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Big, wet storm finally arrives, but temps still warm; Brundage to open Friday

Now that a big, wet storm is finally hitting the Treasure Valley, the question for our still-closed local ski areas is one of temperatures and snow levels. Bogus Basin reported an inch and a half of new snow yesterday and an inch overnight, but it's raining and 39 degrees up there now. They smeared some snow around on the bunny hill to allow some already-scheduled lessons to go forward over the past week, but the mountain remains closed. Brundage Mountain is reporting 7 inches of new snow since 5 p.m. yesterday, for a summit depth of 24 inches; it's currently 26 degrees there and snowing. Brundage just announced it will open for the season on Friday; Bogus has yet to announce an opening date.

Meanwhile, Sun Valley is holding at 20 inches top and bottom, thanks to its extensive snowmaking, and has done lots of grooming; Tamarack reported 5 new inches of  snow this morning for a 16-inch base and 24 inches at the top; Grand Targhee reported 5 new inches this morning and a 35-inch base; and Anthony Lakes reported 3 new inches this morning and a 33-inch base. Farther afield, Whistler/Blackcomb up in B.C. reports 9 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and a 67-inch base, with 34 of 37 lifts open.

So just how unusual is this, to have Bogus Basin still not open? Here's the answer: Only twice in the past three decades has Bogus opened after Christmas Day. Both times, in 1986-87 and 1989-90, it didn't open 'til January - Jan. 1 in '86-87, and Jan. 6 in '89-90. Other than those two years, the latest recorded opening for Bogus in the past three decades was Dec. 20 in '07-08; the opening date was Dec. 19 in both '02-03 and '87-88. (There were two years when it opened early, then had to shut back down; in '03-04, it opened Nov. 28, closed Nov. 30, and reopened Dec. 14; and in '05-06, it opened Dec. 2, closed Dec. 22, and reopened Dec. 27.)


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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