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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: skiing

Bogus Basin to stay open yet another week, ‘til April 13

It’s happened again – Bogus Basin is extending its closing date for another week, with daily operations now scheduled to run through April 13 due to good snow conditions, including 23 inches of new snow in the past week. “Spring skiing conditions couldn’t be better,” the resort announced today. The non-profit community ski resort will begin discounting daily lift tickets to $25 this Friday. Weekday operations will be 10 a.m. to 4:30, and weekends 9 a.m. to 4:30. The Nordic center and trails also remain open.

This Sunday, Bogus will celebrate with a “retro” costume theme day and live music from “Bread and Circus” inside the Simplot Lodge at 1 p.m.; on Sunday April 13, there’ll be live music outside the lodge, also at 1. There’s more info here.

After today’s powder dump, Bogus decides to stay open for another week

I’ve been feeling really fortunate that this is my week off work, because the skiing has been great up at Bogus Basin, where there were sunny spring conditions early in the week, followed by a reported 5” (much more in places) powder dump today that made for an honest-to-goodness powder day all over the mountain. Bogus had been scheduled to close for the season this Sunday, but has just made an announcement: “Due to all the fresh snow we’ve gotten, Bogus will be open an additional week! Regular mountain operations will continue until Sunday, April 6th. The entire mountain will be open except for Chair #4 (Showcase, accessible from Chair 1 Deer Point) and Chair #5 (Bitterroot, already closed for the season). Lift tickets will be $25 this Sunday and $39 for the remainder of the week.”

The end-of-season party is still on for this Sunday; it’s just changing its title to the Spring Snow Party, and Boise’s non-profit community ski area promises more music and activities on the mountain the following Sunday. For the remainder of April, there still could be additional “bonus weekends” if snow permits. Night skiing operations have ended for the season.

Legislative session decompression: Spring skiing…

Boise’s non-profit ski resort is delivering the spring skiing this week, from soft, smooth, forgiving corduroy on the frontside in the morning (pictured at right) to sweet spring slush on the backside in the afternoon (shown above). It’s the last hurrah for Bogus Basin; the resort has announced that its last day for the season will be this coming Sunday, with possible “bonus” weekends into April if weather and snow conditions permit. Final-day festivities on Sunday will include $25 lift tickets; the annual PBR Ribbon Hunt and kids’ scavenger hunt from 9-2:30; and a live band from 1-5 p.m.

Bogus is reporting that over the course of the season, it had 240,000 skier visits, a figure consistent with the last two seasons; taught lessons to 27,000 skiers or snowboarders, 70 percent of whom were children; and employed more than 600 seasonal workers. This year’s season started Dec. 8, 2013.

Bogus Basin kicks into gear…

Great skiing up at Bogus Basin this weekend, where the mountain is now in excellent shape, opening up favorite spots that hadn’t been accessible all season until now. Paradise was closed for the weekend for the annual Trudi Bolinder Memorial Super-G race, a USSA qualifier in which hundreds of young ski racers 16 and older from several states competed, bringing what looked like our own little slice of the Olympics to town; here’s a view of the start as one young woman pushes off.

Bogus kicked off its sales of season passes for next season over the past week with strong results; though the $229 sale is over, passes still are available for $259, good for the rest of this season plus all next season. And if you have to pay the additional $30 because you didn’t buy by Sunday night, there’s the consolation that the money’s going to a good cause: Boise’s non-profit, community-owned ski area.

Bogus opens Superior chair

For the first time this season, Bogus Basin has announced that it's opening the Superior chair on the backside today, the last major section of the mountain that's not been able to open so far due to the thin snowpack. There's more info here at the Bogus website, which reports that 5 inches of new snow fell overnight. Superior will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the non-profit ski area announced. Early-season conditions remain, with a reported snow base depth of 23 inches. The best news: There's more snow in the forecast all week, including a National Weather Service forecast for 5 to 9 inches more accumulation overnight tonight.

Idaho GOP Central Committee passes resolution calling for eliminating state insurance exchange

Yes, there was political news this weekend, but I have to admit to spending my Saturday more focused on which runs were groomed up at Bogus Basin than which resolutions were passing at the GOP Central Committee meeting in Boise. I’ll have more on that later, but initial reports that the party had dumped its presidential caucus apparently were incorrect. And the central committee did pass a resolution calling for repeal of the state-based health insurance exchange, which the Republican-dominated state Legislature and GOP governor launched this year.

“It didn’t even get much discussion – it just passed to repeal the health care exchange,” said longtime GOP activist Rod Beck. The central committee took a position against a state-based exchange a year ago – even after GOP Gov. Butch Otter personally spoke against the resolution – and its vote this weekend showed its stand hadn’t changed. Otter and GOP lawmakers argued that a state exchange was the only way to avoid having the federal government operate an exchange for Idaho, an alternative they said would diminish the state’s role in favor of the feds.

