Thursday, December 10, 2020

Tamarack to host grand opening on Friday, big snow coming next week and more ...

Time to shred at Tamarack!

Hi all, 

For downhill skiers/riders who want plenty of elbow room, Tamarack Resort has always been a well-kept secret among those in the know. 

On a powder day, the freshies will get shredded in about 1.5-2 hours at Bogus Basin or Brundage Mountain. But at Tamarack, with fewer people on the slopes, you can find fresh turns all day long.

That's one of the key benefits of skiing/riding Tamarack Resort. In the 2020-21 ski season amid the covid-19 pandemic, the importance of feeling comfortable and having enough personal space is something that matters to skiers and riders. So that will be another plus this year at Tamarack, where you can find your own Private Idaho. 

Skiing pow at Tamarack with Lake Cascade and Long Valley below (Courtesy Tamarack Resort)

Tamarack is having a grand opening tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 11), opening its slopes and alpine village to the general public for the first time this ski season. The resort has been open to season pass holders and resort guests over the last few weekends. From this point forward, they'll be operating 7 days a week. 

Daily lift tickets, Boundless All-Season Passes, and Express Passes are all available online. Standard covid restrictions are in place. Bring your face-coverings to protect yourself and others from the virus.

The Tamarack and Summit express lifts will be running along with the Discovery beginner chair. (No Wildwood yet). You'll be able to ski top-to-bottom, all 2,800 vertical feet, on groomed slopes like Serenity, Showtime and Waltz. See the Tamarack snow report for a run down on the slopes open at this point.      

Speaking of snow, we're supposed to get hammered with lots of *pow* in the next 15 days leading right up to Christmas Day. My OpenSnow post this morning said we've got "Big pow coming with a roar." We need it! 

The Reserve Bar in the Village - it opens tomorrow (courtesy Tamarack Resort)

Scott Turlington, who last summer was named president of Tamarack Resort, said the resort has been working hard to get the new Village at Tamarack ready for the ski season. People who haven't visited for a while will be surprised to see fewer domes at the base area, and more services available on the ground floor of the Village. 

"Man, it's night and day to see the village now," Turlington says.  

Yes, the Village buildings that were wrapped in Tyvek for many years following the 2007 bankruptcy are seeing new life. It's so great to see Tamarack under new ownership revitalizing the resort, finishing unfinished business, and now they've got condominiums in the Village for sale.

"In many ways this will be a season unlike any other, and the Tamarack team is committed to ensuring our guests can safely experience the joy of winter recreation along with the delight in discovering a new favorite in The Village,” Turlington said. 

The Village at Tamarack has a whole new look! (courtesy Tamarack Resort)

On Friday, Tamarack is opening The Reserve upscale bar and restaurant. Other options for food and drink include an outdoor beer garden, Mountain Bites food truck, Clearwater Coffee and the Village Market, which has grab-and-go sandwiches and drinks. In general, skiers/riders should use their vehicle as the "day lodge" due to covid restrictions. 

Later in December, Tamarack will open the Rendezvous food court, where you can choose from four different food venues in one large space -- the Triple B Diner, Crusty's Pizza, Summit Bowls and El Pueblo Taqueria. Turlington says the Triple B will be the work-horse restaurant, similar to the Canoe Grill, but better. Many peeps in McCall love Crusty's, and I recommend it, too. Nice to have more food options! 

Unless you want a year-round pass, the Tamarack Express pass could save money on lift tickets, which cost $100 for adults this year. It comes pre-loaded with a single day ticket, and then skiers and riders can visit as many times as you like with a $15 discount/per visit. See more about lift tickets and passes online.

One unique offering is that Tamarack has special Pickup Boxes for getting your Express pass or other pass. You buy the pass online, scan the QR code at the Pickup Box, and then the box issues your pass on the spot. Then, you can head directly to the lift and start skiing.  

Heading up the Tamarack Express for another run with Jughandle Mountain in the background.

Some of you may recall that I worked in government affairs at Tamarack from 2002-2007. A big part of my job was mapping and exploring the backcountry for the guided snowcat skiing program, guided snowmobile tours and summer recreation activities. I used to call the areas to the north and south of Tamarack's ski area boundary as "my office." 

Another benefit of skiing at Tamarack are the out-of-bounds opportunities for skiers and riders just outside the ropes. Many people take a bunch of turns out of bounds and then vector back to the ski area to catch the lift. You also can pack skins and go for a tour over toward Wildwood Bowl or Lone Tree Mountain to find more Private Idaho. 

I've had some legendary powder days out there, and there's plenty more to come! 

To check on lodging options at Tamarack, go to: 


A few other outdoor notes: 

Brundage Mountain is opening the Activity Barn, a super fun tubing hill near McCall on Friday. The Activity Barn is open Fridays from 2 to 6 pm, Saturdays from 10 am - 6 pm and Sundays from 10 am - 4 pm. During the winter holiday, hours expand considerably. The Activity Barn plans to be open every day from December 18 - January 3. More details and reservations are available at

I've been ripping groomers at Brundage for several weeks. Maybe you've seen my Facebook posts. The snow has been holding up amazingly well! Quinn and I skied there Tuesday for his 23rd birthday on a gorgeous sunny spring-like day. We had plenty of elbow room on the deck as we had a great lunch from Smoky's (big juicy burrito) and some beers while basking in the sun.  

Sun Valley has some great ski-and-stay deals prior to the Christmas holiday season and following the Christmas-New Years holiday. See the Sun Valley lodging deals page for more information. 

Idaho Park and Ski trails have not been groomed yet. Waiting for more snow. And that should be coming this week! 

Have a great week ... next week's blog will be on last-minute Christmas gift ideas for the outdoorsy him and her.
- SS

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