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Spring, Winter

Its the End of the Season As We Know It: Sawtooth National Gelande Quaffing Championships

Gelandesprung (v): German for a downhill ski jump in the style of Oympic nordic jumping, yet with fixed heels. Quaff (v): to drink rapidly with much vigor The legend of the Gelande Quaff was born back around the time snow was new.  On a dark winter evening as the boys huddled for one last round, tipping back cold beers honoring their mastery of the backscratcher into couloirs in tight neon stretchpants, the bar tender slid frosty mugs down the bar to eager hands.  It was a normal night until an order was called, the one who ordered got distracted, and the beer slid past only to leap off the end of the bar.  Fortunately, stationed at the end of the bar, there stood one lone, alert skier who snatched the beer out of the air, pounded it back and slamming it on the table proclaimed, “Gelandequaffing!!” and the rest was history. As the story goes, a new form of sport drinking was born.  It began to catch on in small mountain towns where long winters and poor odds lead to various devices of distraction.  Like most new sports, the development of rules and competition formats would follow as well as the kind of innovation that was tracking in freeskiing and snowboarding.  And today, after nearly a decade of progression Gelande Quaffing has evolved into a World Championship-level competition.  Getting an invite to the said World Champs stands as one of the more coveted mountain town trappings anywhere.

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Fly Fishing, Spring, Winter

Rites of Spring – Stalking Steelhead

Idaho is a landlocked state but what few realize is that it’s connected via one of the longest river systems in the US to the Pacific Ocean.  For millennia, a certain species of traveler, the steelhead trout, has migrated through this river corridor, the Salmon, from the mountains of central Idaho to the ocean and back again.   And a mere hour drive from Sun Valley lies the headwaters of the Salmon River, the origin of the steelhead run. Set amidst the awe-inspiring Sawtooth Mountains, these freestone waters play host to spawning spring steelhead.