Friday, February 27, 2015

Hit the groomers at Sun Valley, check for best lodging deals; plus beer bus to Brundage

Perfect corduroy for carving turns ... 
What happened to those nice wool ski sweathers? 
Great views of the Pioneer Mountains ... 
Groomers galore in Sun Valley! 
Hi all,

It's looking like another weekend where we're going to have a fresh dusting of snow in the mountains, including Brundage, Sun Valley and Tamarack, and then sunshine on Sunday. Could be a good time to hit the slopes!

I've been hearing great things about the conditions on Bald Mountain in Sun Valley. They have a very sophisticated computerized snow-making system that dishes out new snow overnight, and Sun Valley's groomers smooth it out for some ego-boosting turns. No obstacles to worry about. No potato rows between the groomer paths.

I love the feeling of being on top of Bald Mountain, taking in the splendor of the surrounding mountains, and then zooming down College or Ridge to the mid-mountain chair. Maybe Christmas Bowl is skiable? That's a hoot. You also can go top-to-bottom on Warm Springs, experiencing the full 3,300-foot vertical foot plunge to the bottom, and feel your thighs burn with every turn as you cruise downhill. Seattle Ridge is another place to let it rip on wide groomed runs. The challenge is to pace yourself so you've got enough strength and energy to put in a full day ... even after a full half-day, your legs might feel zapped.

When you're skiing downhill, feel your edges carve on the snow. The Sun Valley slopes are perfect for this. Open up your speed and ride the edges of your skis. The faster you go, the more you'll feel the beauty of the carving turn. Make big arcs with your edges, stay on top of your skis, meaning keep your weight forward, and let the skis carve the snow.

The big challenge with Sun Valley is to find discounted lift tickets and affordable lodging. Ski-and-stay packages are a great way to save money. The best deal offered by Sun Valley today is $162/night for a stay-and-ski package for two. Considering that day tickets cost $109, that's a pretty good deal! But there are lots of other stay-and-ski packages available. Try the Ketchum-Sun Valley Chamber for their deals, and InIdaho, too.

Another way to save money on Sun Valley lift tickets is to buy them online in advance. 

On Saturday, there's a beer bus that's heading up to Salmon River Brewery in McCall for a quick beer tasting and brunch. Then they're hitting the slopes at Brundage for the day, and capping it all off with a big feast and wonderful craft beer at Salmon River Brewery. Kate McGuire of K-106 is organizing the trip, and they still have a few openings. Cost is $81 per person. There are a total of 45 spots available. See Kate University Brew Bus for more information or to book your seat.   

There's some rain/snow in the forecast for the Boise Valley on Friday and Saturday, so that may muck up the trails in the Boise Foothills. I've been enjoying the trails this week, and it's been so GREAT to be out there on our wonderful trail system. Please watch the Ridge to Rivers web site and Facebook page for the most updated information on trail conditions this weekend.

If conditions are wet, my recent blog on exploring Marianne Williams Park and the Eagle Greenbelt are great alternatives where you can't go wrong.
Check out this YouTube video that I took earlier today, mountain biking the Sidewinder-Fat Tire-Trail #5 Loop with my pointer Huck. It's so much fun to watch him fly through the sagebrush, especially when we're going downhill. So I brought the GoPro today and got some footage. You might like the biking footage too!

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