About Payette Powder Guides

Guide Bios

Marty Rood

Certifications

  • AAA Professional Member
  • Level 3 Avalanche
  • AIARE Level 1 & 2 Course Leader
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • CPR
  • IOGLB Level 2 Ski Guide & Outfitter
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Oregon

An Idaho native, Marty has lived full time in the West Central mountains since graduating from the University of Oregon in 1992. He achieved Level 3 instructor credentials in Alpine and Telemark skiing and became Director of Snowsports School at Brundage Mountain Resort, and Instructor Trainer for PISA-NI. After 12 years at Brundage, Marty made the switch to the newly opened Tamarack Resort in McCall, working as a snowcat ski guide. During that time, he also volunteered to help create the Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center and worked as an avalanche forecaster and educator. Since 1994 Marty has passionately pursued his vision for owning and operating a backcountry yurt system, and is proud to offer exceptional human powered experiences to winter enthusiasts.

Jamie Laidlaw

Certifications

  • AAA Professional Member
  • Level 3 Avalanche
  • AIARE Level 1 and 2 Course Leader
  • IOGLB Level 2 Ski Guide
  • Heli USA Level 3 Ski Guide

Born and raised in McCall, Jamie began his ski career on the “steeps” of the Little Ski Hill. By the age of four, he caught the racing bug and devoted much of the next 16 years of his life to traveling the country and chasing gates. Between races, much of his free time was spent with his parents and their friends in the backcountry. His pursuit of a Bachelors Degree and the Eastern Collegiate Alpine Circuit brought Jamie to Middlebury College in Vermont. In 2002 Jamie graduated with honors in Geology and Environmental Studies, returning back to the West as a ski patroller at Snowbird, Utah in the winters and as a river guide on the Salmon River in Idaho in the summers.

An opportunity in Northeastern Nevada drew Jamie to work for the prestigious Ruby Mountain Helicopter Skiing where he guided for 9 years, eventually becoming Lead Guide and overseeing daily operations. Jamie has completed his AIARE Level III certificate, is an AIARE Instructor, and is an ASHI certified Wilderness First Responder. He is a sponsored athlete for Dynafit and The North Face. When not guiding, Jamie travels the Earth’s mountainous regions, logging first descents from the Norwegian Arctic, to the Peruvian Andes, to the Himalaya. Ultimately, Jamie loves the sense of adventure, whether he finds it on a distant mountain or in his own backyard.

Andy Keck

Certifications

  • AIARE PRO Level 2
  • AIARE Level 1 & 2 Instructor
  • AAA/NSP Level II
  • WFR Desert Mountain Medicine
  • Level I Mountain bike guide IMBA
  • Level II Mountain bike instructor IMBA
  • IOGLB Level I Ski guide

Andy started skiing on the icy rolling hills of Pennsylvania. At first chance, he loaded all his belongings into an old pickup and drove to a somewhat random spot on a map in Colorado. Years later he would see “Aspen Extreme” and chuckle. At a ski shop in Beaver Creek, a friend loaned him a set of old Atomic telemark skis with Rottefella Chili Pepper bindings, and it changed his life. He started to walk away from the crowds at the resort. Years later, after bouncing around various ski towns in Colorado, he followed a girl to Idaho, eventually finding McCall, where he realized just how amazing Idaho is. He has yet to accept that he need not ski every inch of snow that falls on McCall. As such, most mornings you can find him checking the snow stake at Brundage, making coffee by headlamp so as not to wake the family as he slips out to ski a quick pow lap before work.

He loves the overlapping Venn diagrams of life that PPG provides, and is always ready to break trail, talk shop, or crack a beer. When he is not playing in the snow he gets his kicks riding mountain bikes, climbing rocks, and enjoying most anything outdoors.

Gary S Thompson

Certifications

  • AIARE PRO Level 2
  • AIARE Level 1 & 2 Instructor
  • NSP Level I and II
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Master Educator
  • IOGLB Level II Ski guide

It only took one trip down the Salmon River to convince Gary to move to Idaho. Prior to that, he had spent a number of years guiding on different rivers, leading expeditions, and working for the National Outdoor Leadership School. Part of his graduate work at the University of Idaho was the development of the McCall Outdoor Science School, where he now works. Originally from South Carolina, it took a few years for him to figure out how to turn left, but persistence paid off. After a few years with the Payette Lakes Ski Patrol Gary was ready to take his skills and apply them to the winter backcountry.

Gary loves the mix of people, powder, and science that he finds on every PPG course.

Sam Thackery

Certifications

  • WEMT
  • AIARE PRO Level 1
  • AAA/NSP Level II
  • Leave No Trace Trainer
  • IOGLB Ski Guide Level 1
  • BS Recreation and Outdoor Education

Sam is a McCall native. At age 8 his life’s trajectory was set when he found snowboarding. While studying recreation at the University of Idaho he was introduced to the backcountry and new he wanted to spend as much time there as possible. After graduating he bounced around Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado chasing powder and solitude until he realized there really is “ no place like home”. As PPG’s token split boarder and recovering “park rat”, two facts his fellow guides are never too quick to remind him of, he will generally be drooling over a cliff, pillow line, or couloir. When not in the mountains he can be found guiding on the rivers of Idaho, Oregon, California, Texas, and India, or working as an EMT for McCall Fire.

Ian Faurot

Ian grew up just a few miles down the road, at the foot of Jughandle Mountain. Growing up he raced nordic, skied Brundage, and poked around the woods of the Payette National Forest. During his freshman year at University of Idaho he bought a cheap set of telemark equipment at the ski swap, and headed into the backcountry. Despite his best efforts to the contrary, he graduated with a slew of ski buddies, a drift boat, and a Bachelors of Science in Fisheries Resources. Since then, snow, rivers, and fish have dragged him all throughout the Pacific Northwest, but he never manages to stay away from Central Idaho for too long.
Now his favorite hobbies include blinking in group pictures, breaking his snowblower, and snagging trees on his backcast. In the summer you can find him driving a sweep boat down the Middle Fork of the Salmon. In the winter, he'll be out on a ski tour with his partner and their dog, perpetually trying to convince them to go "just peek over the next ridge." He loves PPG and Lick Creek Summit because there's something for everyone, and that something is usually fresh freakin snow!