Ski the Smokies Support America’s Snowscapes

8th Annual Backcountry Legacy Hut Adventure (March 2-5, 2025)

8th Annual Sun Valley Backcountry Legacy
Hut Adventure

(March 2-5, 2025)

Join Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Executive Director for an exclusive guided and catered backcountry ski/splitboard powder tour in the remote Smoky Mountains of Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest. This is a truly unique opportunity for a select group of Whitebark Society members and other key financial supporters not only to explore one of Sun Valley’s legendary backcountry powder stashes—the birthplace of Winter Wildlands Alliance—but also to get an insider view on the current challenges and opportunities of national public lands and climate policy, and to help us set strategy for the coming years.

All while contributing to Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Backcountry Legacy Fund, supporting our mission to improve climate resilience on public lands and to protect America’s wild snowscapes.

This trip is limited to six guests (plus two guides, Winter Wildlands Alliance leadership, and hut staff) and always sells out. All-inclusive cost covers two nights at Ketchum’s famed Limelight Hotel, airport transfers, all meals, snowmobile tow-in and luggage transfer, four days of guided backcountry skiing, three nights at the Coyote Yurt with wood stoves, solar lanterns, bunks, outhouses, and a classic wood-fired sauna. Guests need only bring a light sleeping bag, clothes, backcountry ski/splitboard equipment, and an appetite for good conversation, good food and days of “feel good happy powder skiing.”

A portion of your contribution is tax deductible. Proceeds benefit Winter Wildlands Alliance in its mission to protect backcountry snowscapes.

All-inclusive Itinerary (2025)

Saturday March 1: Arrive Sun Valley/Ketchum. Airport transfer available to Limelight Hotel.

Sunday March 2: After breakfast, transfer to Baker Creek trailhead for a 5.4-mile snowmobile tow and a 1.5-mile ski to the Coyote Yurt, our home base until Wednesday. Ski pow all day.

Monday March 3: Ski.

Tuesday March 4: Ski.

Wednesday March 5: Ski all day (conditions and fitness depending), then head back to the Limelight Hotel for a hot bath or shower before dinner.

Thursday March 6: Breakfast, checkout and airport transfer.

Guides and Special Guests

Rich Meyer, long-serving Winter Wildlands Alliance board member and current Ambassador of Stoke, has over 20 years’ experience guiding clients to mountain peaks around the world. Although regularly working and playing in his beloved Sierra Nevada, Rich can often be found leading ski trips in places like Alaska, the Antarctic Peninsula, the Alps, and the volcanoes of Chile & Ecuador.

Joe St Onge is a certified Ski Mountaineering Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), holds a professional Level 3 Avalanche certification and is a professional member of the American Avalanche Association (AAA). He has guided in many of the world’s great mountain ranges. Joe and his wife Francie took over Sun Valley Trekking (now Sun Valley Mountain Huts) in 2000 and have supported Winter Wildlands Alliance for more than 20 years.

David Page took over the helm as Executive Director of Winter Wildlands Alliance in June 2022. Previously, he served six years as Advocacy Director. He is also a national award-winning journalist, a former senior correspondent for Powder magazine, and a finalist for a 2015 National Magazine Award. His work includes essays like “Rituals: The Last Run” (The New York Times), “If You Haven’t Driven Through a Snowstorm You Haven’t Lived” (SKI), and “The Human Factor” (Powder).

“Coyote Yurt is the probably the most reliable powder skiing hut in the region. There are endless slopes on all aspects in a region that receives consistently more snow than the surrounding areas. If I want to book a hut for reliable ‘feel good happy powder skiing’ a year in advance, this is the one.” — SnowBrains

About the Coyote Yurt

Idaho’s Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) is home to the oldest backcountry hut system in the country. The Coyote Yurt, situated in the Smoky Mountains at 8,700 feet, is one of the highest and most remote in the system. It’s surrounded by a great variety of terrain, from mellow, long-holding powder bowls to steep corn descents and plentiful north-facing burns, making it a favorite among a loyal group of locals and regulars.

Coyote Yurt has all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay including: wood stoves, solar-powered lanterns and speaker for mp3 players, books, magazines, board games, bunks with mattresses, two covered outhouses, and a classic wood-fired SAUNA! Views of the magnificent craggy Boulder Mountains and the pyramids of the Pioneer Mountains greet guests right outside the front door, making for a truly awesome setting.

The approach to the yurt is 6 miles with an elevation gain of 1800 ft., but we will avail ourselves of a 4.5-mile snowmobile tow before putting on skins for the last 1.5 miles. The terrain is suited for experienced intermediate to advanced backcountry skiers with avalanche education.

Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization working to
inspire and empower people to protect America’s wild snowscapes.