Brundage Mountain Resort

www.brundage.com

The buzz around Brundage Mountain Resort this winter is all about the new Centennial Express chairlift, and for good reason. The new Doppelmayr high-speed quad cuts the base-to-top ride time from 16 minutes to just six. Having two high-speed quads on the front side of the mountain is truly a game-changer: skiers and snowboarders will enjoy less time on cat tracks and in lift lines, and more time shredding their favorite powder lines. The detachable quad (and slightly relocated base terminal) will also make for a smoother loading process, especially for families with children who will appreciate having a few extra seconds to get their ducks in a row before they’re whisked to the top of the mountain to enjoy 1,920 acres of the Best Snow in IdahoTM.

A new point-of-sale system using RFID technology will make it easier to pre-purchase passes and tickets online, so once you’ve picked up your RFID card, you can enjoy straight-to-lift access for years to come. The modern system also allows guests interested in backcountry snowcat trips to complete the entire booking process online and view snowcat availability in real-time. This will make it easier for storm chasers to grab a seat on a guided Brundage Snowcat Adventure, which is one of the largest snowcat operations in the United States, with a vast 18,000 acres of terrain to explore.

“The investments we’re rolling out this season will make a huge impact on some of the biggest pinch-points we see during our busiest days, and the new lift will boost the fun factor all season long,” says Brundage Mountain General Manager, Ken Rider.

The popular Bear’s Den mid-mountain eatery is scheduled to be open seven days a week this season and Brundage Mountain’s Bandit food truck will be stationed at the edge of the upper parking lot near the main lodge to provide coffee and savory breakfast items you can grab and enjoy on your way to the lifts or lodge. Some fresh new menu items will be mixed in with classic Brundage favorites at the Main Street Market & Smoky’s Bar & Grill.

Away from the slopes, Brundage is working with Mountain Community Transit to expand the free McCall-to-Brundage Mountain shuttle service on the “Blue Line” to be offered seven days a week, allowing more people to leave vehicles in town and keep parking lots less crowded.

Another big change at Brundage Mountain will reveal itself the moment guests drive up to the mountain. Entrance roads and parking lot access have been re-engineered for safety, efficiency, and to pave the way for the Winter 2024-25 opening of the Mountain Adventure Center…

Looking ahead: The 17,000 square foot Mountain Adventure Center, located just steps from the BlueBird Express, will provide efficient access to tickets, guest services, reservations, rentals, retail, the Mountain Sports School, restrooms, and a coffee shop – all on one level. Crews broke ground on the MAC in the spring of 2023 and the thoughtfully laid-out mountain modern building is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2024-25 winter season.

Tamarack Resort

www.tamarackidaho.com

Wax your skis and boards and get ready to explore some new terrain and re-imagined runs at Tamarack Resort! Whether you’re a powder hound, a beginner learning the ropes, or a family looking for some playful adventure, Tamarack has you covered with fresh, fun options and legit new terrain.

Tamarack gained 150 new acres of terrain by shifting the southern boundary beyond the “After You” run to the very edge of its permitted terrain. Another 65 new acres have been resurrected from the resort’s burn scar. Scorched in a 2020 wildfire, the area once known as “Reasons to Quit” has been completely cleared of burned trees and now features two groomed trails, “Powder Junkie” and “Rehab”. Intermediate powder stashes are interspersed with some steeper pitches accessible from Upper Serenity and Tango off the Summit Express.

“We all knew those stashes existed but now they’re going to be more accessible and patrolled,” says Tamarack Vice President of Resort Operations and Marketing, Wolfe Ashcraft.

Another 5.5 acres of terrain has blossomed between the Discovery Chair and the magic carpet where a junior terrain park has sprouted. The new zone uses purpose-built and gently shaped snow features to naturally control speed and body position, making the learning process less intimidating and more fun. Once your crew has mastered the basics, they can head over to the new, interactive, family-friendly Lumberjack Land zone. This area, off of Waltz near the top of the Buttercup Chair, has loads of fun features like berms and whoop-di-dos, a teepee you can ski under, and lots of friendly-looking characters you can high-five on your way through.

The resort is focused on providing a well-rounded experience for every member of the family, with après ski activities like Karaoke, Trivia, S’mores, live music, and even horse carriage rides planned this winter.

Other notable improvements include a 30% increase in snowmaking coverage on runs around the Tamarack Express thanks to the addition of six new TA TT10 automated snow guns (the most efficient in the world) and one mile of new snowmaking pipe.

Guests will also be excited to find a new Nordic Center located in the Lodge at Osprey Meadows. The facility will offer rentals, retail items, and lessons to make it easier for everyone to fully enjoy XC, skate skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking on the 20k+ Nordic trail system just outside the center’s doors.

Looking ahead: After a nine-year hiatus and a multi-year restoration, Tamarack’s celebrated Osprey Meadows golf course is set to re-open with 19 holes of play in July 2024. Tamarack hired the course’s original designer – Robert Trent Jones II — to reconfigure it, improve playability, and maximize views.

Little Ski Hill (Payette Lakes Ski Club)

www.littleskihill.org

Local gem, Little Ski Hill, has been going BIG for several years now, and we’re not just talking about their beloved after-school program that has put thousands of local school kids on the slopes over the years.

A $2.2 million campaign to improve the infrastructure at the 86-year-old community ski area is wrapping up this year with the addition of lights on the Outback Terrain Park run. Lights were added to the Race Run and base area last season, just two years after the legendary T-Bar and existing lights were upgraded. Completing this project increases skiable terrain at LSH by 150% after dark, making the community’s only night skiing option even more fun (if that’s possible). New this year: a Wednesday evening program for advanced and freestyle youth made possible by the new lights, which will shine on six runs that cover 25 of the ski area’s 50 skiable acres.

“The community vibe at Little Ski Hill is as strong as it’s ever been, and as our youth population grows, it’s important for us to be able to expand what we offer,” says LSH General Manager, Colby Neilsen. “Our non-profit board and our generous supporters feel strongly that no one who grows up here should miss out on the chance to learn to ski or snowboard and make the lasting connections that blossom so naturally here on the hill.”

In addition to providing ski and snowboard lessons through the afterschool program and hosting the community’s McCall Winter Sports Club practices and competitions, Little Ski Hill also hosts community race leagues and offers Nordic lesson programs at nearby Bear Basin. This year, the Nordic program is expanding by offering lessons for four different levels of skate skiers and a women only session.

If you’d like to support the mission of the Payette Lakes Ski Club, it’s not too late to support the “Lift, Lights, Little Hill” improvement campaign.

Looking Ahead: Good news for those who love to BRUNCH…Little Ski Hill has confirmed that their Saturday – Sunday – Monday brunch will return for Summer 2024. The menu is packed with choices and the flavors are surprisingly refined. With friendly service, convenient parking, and indoor/outdoor seating, it was the sleeper hit of this summer’s culinary scene. #IYKYK