Thursday, June 16, 2022

North Fork Championships this weekend; plus Brundage, Tamarack and Bogus Basin open for summer season!

A kayaker paddles through a giant frothing hole/wave on the North Fork Payette River.
Photo by SS 

Hi all, 

I stopped by the North Fork of the Payette River today on my way down to Boise from McCall, and I had a chance to watch a number of kayakers participating in the North Fork Championships practice the slalom course in Jacob's Ladder Rapids, the largest and steepest Class 5 drop on the North Fork. 

It's just amazing to stand by the North Fork and feel its thundering power - especially at the top of Jake's! It scares me just to stand there and watch boaters go through the expert-only super-challenging rapids! 

The first slalom gate comes immediately following the first steep drop into the rapids. Competitors have to fly into an eddy on river left as they make the drop, do a quick 180-degree turn, paddle upstream, go around the slalom gate, and then dig in the paddle and carve into a ferocious eddy turn into the center of the raging river, where the kayakers can get churned up in the major turbulence or best case, make a clean entry and zip to the next slalom gate. 

These are some of the nation's best Class 5 kayakers, and they're here kayaking on the North Fork of the Payette River for the North Fork Championships. The event started on Thursday, June 16, and continues through Saturday, June 18, for the North Fork slalom event. I think it's well-worth watching! 

Hang on to that brace buddy! Photo by SS

On Thursday, there was an expert downriver race in S-turn Rapids, just above Big Eddy Campground, on the North Fork. Friday, there's a downriver Boater X race, also in S-turn Rapids, starting at 12:30 p.m. 

The main event, the elite North Fork slalom race in Jacob's Ladder, starts at 1 p.m. Saturday. The kayaker with the fastest time and clean slalom runs wins the race (best of two runs). There are men's and women's elite divisions; a total of 150 kayakers will be participating. 

If you can get up there early and stake out a spot on the North Fork to watch the races, it will be a spectacular thing to see!   

With the warmer weather this week, it seems like summer is finally kicking in! 

Steve Jones amid the flowers in Ponderosa State Park. 

The snow is finally melted around McCall. Hiking and biking trails in Ponderosa State Park are in great shape. The campers are beginning to filter in! Lots of people are hiking and biking at Jug Mountain Ranch as well as on trails around McCall, like the North Valley Rail-Trail, McCall Greenbelt, and Spring Mountain Ranch bike trails.  

Brundage Mountain Resort opens their mountain bike trails this weekend, plus people are encouraged to ski/ride off the top of the mountain as well. Ha! That's kind of a hoot! The Bluebird Express will be running all day Friday-Sunday, plus food and beverage services at the base area. See their announcement about opening weekend, beginning on Friday, June 17, and about future events. The Brundage concert series starts on July 8, plus there's a 4th of July music fest. 

Plenty of snow still at the Brundage summit.

Tamarack Resort's
mountain bike park and Tam Express chairlift begin operating this weekend as well on Friday, June 17, and then Tam will remain open seven days a week through the summer season. Riders can enjoy 1,700 vertical feet of downhill riding on the Tam downhill trails, plus there's xc trails worth exploring at the Tamarack base area. There's also zipline tours, waterfront services with boat rentals, and food and beverage. 

Bogus Basin also will be opening for 7-day-a-week operations on Friday. People can ride the Deer Point or Morning Star chairlifts, ride gravity mountain bike trails, ride the Mountain Coaster, go hiking. or engage in other activities in the base area. Food and Beverage as well.    

There you have it! Have a great weekend! 
- SS 


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