Idaho Backcountry

Reggie Crist moved to Idaho when he was 11, but it took him twenty-plus years to discover the real potential for ski mountaineering in the Sawtooth Range. In the spring of 2009, he made three equally epic ascents and descents of Mount Heyburn, the Grand Mogul, and McGowan Peak, exposing the vast potential for big lines in Idaho.

My eleventh birthday was a drag. Only days earlier we’d moved from the comfortable California suburbs to a strange, small town in central Idaho, assured by my parents that “We are going to love it here.” I sat at the dinner table, sculpting my mashed potatoes into mountains, without a friend in sight, utterly unconvinced.

“Stop playing with your food!” my mother scolded, creating an uncomfortable silence. Trying to change the subject, she asked, “Do you know that Idaho is famous for potatoes?” I dropped my fork and shot back, “Really? Is that why we moved here?”

Turns out the real reason we moved to Idaho was for a more “exciting” way of life…

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