Some shots sent over from Jameson Florence and company finding the goods at Stevens Pass this past December 10th, many days after the last storm produced the goods you see in the photos (knowing we just got a little dose of apx 3 inches today here in the Central Cascades).
As we learned last season on our POW’daho tour, Idaho is home to some of the most diverse, expansive and uncrowded snow covered terrain. Those of us who’re accustomed to having to venture far into the side or backcountry to avoid crowds, will be so pleasantly surprised. In Idaho, there never seems to be a need to travel far for untracked, uncrowded terrain. That explained why we were able to spend our entire time in bounds and in the side country. That’s not to say, we didn’t always have the backcountry in our sights and on our minds. Some great options exist for guided trips into Idaho’s backcountry-something for every budget and skill level. Below are a few we have assembled (and hope to explore this season) with a little help from our friends at Ski Idaho. Just take a look at our visits to Brundage and Tamarack last season to see why Idaho should be on your hit list this season.
- Payette Powder Guides: Take a trip out to one of the most scenic alpine areas in central Idaho with Payette Powder Guides. Their snowmobile and cat tours will leave you awestruck atop the Lick Creek Range—adjacent to the beautiful resort town of McCall. Rates start at $360 for a two-person guided day trip. Multi-day tours are also available; as well as yurt rentals and avalanche courses for those looking to go it alone.
- Sun Valley Resort Heli-Skiing: Did you know that the birthplace of U.S. heli-skiing is Sun Valley, not Alaska? Sun Valley has a long tradition of flying visitors to an untouched skier’s paradise on top of the Rockies. A vast territory—covering three mountain ranges—provides unparalleled access to Idaho’s legendary powder and terrain for all abilities in some of the lightest and deepest powder in the lower 48. Sun Valley Resort offers heli-skiing packages starting at $1250 per person.
- Selkirk Powder Company at Schweitzer Mountain : This cat skiing experience was ranked second place by Powderhounds.com for 2013. Located just 30 miles from the wettest spot in the entire U.S. Rockies and based out of Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Selkirk Powder Company offers heaps of fresh powder, un-tracked trees lines, steep chutes and pillow lines. Prices start at $400 per person with discounts for groups.
- Brundage Mountain Snowcat Skiing : Join Brundage Mountain on a guided cat skiing trip into the beautiful backcountry of the Payette National Forest and experience a pristine, snowy wonderland. Brundage’s cat tours access more than 17,000 acres of snowy steeps, tree-lined glades and powdery bowls. Riders can experience this rush for only $269 for a single seat or book a whole cat for as little as $180 per person.
- Grand Targhee Snowcat Skiing: Grand Targhee’s snowcat adventures are an experience not to be missed, with breathtaking views of the Grand Tetons, 600 dedicated skiable acres, and incredible powder stashes. Terrain is appropriate for an intermediate skill level and above. You and eleven other skiers and riders will enjoy up to 18,000 vertical feet during your adventure alongside Targhee’s powder cat guides. Offerings include expansive bowls, gladed cruisers and steep tree pitches—all with awe inspiring views. Prices start at $199 for a half day. Click here for additional full day, private and group pricing.
- Teton Mountain Heli-Skiing: Teton Springs Lodge and Spa located in Victor, Idaho offers excellent back country options for those looking to get off the beaten path. The helicopter will pick you up in the parking lot of the resort! Teton Springs Lodge has partnered with High Mountain Heli-Skiing to provide an unmatched powder skiing and boarding adventure. For less than $1,500 (includes 3 days of lodging, breakfast, one day of heli-skiing and a ticket to Grand Targhee Resort) High Mountain Heli-Skiing offers 305,000 acres of skiable terrain in and around the Teton Mountains. After a day of magnificent skiing or boarding, breathtaking scenery and glorious powder turns, round out your day with a visit to the Stillwaters Spa & Salon where you can choose from a wide variety of luxury spa treatments.
- Soldier Mountain Cat Skiing : Back in action! With a new 11-passenger snowcat, a flat screen TV to enjoy on your way up the mountain, an optional overnight stay in our yurt, and fresh powder all day long, Soldier Mountain’s cat skiing is first class. It’s also affordable, starting at $275 per person. Turn your snowcat adventure into a moonlight overnight in a cozy yurt for only $38 per person. The hilltop yurt sleeps 12 with padded full and single bunk beds. To reserve your space, call (208) 764-2526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lodging and après ski options are plentiful in Idaho ski towns and the friendly locals are always willing to point visitors to a favorite bistro or bar. Gear up and make memories in the incredible Idaho backcountry. Explore Idaho’s 18 ski areas and many winter recreation opportunities at www.skiidaho.us and
Below is the sweet “Tiny House” pillow line video (skied by Zack Giffin) I had mentioned the other day when sharing the Sweetgrass “jungle ski” segment (which also features Mt. Baker local, Zack Giffin). Don’t miss this one, especially the last line of the vid.. It’s off the hook!
