February was a fun and busy month for the Sawtooth Society. As a way to encourage more people to enjoy the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and at the same time, get to know the Sawtooth Society, the organization hosted three separate events this month.
The first was part of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival and was cohosted with the Stanley Curling Club. Entitled the Stanley Winter Extravaganza, participants learned how to dutch oven cook and curl, all in -6 degree weather. The day started with a dutch oven cooking lesson by long-time rafting guide Tony Herold. Herold demonstrated how to make his favorite meal: beef stew and pineapple upside down cake.
As the dishes slowly cooked in the cold temperatures, the group shifted to the curling lane to learn the details of the game. After a lesson by Stanley Curling Club members Doug Plass and Phil Enright, people broke into two teams and played. The game was long and competitive but folks had tea and coffee to keep them focused and warm.
Finally, as wafts of lunch drifted to the lane, the game came to an end, though no one could say who won. As everyone piled their plates with steaming food, they all agreed that it wasn’t that cold out after all.
Temperatures rose as February continued making for a much warmer day for the 3rd annual Sawtooth Skate Ski clinic at Park Creek. With a week of warm days and cold nights preceding the event, the nordic trails were a bit icy the morning of. Luckily, nordic grooming extraordinaire Jeff Ballas was on site and able to soften the trails by machine for the lesson, sacrificing his own skate ski lesson for the good of the event. Jeff, we thank you for your sacrifice!
Sun Valley Nordic Center Director Ivana Radlova traveled from Ketchum to teach both the beginner and intermediate lessons. Through Ivana’s incredible instruction, nordic skiers of the Sawtooth Valley, Ketchum and even Missoula, Mont. walked away with a better understanding of the art of skate skiing.
The following weekened the Sawtooth Society hosted an athletci event of a different variety. For the second winter in a row, the Sawtooth Society organized the Stanley Winterfest 40 Fat Bike Gran Fondo, or fun ride. Fate bikes, which are mountain bikes with wide tires that allow them to ride on snow, are becoming more and more popular in Idaho. This was evident by the big turnout at the Winterfest 40. At 40 kilometers, the route may have been long and with a total elevation gain of 2,583 feet the route may have been tough, but this didn’t stop 32 strong riders from showing up for the event.
With 6 inches of snowfall the night before, the fat bike ride could have been a failed event if not for groomer Randy Townsend. Fat bikes need solid, groomed trails on which to ride and so at midnight the night before the event, Randy climbed aboard the groomer and got to work. This was above and beyond what was asked of him and was very, very much appreciated by the riders who had perfectly groomed course the next morning.
Thank you to all who came out and participated in a winter event this month! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!