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Idaho Road Trip - 2013

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Each year, we travel to a bunch of different ski areas in the State of Idaho to shoot for the Idaho Ski Area Association. We started this year's tour at Schweitzer Mountain Resort on Saturday, February 16th. This is my first chance to really post anything regarding our tour so please bear with me.


Starting at Schweitzer, the area with the most skiable acreage in the state (2,900), following it with Bald Mountain near Pierce at 140 acres, a rope tow and a t-bar offers a real contrast in the sport. What's the common factor that most stands out, though, is that at every area we ski, the people love the sport and are devoted to their hill. Below are the video demonstration as to how much fun skiing can be, regardless of the area. Starting the tour, here is our day at Schweitzer:



Following our day at Schweitzer, we climbed into the cars and headed for Pierce, a mere 5 hour drive.... Here is day two of our tour at Bald Mountain:



Following our day at Bald, we again piled into the cars and headed to Hamilton, MT for the night. After seven hours, we arrived. Day three (today) was at Lost Trail Ski Area, just on Hwy. 93 on the Idaho/Montana border. This is my third time at Lost Trail and I really like it here. It's a fairly large ski area with a great variety of terrain and, topping out at 8,175 feet, really good snow! We've been able to find some powder stashes every time here and, coupled with blue skies, have had some really fun skiing. Here is our day today.



Following our day today, we drove to Sun Valley, which is where we are as I write this. Stay tuned as we still have a bunch of stops on our tour. This is really a fun way to spend some time, exploring the highways and byways of rugged Idaho and checking out a wide variety of what skiing has to offer.

post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

Day four of our Idaho tour took us to Sun Valley. While it's normally full-on sunshine here, it does occasionally snow (imagine that!). Well, we had a little snow, some sun and some partly cloudy on this day. The skiing itself was really pretty good with the great grooming that Sun Valley is known for along with some bumps. Here is our day:


post #3 of 18



Thanks--I love Sun Valley.  Looks like a lot of snow has melted off the southern exposures from our trip there over MLK in January:



post #4 of 18

SB77, compare your photo to mine from last week. There's been melt indeed. They do a great job with grooming, but new snow would be nice. I'm watching the forecast closely and am going to head there again if they get a dump.


post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Actually, there was about an inch or so of new yesterday and it helped out a lot. We had some light flurries today but I understand that there's supposed to be a new storm coming in Fri/Sat with maybe 5-6". So this may be the beginning of a new storm cycle that will help cover some of the stuff. Still, it was good skiing on the groomers.

post #6 of 18

Goldmember, are you still in SV? I saw there's 3 new inches and 2-4 on the way.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

No, we skied at Soldier today (video forthcoming) and are skiing Pomerelle tomorrow. I haven't checked yet but I think they got a fair storm amount too. I think we'll be posting up some nice powder shots for the rest of our trip. We're going to have two days at Brundage to end the trip and they're predicted to get 7-17" by the time we hit there!  Stay tuned as we share more of our ride over the next few days.

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Today was day six and we spent the day at Soldier Mountain. We were shown around by Dorn _____ (sorry, didn't get his last name) who is 81 years old and started skiing at Soldier in 1949. What a treat! Dorn was a patroller there in the early days then moved on to instruct at Sun Valley. He was awesome to ski with and still skis very well. I aspire to be like him when I reach his age.


Conditions were typical for this area of the state; blue sky and great groomed runs with very few people. Bruce Willis gifted the area to a non-profit that was formed for the purpose of running the mountain. Bruce did a great job in leaving the place in good shape, all the way to the pots and pans. The new owners are giving this place a good run with the mission being one of a labor of love. Again, these areas that are generally community ski hills are some of my favorite to ski. Without further adieu, here is our daily video:


post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

To add some content to this thread, we have the pleasure of having Benjamin Powell Photography taking shots throughout the trip. I'll post these up by area, starting with Schweitzer where our adventure started. Conditions weren't great for shooting but Ben did a nice job of making a gray day look pretty good. Here is what we found:


Robert framed in gray:



Carrie in the same element:



Me finding a little break below the cloud deck:



Dan putting the Rossi E88's on edge



An 8 year old girl showing the boys how it's supposed to be done:



Evan showing off to...well...no one on the chair:



Evan with Lake Pend O'Reille in the background:



Me being interviewed by Jim and Robin:



Carrie, always smiling, getting over a bad case of nerves:


post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Day two was at Bald Mountain near Pierce, Idaho. This is in stark contrast to the 'glitz' of Schweitzer but is one of those really cool, volunteer community hills where all the neighbors chip in and make it work. These areas are very simple but very fun and are highlights of our season. We had a great time finding our way around with the help of Sam and Chris, who are the ones who have led the charge to get this place back open after a two year hiatus. These show a bit of the fun to be had:


Our host, Sam. Think this is Bogner??



