Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hit the slopes or the mountains for St. Patty's Day! Lots of fun things to do!

Dress up for St. Patty's Day! (courtesy Liftopia) 
(Courtesy Liftopia) 
You get the idea! 
Hi all,

Last weekend was sunny and warm, and this weekend will be cool and wet. Don't turn your back on winter yet!

Brundage Mountain, Bogus Basin and Sun Valley all got fresh snow this week, and there's more freshies on the way through Sunday this weekend. My recommendation this weekend is to hit the slopes for fun St. Patrick's Day activities or go xc skiing, snowshoeing or snow biking at your favorite mountain getaway. The snow conditions are stellar everywhere! See my latest "Idaho Daily Snow" ski report.

In the Boise Valley, the trails might be muddy and wet with storms forecast Friday-Sunday, so my feeling is you're better off going to play in the snow.

Here's the lowdown on St. Patty's Day activities, Saturday, March 17:
  • Bogus Basin - Dress up like a leprechaun and get a free ride on the Glade Runner mountain coaster. Bogus has received 7 inches of new snow over the last 36 hours. Should be great skiing and riding up there. Bogus will be doing a grand opening of the Double R Ranch BBQ Smokehouse at 11 a.m. You can imagine what's on the menu, and it's located on the Bogus Creek Plaza, outside the main lodge, next to the cozy fire pits. Live music runs from 3-6 p.m. They'll even have free S'mores by the fire pits 4-6 p.m. Free demo skis will be available to try for Bogus season pass holders. Green beer all day long at the Simplot Lodge. To cap it all off, there's a Pot O’ Gold Treasure Hunt -- find the hidden pot of gold on the mountain and win a free 2018-19 season pass.
  • Brundage Mountain - They've receive 2 inches of fresh snow in the last 36 hours, and they're supposed to get more in the next several days. You can start the day by participating in a Treasure Hunt on the ski mountain. You'll be looking for seven Shamrocks hidden in the trees and snow. Winners get a "pot of gold" bag of prizes.

    Then, after lunch at Smoky's Bar and Restaurant, you can try your hand at cabbage bowling. You chuck a cabbage at a set of bowling pins (Guiness cans). Winners get fun prizes. That event starts at 1 p.m. on the deck outside Smoky's. They'll have live music from 2-5 p.m. with Kayleigh Jack, an Idaho musician who plays guitar, violin and mandolin, and she can sing! Sounds fun! 
  • Tamarack Resort - They've had 4 inches in the last 48 hours, with more to come. The 4th annual Brewski event will be happening at Tamarack on Saturday, from 3-6 p.m. inside the Canoe Grill. Tickets cost $15, and it will sell out (only 200 tickets will be sold). The fee covers beer-tasting and a commemorative tasting glass. Participating breweries include Payette, Salmon River, Broken Horn, Crooked Fence, Powderhaus, Sockeye, and County Line Brewing. Live music will be provided by New Transit. Rip some nice long top-to-bottom runs and work up a thirst! Should be a blast!
  • Pomerelle Mountain Resort - Dress up for St. Patty's Day and revel in what is expected to be the deepest powder to come this weekend. A foot to 18 inches of new snow are forecast to fall at Pomerelle between now and Saturday. They'll be celebrating St. Patty's Day with hidden Shamrocks on the mountain, and Pot of Gold challenge. Guess how many pieces of gold are in the pot, and the winner takes the pot of gold. 
  • Pebble Creek Ski Area - I doubt many would drive all the way to Pocatello to see it, but I had to laugh upon seeing that Pebble Creek hosts a St. Patty's Day Monster Dummy Jump event. You build a ski dummy, send it off a big jump on skis or a snowboard, and watch it crash and burn. That'd be pretty hilarious! Top prize is $100. Entry fee is $15. No propulsion devices, no incendiary devices, gravity only. No obscenities. Ha! 
Here's hoping you have a great weekend! 
- SS 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

New, 3rd edition of Boise Trail Guide is HOT off the press! Volunteer to plant bitterbrush for IDFG

On top of Mt. Heinen, part of the Boise Grand Slam, with Joanie, Judy and Jack  
Hi all,

Under the banner of shameless self-promotion, I must tell you about the brand new, third edition of Boise Trail Guide: 95 Hiking and Running Routes Close to Home. 

