Thursday, January 12, 2012
Anthony Lakes is a great place to ski right now + Louder for Powder next Wed. night
Norm Nelson skis a run at Anthony Lakes near Baker, OR
My friend Norm Nelson and I decided to take a little road trip to Anthony Lakes Ski Area in Eastern Oregon last weekend for a change of scenery. As in: Get out of the brown and into the white! We had heard that the skiing was quite good at Anthony, and they were reporting a 32-inch base (all natural snow), so that seemed promising.
We drove over on Saturday afternoon, stayed at the Super 8 in Baker ($67/night for two people) skied all day Sunday and got home by 7 p.m. on Sunday night. It takes about 2.5 hours from Boise to drive directly to the Anthony Lakes parking lot, but it's an easy drive -- 2 hours on I-84 and 30 minutes to the resort on a winding two-lane paved road from North Powder.
The skiing was fabulous, I thought. I ran into Scott Perryman and two of his friends from Boise who skied 3 days at Anthony last weekend, and this is what he had to say:
"It was a pleasant surprise," Perryman says. "It was my first time there, and I thought, damn, this is kind of sweet! We kept exploring and finding little pockets and little hidey-holes, and it was a blast. I would definitely go back."
Anthony has 1,100 acres of skiable terrain; 21 named runs. Lift tickets are $36/day for adults. If you ski on a Thursday, lift tickets are only $17.50! Plan on paying for a $4 snow park permit. The terrain is weighted a bit on the expert side, with 42 percent of the mountain rated advanced/expert, 38 percent intermediate, and 20 percent beginner. It's a fun mountain to ski because it's got a little bit of everything. It also has a terrain park.
I brought my cross-country skate skis, and took a nice loop around the groomed cross-country track with my old friend Russ West from La Grande. Russ participated in a dual race on Sunday, which drew a few Nordic skiers from Boise and the local communities. He said one of the skiers from Boise would have won the race but he took 4 wrong turns and still got third. Always helps to know the course!
The xc track was exquisitely groomed. About 24 kilometers of ski trail are open right now, and a total of 37K's will be available when all of the Nordic trails are open. If you're just a xc skier, I think the trip to Anthony would be well worthwhile. If you like to alpine and xc ski, all the better! It just adds to the diversity of your experience and provides a great workout.
Anthony also has great backcountry skiing for those of you who have your own backcountry gear, and it offers cat skiing trips, servicing the wide open backcountry terrain behind the resort. Those trips cost $199/person. Check the web site on how to sign up.
For the best stay-and-play deals, see Anthony's web site for lodging options. You'll find the best deals at the Best Western Sunridge in Baker ($109 for one person lodging, $10 meal voucher and free lift ticket), and the Grand Geiser Hotel, an historic building with great ambiance and great food ($149 for two people for one night, plus free lift tickets). Both hotels have a variety of deals for families, singles and couples. Inquire for more details.
If you haven't heard, there's a fun party being planned for the Basque Block for Bogus Basin season pass holders next Wednesday night, Jan. 18. They're calling it, "Get Louder for Powder!" Boise's own Curtis Stigers will headline an evening full of live music, food, beer and wine. Participants are encouraged to wear ski clothes and goggles and chant for snow! Party hardy!
There will be $1 beers and $1 Bogus Burgers for pass holders (be sure to bring your season pass). How can you go wrong!
I'm planning on showing up ... it's kind of a morale-booster for Bogus pass holders, and it's a chance to show your support for our favorite local nonprofit ski mountain.
If the weather report now being circulated holds true, it should be either raining or snowing next Wednesday night ... looks like a whole series of storms will be coming through next week. Gawd, I hope that it happens!
Read all about Steve's outdoor trips in Idaho, including hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, camping, trail-running, whitewater boating, canoeing, SUP’ing, skiing and snowshoeing.
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