Thursday, January 30, 2014

Please! Stay off muddy trails this weekend! Go higher people - to frozen trails or ski trails!

Nuf said! 
Hi all,

Officials with Boise's Ridge to Rivers trail system are pleading with dog-walkers, hikers, runners and bikers to stay off the lower trails in the Boise Foothills. They've been putting out messages daily on their Facebook page and trail blog. But some people aren't getting the message.

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So they've put up chains across some trailheads to get people to stop and take notice of the sign: "Don't Use Muddy Trails!" The damage is continuing to occur.

Starting today, temperatures will be warming up into the 40s in the afternoons, so the trails are bound to be slurpy. "The Table Rock trails are a mess, and the Military Reserve trails are a mess," said David Gordon, Ridge to Rivers Trail Coordinator. "This is a time when our trails really suffer."

The key is to get out early in the day when the trails are frozen, or just head for higher-elevation trails that are more likely to be snow-covered or frozen. Last weekend, I hiked with some friends on the Orchard Gulch Trail (accessed via Rocky Canyon Road) almost to the ridge road, and it was snow- and ice-covered the whole way. We finally broke out of the inversion 500 feet below tree line.

Other alternatives include Rocky Canyon Road itself, the Boise Greenbelt and Eagle Greenbelt.

Even better, I heartily recommend heading into the mountains this weekend to enjoy fresh snow and winter fun:
Winter Carnival in McCall! Hunt Lodge won the grand prize with "Pharaoh's Tomb"  
Inside the "Pharaoh's Tomb"

  • Head to McCall for the second weekend of the Winter Carnival and ski Brundage or Tamarack. It's Diva Day at Brundage on Saturday, with $25 lift tickets (that's less than 1/2 price) for women 18 and up. If you want to ski Sunday, too, show them your Diva Day lift pass from Saturday, and you'll get the same price. Brundage had 10 inches of new *pow* as of this morning, and Tamarack reported 5 inches of new. I wish I were in McCall today!
  • Events at the Winter Carnival this weekend include: Fireworks over Payette Lake and closing ceremonies Saturday night, ice skating entertainment, snowshoe golf and snow sculptures. The Hunt Lodge Holiday Inn Express won the grand prize ice sculpture and Salmon River Brewery took first place.  

The Salmon River Brewery took 1st Place with "Crystal Eye's Bar".
You've got to try their beer and food, it's all awesome. 

  • The Sun Valley Nordic Festival culminates with the 32-kilometer Boulder Mountain Tour race from Galena Lodge to Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters on Saturday. Hundreds of skiers participate, it's a big event. There's also a big fund-raiser going on Saturday night for the Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center along with movies from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. 
  • The Idaho City Park n' Ski areas got a fresh douse of snow this week -- approximately 5-6 inches in the higher elevations near Banner Summit and Mores Creek Summit. Trails are being groomed today and Friday, so the whole trail system should be freshly groomed by Saturday. Be sure to pick up a Park n' Ski parking pass at the Sinclair station in Idaho City on your way up there.  
Get out of town, it'll be great! 

Have fun!
- SS

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