Thursday, March 24, 2011

Go with the Flow - Enjoy the Spring Snow in Idaho

Hi all,

Well, sometimes you have to go with the flow ... and lately, the weather flow has been decidedly wet, and that means gray, rainy weather at low elevations, and awesome powder at high elevations.

So this week's outdoor tip focuses on enjoying the powder snow in the backcountry or at your favorite ski resort while you still can. Only three weeks left before the resorts plan to close in mid-April. If snow permits, however, some may stay open longer ... Brundage Mountain already is saying it plans to do so.

Lately, the powder days have been stacking up one after another, just like a row of spring storms.

Get this: Brundage reports that it has received 53 inches of snow in the first 20 days of March. “We’ve had some of the best powder days of the entire season in the past few weeks,” says Brundage spokeswoman April Russell.

Sun Valley reported receiving 2 feet of snow last weekend. Tamarack got nailed with similar storms that Brundage received. Bogus Basin got dumped on last weekend, Monday and Tuesday of this week, forcing me to play hooky :)

Some must-do late-season opportunities for skiers and riders:
  • Brundage is offering free skiing for Moms and kids under 17 this Sunday. It also is holding the O-Wimp-Ic Games on Saturday, involving an obstacle course and other goofy stuff. The one I don't want to miss? The Pond Skimming Contest on April 2. I've always wanted to do that.
  • Bogus Basin has a "Shop Wars" freeride event on Saturday, and an "Alley Cat" freeride event on Saturday, April 2. The events are sponsored by KTIK 93.1 FM.
  • Soldier Mountain closes for the season on Saturday. I bet there is a ton of powder to be skied there in the trees.
  • Tamarack is open all week for spring break, and they have some fun events planned, including a Poker Run and a Treasure Hunt. On Saturday, April 2, Tamarack is offering a Vertical Challenge contest. Ski the most verts and get a free season pass for next year. Who's got legs of steel?
  • Watch for great ski-and-stay packages at Sun Valley this time of year. It's an excellent way to save money on lift tickets. There are a slew of spring events planned in Sun Valley, including Hawaiian citizen ski races, comedy, movies and more.
  • The Idaho City Park n' Ski Areas are in great shape for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and skate skiing. Snow pack is deep (60-80 inches above 6,000 feet), and the powder is everywhere. Note: The ski trails were groomed today (March 24) for the last time this winter season.
  • Many ski and snowboard retailers are holding big sales right now, offering discounts of 30-50 percent on big ticket items. It's a great time of year to buy an expensive set of skis or a snowboard that wouldn't be affordable at full price. Same goes for ski coats, pants, gloves, helmets and more. Now is the time to buy!
  • Brundage, Tamarack and Bogus are offering deep discounts on season passes for next year right now. Prices will go up after the ski season ends. Buy 'em now!
There you have it! Have fun on your spring break. If you're going south to the beach, just know that I'll take a few turns in the powder for you - if you soak in some rays for me.

- SS

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