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Sawtooths in Mid March
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By Nathaniel Holt
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Feb 7, 2013
View from up above the hand crack
I have yet another trip planned. This time its to the Sawtooths. March 11-15. I know its going to be cold. My questions are what are the snow conditions like? What is the backpacking like during that time of the year? What areas are the most fun? We are down for it all. Alpine trad climbing, Mountaineering, Alpine ice if there is some and if we got lucky maybe some water fall ice.

Now where should we go? I dont know the area well enough to choose. I want the biggest bang for my buck.

Do you think that the snow will have melted off for the most part except at the base of the peaks? Or should we plan on AT gear or snow shoes?

Any Beta would be awesome!


By earl mcalister
From idaho
Feb 7, 2013
It will almost certainly be very much still winter there in March. Bring your skis/tools. I have never inquired, but Sun Valley trekking rents huts/yurts for a pretty penny. Rock climbing would probably be out of the question. The Heyburn couloir on Mt. Heyburn looks great.

By Ian Cavanaugh
Feb 8, 2013
im from sun valley area and can help a little. I was there last year and we were able to climb year round, granted it was pretty cold on some days, but it was still climbing. The Elephants perch will be climbable, but the approach will be covered in snow, and i dont think that the shuttle across red fish will be running, adding 5 miles to the approach. Skiing should be great, im currently in CO, but my friends are having a blast. SV has been getting some really great snow this year. City of Rocks and Castle Rock should also be great that time of year as long as you hit a good weather window. or you could be buried in snow. there are also a few other spots to check out, twin falls being one of them. not great, but fun. I would say just keep up with the weather and decide within a few weeks of your trip, still a little early to tell.

By dave bingham
Feb 9, 2013
Sawtooths in mid-March? - a winter trip for sure, with the deepest snowpack of the year at that time. Ski touring from the highway.Take snowshoes only if you prefer slogging instead of sliding.

The Elephant's Perch has been climbed just once in the winter, but it sounds like you are looking for more spring/summer conditions.

By kevinhansen
From Albion Idaho
Feb 10, 2013
Why I do it...
dave bingham wrote:
Sawtooths in mid-March? - a winter trip for sure, with the deepest snowpack of the year at that time of the year.

Mmm pure wisdom. I think there is a similar thread on cascadeclimbers under the Idaho section. If you have your heart set and can't be talked out of it, I'd plan on a 90% ski touring trip.
I've a friend and his partner are climbing Stur Chimney today and tomorrow (2nd attempt this month). If they're doing it now, I'd think it would be even more possible by March. Who knows.
Why not head to Massacre Rocks State Park?
If you do commit to the Sawtooth's you'll have some stories to tell. Make sure to post a trip report with lots of pix.


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