The brothers, Robert and Evan:



Me looking like I must be having some level of fun:



Carrie going heel-side:



Robert showing off his bases:




That's it for tonight, time for bed before we hit Pomerelle in the morning. See y'all tomorrow!

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Day three photos. We got some sun at Lost Trail on the Idaho/Montana border. LT is one of my favorite stops and I think Ben got some good shots to show why:


Evan checking out the views



Robert checking out the fresh



Evan dropping into one of the steeper pitches 



Carving Carrie









Carrie off a little drop



Checking out another drop



Robert looking good!


post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Pardon the interruption to the picture parade but we have new video to share. Day Seven of our tour took us to Pomerelle Mountain, about 1:15 east and south of Twin Falls. With a storm cycle starting, Pomerelle received six inches overnight and it was good! I remember from when I've been here before that it seems no one skis the trees, which is almost a crime. The trees are nicely spaced and the new snow laid in there very nicely. We got shots of sun today as we're between storms. The NWS is forecasting another 5-7" tonight in the mountains around here so tomorrow at Magic Mountain might be pretty interesting, too. But today was worth watching so, enjoy!


post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Okay, back to the photos. These are from our two days at Sun Valley. As always, Sun Valley delivered. It started with a bit of new snow that helped soften things then followed up with.....Sun! Who would ever guess that??  Anyway, here are some shots of our time there:


Robert on Can Can



Me, same spot




Conor Davis, local telemark charger



Evan taking a nice turn



Carrie loving the carving conditions that typify Sun Valley



Conor, kind of an air extraordinaire 



Carrie taking things up on edge



Nice views!




Reggie Crist joined us for a couple of runs



Conor laying down a clean telly turn



Evan getting in the game



Local pipe rider in the Olympic half pipe on Dollar Mountain



Another pipe rider above the 22' walls in the pipe.


post #14 of 18

Nice.  I have to get back to Sun Valley, it's been way too long.

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

New video from today. We spent the day at Magic Mountain Ski Resort, southeast of Twin Falls. Keep an eye on this area. Gary and Suzette took over Magic six years ago, have increased skier visits from 1,700 per year to around 15,000. This is a growing concern and with good reason! They have a lot of really cool terrain and are growing. While they currently run one chair and a tubing hill, they've bought a chair from Jackson Hole that they'll install this summer, have plans for another chair and are reopening an old platter lift that was there for their terrain park. Today was particularly awesome as we had about a foot of new and virtually no one there to cut it up. It was snowing and blowing and epic, all at the same time. This is what we found:


post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Wow, what a day!  Brundage Mountain was amazing today. They had received 15" of new snow over the past couple of days and today was sunshine and not a lot of people. Much of what was there yesterday got hammered with a big crowd but today was pretty sparse in terms of numbers but not so in terms of untracked snow, so long as you knew where to go. We didn't but we were with a local who definitely knew the lay of the land. Scott led us into areas that remind me of helicopter or cat skiing terrain with amazing snow. We got an early lift at 9:00, 30 minutes earlier than opening, took a ten minute lunch (long enough for a brownie and a Sprite), and were still at the top of the mountain at 4:30 this afternoon. This was a very full day and well worth it. As a bonus, we were joined by Lynne Wieland (Banana Pants, and if you don't recognize that name, Google it) and her friend, Peggy so it was a strong crew with an unusual number of women. Here is some of what we found:


post #17 of 18
Wow, nice weekend of skiing. Also, a good reminder that you can have great skiing at places that don't make anyone's "top ten" or "best of" lists.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

The end of our tour has come. Here is our last day (today) shot again at Brundage. Ending the trip with another epic day of powder seemed appropriate so that's exactly what we did! I'll add some more photos as i can get them sorted.


Now, sitting in my living room reflecting and summarizing, I'm very satisfied with our effort. Ten ski days at eight resorts, 1,810 miles driven, all in ten days. Whew! I'm tired. I hope you enjoyed our journey.  I know I did!


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