Turkey, The Birds and Wine Country

Linda and I took a quick trip to The Russian River Valley and coastal regions of California to see family (brother Roger and sister in-law Lynette liver in Sonoma County) for Thanksgiving. My brother Dave and sister in-law Brenda flew in from Kansas City to join the festivities. The 776 mile trip each way from […]

Fall is Going Fast: Get Your Color Fix Before It Is Gone!

Okay, okay… I understand that you are very busy, very important, and buried in the details of one of the most important issues known to human-kind. However, have you taken a moment to pull your head out from [fill in the blank] and soaked in the colors of fall-time?

In spite of being exceptionally self-important […]

The 21 Lake Tour – 56 Hours Off Trail and 28,000 Vertical Feet

Jeff Lubeck paddles on Warbonnet Lake.

21 Lakes Route. Inset the Sawtooth Wilderness. Map © EB Phillips – all rights reserved. Overlay Jeff Lubeck















The Redfish Lake drainage in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) situated between the towns […]

Persistence, Patience & Voila

Have you ever had an expectation for an event, and despite best laid plans the result is simply not of which you had hoped?

I could list all of mine, but that would entail about 58 volumes of narrative. In this case it involves my friend, partner, associate and son – Kyle.

Kyle proposes that […]

McDonald Peak – Dawn with Five Mountain Ranges as the View

The trip to the top of McDonald Peak (10,089 ft.) in the Sawtooth Range is a 3,200 vertical foot ascent all in snow. McDonald sits between Alturas and Pettit Lakes and look directly across the valley at Horton Peak of the White Cloud Mountain Range. The round-trip effort of 24+ hours includes a dawn […]

Skiing in the Backcountry and Your Backyard

One of the great benefits of a batch of early season snowstorms is that skiing peaks and ridgelines with significant vertical could be had merely by walking out of the house. In some cases this means literally (i.e., Lubeck Ridge 1,200 vertical) or figuratively as in drive the car for a mile or so, park […]

Let It Rain

One of the implications of a change in local atmospheric conditions for the past few years is that less snowfall in the region means a greater dependence on rainfall. The Wood River Valley has seen more rain than normal the last few weeks, but the fear (legitimate) and fear mongering (not legitimate) is […]

Traversing The Sawtooth Wilderness

Jeff and Sara Lundy; Skiing Off The Top of the Divide.


For six-days the remarkable beauty of the Sawtooth Wilderness in Winter is my home. The ground covered in six-days is all with a heavy pack, on skis, and two-miles above sea-level.

Accompanied by the wise and talented Chris and Sara Lundy of […]

Imogene Peak in Winter

Photography, backcountry ski touring, winter, a journey up a major named peak, and the Sawtooth Mountains. Now that combination sounds like fun to me.

My goal on this day is to head up Imogene Peak 3,000+ vertical feet – via skins on skis and post hole climb – to capture a late afternoon […]

Revisiting Redfish Lake in Winter

It is rare for me to get a cold, but one is what I have and it continues to linger. As you all know it is very hard for me not to be outside for any extended length of time. However, having consumed what feels to be about 7,464 football games since mid-December, I […]