Tamarack Ski Resort opens this Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 at 9am. Those who bring a donation of a non-perishable meal that will feed a family of four will receive a FREE lift ticket valid that day. Food donations will be accepted at the resort starting at 8:00am. Donations can also be exchanged for a lift ticket tomorrow, Wednesday Dec. 11 from 8:00am – 4:00pm @ Mattress Land on Rifleman in Boise across from the Boise Town Square Mall. Donated food will be given to local food banks, including The Donnelly Free Store, Cascade Food Pantry and the Western Idaho Community Action Partnership (WICAP) community center in Valley County. During the past FEED THE NEED events, Tamarack Resort has been able to collect more than 24,000 meals from 5000+ people.
This year marks Tamarack Resort’s 10th Anniversary Season. Tamarack will be operating on 900 acres and 2800 vertical feet including the Tamarack and Summit Express, both high-speed quads. Altogether, six lifts will operate on THURSDAYS – SUNDAYS (4 days a week) and Holidays 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Those seeking additional acreage can access more National Forest terrain through boundary gates on both North and South summit access points. Experience the beauty of Tamarack through our eyes in this video and read why this has become one of our favorites.
I love my family, friends, my boy Trooper and all the awesome creatures we share our Winter playground with, so just seeing this one of a handful of goats getting buried alive hit me hard ( I want to say they all end up out, but the video isn’t too clear). Like I said, hated to see this, but it is powerful, so click play and “Live to Ski Another Day!”
Short video from Carl Simpson and Jeff Rich, chasing some of the many dayz of December POW at Crystal Mountain Resort!
photo credit – Carl Simpson
Stoked to share this very creative segment from the latest Sweetgrass Productions’ movie that features Mt. Baker local / friend, Zack Giffin. If you have followed our site from the earlier years, then I’m sure you have seen Zack and his brother Sam’s “Right on Brothers” videos, or maybe the sweet day we had with Zack and the Plakes a few years back. Their videos and athletes always kick ass, especially the amazing pillow line Zack skied this past Winter up in Canada (I will share it very soon).
Below is the creative forest segment from this year’s Sweetgrass.
Western Washington University, located up in Bellingham, WA, is known to me for educating some of the best skiers and snowboarders I know! No joke, I think in my 15 years living the PNW life, I have only met one person that didn’t do some kind of snowriding while going to school up there. Currently, having young athletes enrolled at WWU, I’m am in constant contact with these hard working students as they blaze through school with excellent marks, some of them fighting the good fight in politics to help save our snow, but ALL of them leave school with a solid resume to head off into OUR real world ( just like this one from Ian Saksa ), or should I call it a compilation of 1/4 finals.
One of our bro’s and new team member this year, Jeff Rich, calls Stevens Pass, WA his home stompin’ grounds (however just like so many of us, when away from WA and being a year round skier, he calls the Cascades his home). Jeff Rich and our other good friend Zack Jessel were both captured accessing the goods in the Stevens backcountry by Jameson Florence this past December 4th. Still can’t believe how much better the conditions are to the North, just up the Cascade Crest from Snoqualmie Pass, WA (not to mention the South). BTW, Stevens Pass is rocking the Hogsback, Skyline, Kehr’s, Tye Mill, Seventh Heaven, and Daisy chair lifts daily 9AM to 4PM.
Come out to North Bend Theatre (125 Bendigo Blvd. N., N. Bend, WA) this Saturday, December 7 to cheer on the Winners of the North Bend Outdoor Amateur Film Challenge and watch world class skiers and riders in Warren Miller’s Ticket to Ride. Films begin at 7pm and 8pm, respectively. This year’s Film Challenge submissions include TNT’s so we’re calling all Snow Troopers to show their support. You’ll also see our friends, Chris Davenport and Jess McMillan, as well as many others in Ticket to Ride. Admission is $15.00. Saturday’s showings wrap up the North Bend Mountain Film Festival so come catch the big screen action before it’s all over. Showing tonight and tomorrow starting at 7pm (doors open at 5:30pm) are films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour – admission is $17.50.