Our bro Joey Mara was just up to the North of us at Stevens Pass this past Friday and Saturday (Feb 23rd & 24th). Just like us, he was getting his fill of Cascade goodness. I’m also stoked to see this great edit Joey has kicked out, bringing his epic day back to life on our screens. So, no need to say anything else except click play and enjoy this extremely excellent edit.
Magic Mountain is going to be on my hit list, next time I’m traveling through Central Idaho. This was Sting’s 6th stop on The Snow Troopers’ 2013 Idaho Road Trip, which was starting to be known as the “2013 Groomer Madness Road Trip”, but has shifted gears and is now know as POW’daho 2013 Road Trip” ever since the last stop a couple of days ago. Now two days into the storm, the crew finds themselves at stop #2 of POW’daho: Magic Mountain, where the snow was starting to stack up and the cliffs were looking choice. Sting is closing in on the tail end of this leg of our “2013 Idaho Road Trip” but has being rewarded the entire time with fantastic terrain, great people and now heavily rewarded with great powder. Enjoy some the excellent skiing and terrain right from your computer screen, along with a few words from Peak Travels about Magic Mountain. Peak Travels writes: Magic Mountain Resort is a small family alpine ski area in south central Idaho, in a southern unit of the Sawtooth National Forest. It is east of Rogerson on the eastern edge of Twin Falls County, 18 miles (29 km) northwest of the Nevada-Utah border with Idaho. The ski area has a summit elevation of 7240 feet (2206 m) above sea level with a vertical drop of 700 feet (213 m). It has a double chairlift, a poma lift, and a rope tow. The 120 acres (49 hectares) of skiable terrain is rated at 30% easiest, 25% more difficult, 20% most difficult, and 25% experts only. Magic Mountain also has a snow tubing hill. The average annual snowfall is 230 inches (584 cm). Outside of holidays, the ski area is open four days a week, Thursday through Sunday, and does not have night skiing
Yesterday was a day to remember at Alpental. In the past 72 hours we have received 48″ on top of Alpental and seemed to be 30″ of untracked on average everywhere we mobbed. Check out the super short conditions report skiing all front side action (due to Elevator gate opening first thing yesterday pushing the masses to the backside.
February 22nd, Sting’s “Idaho groomer madness” road trip’s name changed to “POW’daho 2013″ (very clever Sting), because they hit the sweet and very quiet Pomerelle ski area with excellent boot top powder. Not having been there myself, I can only live it through Sting’s stories, the words from the good folks at Peak Travels (below), and the super sweet short vid they kicked out last night that features our very own Sting @ 30 seconds.
Peak Travels writes, If you are looking for “YOUR” private resort, come make some turns at Pomerelle. Nestled in the Sawtooth National Forest, the Base Lodge (located at 8,000 feet), is just a 12 mile drive from the community of Albion, Idaho. Catering specifically to families enjoying and learning to ski or board, this southern Idaho resort features 24 expertly groomed slopes, 2 terrain parks, and a vertical drop of 1,000 feet serviced by 1 triple chair, 1 double chair and the 450’ Magic Carpet beginners lift. With an annual snowfall of 500”, it is usually one of the first Idaho ski resorts to open. When the snow melts, Pomerelle’s summer operation begins offering chairlift rides, mountain biking, hiking, picnics and horseshoes. Pomerelle is located within the Sawtooth National Forest and is under permit from the Forest Service, USDA.
Our “beginner” mountain on Snoqualmie Pass, is know as The Summit at Snoqualmie’s “Summit West base area” which also offers some really sweet black diamond terrain under the lights. Not a whole lot of vert but loaded with cliffs way beyond my level of dropping and on a Thursday night what else would you rather do than charge some steep & deep. Too much history to share about Summit West right now, so I will just share a super short video of the deepest, untracked, lift served pow anywhere in the entire NW at 4PM last night. BTW, same stat holds true for tonight too… Roughly 9″ of untracked is waiting right now(4PM) at the largest night skiing operation in the USA, Summit at Snoqualmie. Today was a wicked fun day for skiing at Alpental for me but the legs couldn’t take another night sesh at Summit West after the last two big days. Please sit back, click play as you wind down from the big day… Then, go Skiing, but always remember, “Live to Ski Another Day!”
