Just a little over 2hrs to the north of Boise is Tamarack Resort, my 4th stop on a tour we started calling POW’daho 2013 due to the snow that continued to fall. Tamarack, located in the scenic Payette River Mountains directly above the 21 mile long Cascade Lake, is the first newly permitted four-season resort in N. America in more than two decades. It is a true 4 diamond resort in the rough. Its lodges and facilities are in various states of completion but enough is done for all to see: this is going to be one heck of a luxury destination. The scale and well designed plan of this resort development (with its new slopeside estate homes and quaint chalets) reminded me of Moonlight Basin, MT. Tamarack is beautiful. I arrived Sunday morning at about 8:50am as the fog started to lift on a sunny POWDER day. I was the 5th car in the parking lot. It didn’t feel right – had I mixed up my days and it was Monday (when Tamarack is closed)? I would later learn that people take their time arriving even on weekends (eta 10:30am) simply because there are never any crowds at Tamarack. With Tamarack being the newest resort in the area, Boise having Bogus Basin and neighboring McCall having Brundage, Tamarack, whose slogan is “Your Trailhead to Discovery”, remains somewhat undiscovered. With great skiing (41% advanced terrain, 2800′ vertical, vast sidecountry), low prices and more, it’s surprising to see the slopes so empty. There are 900 lift served acres with over 5000 more acres of front facing sidecountry – i.e., all accessible through the backcountry gates and leading back to the base. There’s also the option to continue to the road below for car laps. I’m told that skiing/riding out of the North gate boundary to West Mountain Road yields around 3000 vertical ft. That’s just the terrain on the frontside. There’s a backside to all this but you won’t want to drop into it unless you have a snowmobile or skins to get out. Speaking of snowmobiles, sledders have it made here: the resort permits sleds to ride right up to the gates and the base lift (several were parked there during lunch). With so much out of bounds terrain, I couldn’t wait to get out and explore. After a beacon and avi gear check, Robby Russell, Dustin Simmons and I headed for runs down South Bowl and the steeper Fat Larry’s Ridge. We didn’t see a soul the entire time and these were easy to get to (5-10min. hike) sidecountry turns. I couldn’t believe it. Tamarack is sidecountry paradise. I’ve never experienced such solitude in any sidecountry on a weekend. Now I see why Robby calls Tamarack the place where powder goes to escape the people. All I can say is watch the video to see for youself. Then, plan on visiting and enjoying it while you can. Remember as you watch the video that this was a Sunday, end of a sun-filled POWDER perfect weekend – and yet, we were still skiing fresh tracks until our very last run. This is POW’daho!
Now about those low prices - how about $279 for an adult season pass, $49/day or $200/5days. Go to the resort website for more info.