Whenever I run out of book stocks, I not only order a new printing of the book, I update the guide based on anything that's changed in the field -- in this case, the Pioneer wildfire certainly roared through some of the trails, and the Crow Inn sadly closed -- and add new trails that have come online.

So the latest edition of Boise Trail Guide has 5 new routes. The new editions are ... two new Greenbelts and Parks trails -- Esther Simplot Park, and Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve, a 44-acre beautiful birding area in the midst of West Boise with hiking/running trails. I added one new route in the Moderate Mountain Trails section, two out-and-back routes via Peggy's Trail. And in the Strenuous Mountain Trails section, I added the full route descriptions and maps for all four Boise Grand Slam Peaks. Now you can see how to climb Mt. Kepros and Mt. Heinen as well as Mt. Cervidae and Shaw Mountain/Lucky Peak. I guess I had to hike all four of the peaks before I could put them in the book. Last year, I finished the slam, and I'll tell you, it's totally worth it!

Where to buy? Boise Trail Guide is available for sale on my web site,, Bandanna Walking and Running in downtown Boise, Idaho Mountain Touring, Boise REI and all have copies of the new book. I will be getting more books distributed to more retailers with time.

We are blessed! Think about how amazing it is that I can publish a book with 95 places to go hiking and running in Boise or within an hour of our capital city. There are tons of trails to explore in the Ridge to Rivers Trail system, BLM lands to the south and in the Boise National Forest to the north and east. People who have bought the book tell me they love having more choices for their hiking and running destinations. Many get stuck in a rut, doing the same routes over and over again. Venture outside your mold and learn about new places to go with Boise Trail Guide.

All of the routes provide travel time for hiking and running. Each route has a description and map, with driving directions and details about what make the route appealing or unique.

The new edition is a little more compact and light because the printer used nicer paper that's thinner than the old paper stock, and the trim size is slightly smaller than 5.5" by 8.5", standard guidebook size. I think you'll like it!

Volunteers plant shrubs to benefit wildlife and the integrity of the soil and watershed. 
Join up with a Idaho Fish and Game volunteer shrub-planting event! 

Idaho Fish and Game has three opportunities in March. They need volunteers plant bitterbrush and sagebrush seedlings for wildlife on March 10, 17 and 24.  Meet at 9 a.m. at the MK Nature Center in Boise on those dates. Alternate meeting locations at the planting sites are available at 9:30 a.m. for volunteers that want to meet at Hilltop Summit.

It's fun to participate in service projects like this. You're doing something to enhance habitat for wildlife, and you'll meet new interesting people. Plus, you'll get plenty of exercise planting all of the seedlings.

Planting locations are located near Highway 21 in the Boise River Wildlife Management Area, home to 6,000 to 8,000 wintering mule deer.  These deer utilize the area during the winter for shelter and feeding in a landscape typically devoid of the deeper snows in the higher mountains, where they spend their summers. Over 4,000 acres of this important wildlife landscape burned in the 2016 Mile Marker 14 Fire.

Sagebrush and bitterbrush play an integral role in the habitat on this landscape, providing shelter from winter storms for wildlife. Shrubs are the main food source for mule deer during the winter.  Due to their deep-rooted nature, the shrubs provide erosion protection for the foothills as well. They also are important habitat for birds and other wildlife species.

RSVP to Michael Young at IDFG:; Questions? Call 208-327-7095

By the way, the skiing and riding is great right now everywhere! I recently took over an online blogpost called "The Idaho Daily Snow," which provides a detailed weather/snow/ski report 5 days a week for the state of Idaho, based on the latest weather data from multiple sources. It also provides details on the latest events at all of Idaho's ski resorts. See my latest post here
- SS