The Peak Video crew and I have been enjoying Sun Valley, Idaho. After skiing and then driving for upwards of 6 hours on winding, mountainous roads for a couple of days in a row (harder to do than I thought), I was happy to stay put for a few nights in one location. Sun Valley is a special place and clearly many people think so. It’s been attracting celebrities and royalty alike since it opened in 1936. The Sun Valley Lodge and Inn (where we stayed) as well as the mountain lodges, Warm Springs Lodge, Seattle Ridge Lodge and River Run Lodge, all exude elegance. We can’t think of any other ski resort (except Sun Valley’s sister resort, Snowbasin) with mountain lodges more luxurious and grand. The North Rockies mountain range in this South Central Idaho region are even grander. The original founder, Count Felix Schaffgotsch, described it back in 1935 as combining “more delightful features than any place I have ever seen in Switzerland, Austria or the U.S. for a winter resort.” Today, the resort boasts two ski areas, Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain (which we’ll tell you more about later). Bald Mountain is the larger of the two and has 2,054 skiable acres, 3400 vertical drop and something I learned on this trip: some of the longest sustained pitches in the U.S. – the longest being 3 miles and the steepest being 35 degrees (Inhibition run). Sun Valley is known for having 80% sunny days during the ski season – but that doesn’t mean lack of snow. I also learned that Sun Valley has an incredible 535 snow guns covering 645 acres (more on that later). That’s the equivalent of making enough snow to cover almost all of Aspen Mountain, CO (which has 675 skiable acres) or all of Alpental, WA’s backcountry terrain (523 acres), or over half of Stevens Pass, WA (1,125 acres) or all of Eldora Mountain, CO (680 acres). How’s that for putting things in perspective? The combination of long, steep runs, sunny days and snowmaking mean racers or wanna be racers can count on some of the best training ground around. Indeed, Olympic medalists from Sun Valley include Gretchen Fraser, Christin Cooper, Picabo Street and Muffy Davis – there are runs named after all of them on Bald Mountain. We caught up with another Sun Valley Olympian, X Games ski cross champion and friend, Reggie Crist. He tells us why he loves Sun Valley and makes it his home in this video. Check back because Reggie’s going to catch us up on his production company, National Geographic and other projects and heli skiing in Sun Valley.
The Western Washington University Snow Trooper crew was out destroying it this past week up at Baker putting our site back on track with some BIG mountain alpine touring. Andrew fired this email to me as his answer this morning in regards to why he couldn’t make it on the Idaho road trip for next week’s last leg with The Snow Troopers and the Central Idaho Tourism group (oh yeah, and they were planning on going to class one of the days too, if the snow was less than knee deep… Damn kids are always skiing). Below is a BANGER video, with some words from Andrew Eckels.
Last Saturday Jacob Mandell, Cory Tarilton, Bo Valencia and myself left Bellingham at 5am so we could get one lap in before Bo competed in the Banked Slalom. After getting first tracks down our favorite chute we sat back and watched as 20 or so more rippers tore up the face with style. At the top of our third lap we got socked in and scratched plans of skiing a more ambitious line opting instead to enjoy party skiing mellower slopes. On Sunday Ben Gregory and I hung out in the trees and sessioned a jump for most of the day before heading out early to celebrate Jacob’s 21st birthday.
Our friend, Nico, sent this one over to help keep the powder stoke alive. I happened to miss the epic day this past Sunday w/ over 14″ new, so no footy. I was too tanked from my huge day prior at Vertfest and Redbull to make it beyond Summit East’s 9″ of new (but we got great footy of Vertfest and Red Bull ). The video below is one of the last POW dayz of 2012.
This evening, Jerad and myself took a walk up to the old Milwaukee Ski Bowl, via the Cold Creek cross country trail. Just past the remains of the old ski jump, that hosted the Olympic ski jump trials back in 1948, we headed up into Milwaukee bowl picking our way through the young growth up to to main bowl and being rewarded with a halfway decent ride on the 9″ of new which was now 4″ a couple days later. However, crusty the clown was back in town just prior to the new snow, leaving behind a 3/4 inch crust that the big boys will break through every now and then.
Back on Milwaukee Ski Bowl for a minute, it was originally opened late in 1937 under the name Snoqualmie Ski Bowl by a bunch of top dogs with the Milwaukee Railroad and a few others. In 1941 the biggest ski jump in the U.S. was built there, but shortly there after, the area closed due to WWII. Post war, the ski area reopened as Milwaukee Ski Bowl, so it wouldn’t be confused with the new ski area up the road a couple of miles, know as Snoqualmie Summit. Milwaukee Ski Bowl was also known in this era as a top ski area in the U.S., comparing to Sun Valley (where some of the Snow Troopers just happen to be hanging out currently thanks to the Central Idaho tourism group), but just not as fancy. Now I personally think the ski area we now know as “Summit East” could be one of the biggest 1,000′ mountain around. I know that is kind of funny sounding but take for instance the chair line now know as East Peak, it is as steep and long as Schweitzer’s longest steep run (Koli’s Big Timber-apz 900′ double black), however the Summit call’s East Peak a black diamond and saves the double black ratings for Alpental. Hyak, WA is also the place where current U.S. freestyle skier and 2012 World Cup Freestyle finals champion, Patrick Deneen, learned to ski like a rocket.
The Snow Troopers hit the road again this week. This time we’re visiting Idaho’s ski resorts with Peak Video Productions and their crew. Our first stop was Bald Mountain Ski Area in the Clearwater Mountains of North Central Idaho. Bald Mountain is located along Idaho’s Highway 11 – Gold Rush Historic Byway, just 10 miles north of Pierce, the oldest town in Idaho. Locals call its 140 acres and 800′ vertical the best little ski hill in Idaho. Bald is open weekends and holidays and lift tickets are only $20 for adults, $17 Juniors 7-17. Check out the area in Peak Video’s clip below.