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Thread Starter 
I spent Tuesday skiing at Tamarack, the new area on the shores of Cascade Lake about 100 miles north of Boise. They have been doing a "Thanks Idaho" event this week, providing free lift tickets to us locals. By the time I found out about the promo, the tickets were almost gone. I did get two and my wife and I took a day off from work to check out the place.

As has been the case in much of the country this year, the snow has been sparse, especially in recent weeks. Still, coverage on the groomed runs was surprisingly good. The temp was in the mid thirties and the snow was firm but softened up nicely midday. We were not the least bit tempted to venture off the groomers as there were lots of brush stumps and snags sticking up out of the snow.

Ignoring the beginner area there are two lifts in service. From the base, you catch a high-speed quad to mid mountain and either ski down or catch the other high-speed quad to the summit. Up top, the mountain has an extended ridge that spans the whole area. From there it is 2,800 continuous vertical down to the base. For now the expert runs were clustered immediately below the summit ridge and spans no more that 400-600 vert. I'm sure there will eventually be more expert skiing lower down the mountain but they will be short pitches. The mountain’s relatively gentle pitch won’t provide long sustained expert runs.

We enjoyed making laps on the intermediate runs that span the whole vertical. It was roller coaster skiing—steeper then flatter, winding left and then right, etc. This is not a mountain with consistently pitched fall line runs from top to bottom.

I enjoyed the longer vertical compared to Bogus Basin, my home area. However, Tamarack does not have (and I don’t think will have once completed) the amount or variety of terrain to become a world-class destination resort, which is fine by me. What they have certainly hasn’t held them back in terms of selling real estate at the base area.

I want to go back again when they have better snow conditions. There are some bowls and glades that look pretty inviting.