak intending to ski a SE ridge down toward Galena Lodge.  At the top of the ridge  approx 9200 feet Elliot remotely triggered a slide.  He was skiing the ridge at 27deg but triggered a slide in the adjacent bowl with a starting angle of 32deg.

Our stability tests that day yielded easy shears on the new snow old snow interphase.  The slabs however were so soft that they often broke up when doing a hand shear rather than pulled out whole.  The weak layer was about 12 inches down.  The significant thing stability wise was the ease of the remote trigger and the propagation 100 meters across the whole bowl.  This layer will be real trouble with any additional load.  Any new snow will wake the snowpack up and make it really scary.  

Buried surface hoar crystals on the sliding surface.
So our big take away today was the value of good habits.  We were aware of the instability but our stability tests made us feel it really was not much of a hazard.  We had observe no other obvious signs of instability.  Stomping on ridge top wind loads had produced no slides.  We discussed what to ski and decided to ski the ridge instead of blasting straight down the bowl.  Even if we had decided to ski the bowl a ski cut at the roll over would most likely have triggered the slide and kept us safe.  So skiing one at a time and a conservative line AS A HABIT really payed off today.

By the way the skiing was awesome and we had a really sweet day.  Stay safe

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Orienteering Event

Last Sunday the Community School Wilderness Navigation Class hosted a community orienteering event at the Fox Creek trail head.  27 contestants braved the cold to run around in the woods looking for orange and white orienteering tents.
Trying to stay warm--temps at 9am were about 15 deg F

G-Nar giving out instructions for the event

Race crew checking out the course--all is well

The boys:  Jay, Kristian and Lukas on their way to a strong second place finish.  Big BA points for fording the Wood River to save a few seconds.

G-Nar's Mom ripping it up

The Motor Girls on the last flag--and on the way to a dominating victory!! ( Nordic Skiers Rule!!)

Our fearless race director.  It should also be noted that the beginner course was won by the amazing OLA advisor team of Nancy and Erika.  Way to go but next get to play with the big dogs.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Project 8000 - Mt Ranier, Washington

Not enough time right now to compose a trip summary here folks but below you'll find a slideshow of the climb we were fortunate enough to complete during the first week of August. Looking forward to a great year!

Project 8000 Participants: Max Tanous (Grade 9), Garrett Rawlings (Grade 9), Annika Landis (Grade 9), Rob Landis, Tom Boley, Travis Vandenburgh

View the Project 8000 slideshow here.