Beck said despite reports otherwise, the Idaho Republican Party still plans to hold a presidential caucus in the next presidential election cycle, as it did in 2012. “In fact it’s been reinforced – we reinforced the rules,” he said. “We will have a 2016 caucus.” Due to concerns from North Idaho committee members, who proposed doing away with the caucus, Beck said voting processes were streamlined to avoid the lengthy, multi-round voting that last time kept the Kootenai County caucus going late into the night, after statewide results already were clear.

In other provocative moves, the GOP Central Committee voted to name Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, its “Outstanding State Legislator” for the year, one of eight awards annually given out by the committee; and voted to commend Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Rep. Raul Labrador for voting against the Ryan-Murray federal budget deal. Fulcher is challenging Otter in this year’s GOP primary; the congressional delegation was split on the budget vote, which GOP Rep. Mike Simpson supported and which averted more government shutdowns.

Idaho GOP Chairman Barry Peterson confirmed those outcomes; Fulcher beat out Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Idaho Falls, for the outstanding legislator honor. “My personal feeling, after the meeting was over, I felt like the party, we have the wide range of personal feelings about various aspects of government, but the party seems to be very much a united group,” Peterson said. “We accept the fact that there are differences. … When we were done, we were all shaking hands.”

Meanwhile, at Bogus Basin, the snow cover is definitely getting thin – we need snow! – but groomers have been working miracles, keeping the conditions skiable and fun so Treasure Valley residents can get up on the mountain.

Ski patrollers rescue 8-year-old in chairlift fall, then he goes back to skiing

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) — An 8-year-old boy survived a 38-foot fall from an Idaho chairlift with no visible injuries after ski patrollers moved a lift-tower pad beneath him to break the force of the impact. KTVB-TV (http://tinyurl.com/mjhxrla ) reports the youngster likely slipped out of his jacket and dangled from the lift for about five minutes before plunging to a flat cat track below. Ski patrollers had time to unhook a 5-foot by 5-foot safety pad from a nearby lift tower. They held it under the boy, to break his fall. Patrol supervisor Bryant Dunn says the patrollers used the pad for a “fireman's catch.” Sun Valley ski guide Kent Kreitler says he witnessed the fall and credits fast thinking by patrollers from saving the boy from injury. The youngster, meanwhile, resumed skiing on Monday.

Click below for the full AP report.

Bogus Basin opens Pine Creek, Bitterroot, night skiing…

Skis whispering through untouched snow, fog drifting in and out, snow falling lightly but persistently, the delighted whoop of a happy skier – that was me, actually. Bogus Basin did something today that granted a holiday wish for lots of area skiers and snowboarders: It opened up the backside of the mountain. The Pine Creek (Chair 6) and Bitterroot chairs both opened for the first time this season today, nearly doubling the available skiing terrain at Boise’s nonprofit ski resort. The tubing hill also opened today, and night skiing began; that means lift tickets are up to regular-season rates of $49.

The No. 3 Superior chair isn’t open yet, nor is the Paradise area off Pine Creek, as more snow is awaited, and there are still early-season conditions, especially off-trail. But things are up and running in time for the holidays, and plenty of people are having plenty of fun up there. Take it easy on the often-slick road up, and enjoy! I’m off for the next week, and will do the same.

Brundage opens for skiing on Friday

Brundage Mountain Resort has announced that it will open for skiing on Friday, with three of its five chairs running and lift tickets discounted to $36. The McCall ski resort said, “Favorable temperatures have allowed us to pack our snow base and open three of our five chairlifts. … Encouraging signs in the forecast lead us to believe we may be able to open more terrain very soon.” You can read the resort’s full announcement here.

In a rarity this year, Bogus Basin Ski Resort at Boise opened Dec. 8, two weeks earlier than the usually-snowier Brundage. Bogus continues to operate its front-side lifts. Tamarack Ski Resort opened Dec. 13; Sun Valley Resort, with its plentiful snow-making, opened for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bogus opens for the season, skiers delight

What a fabulous surprise for Treasure Valley skiers, when Bogus Basin opened yesterday on just one day’s notice. I certainly didn’t expect to be laying down tracks through untouched powder at my home ski resort over the weekend, but there we were! The non-profit resort sprang into action Saturday after receiving close to 5 inches of snow, opening Sunday with three front-side lifts and welcoming nearly 2,000 skiers and snowboarders. Considering the thin base of just 17 inches, the conditions were surprisingly good, and the first tracks were sweet.

I forgot my phone and don’t have a picture to post, but it was particularly beautiful first thing in the morning, with blue skies and sunshine across the cold sparkle. And cold it was; below zero, even. Fortunately, the remedy for cold toes was easily at hand – a hot chocolate break in the lodge. Bogus will be open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through the week, 9 a.m. on weekends, and will open more of the mountain when conditions allow; lift tickets are now discounted to $25.

Inland Northwest’s custom ski-makers carve a niche market

TJ Sneva wanted skis that would accommodate the kinds of tricks he and his friends liked to pull on the slopes, and major manufacturers weren’t making them – so he started building them himself. David Marx wanted skis that would work in the “side-country” terrain around Schweitzer Mountain – skis that could handle low-angle back-country touring and uphills, but still float through powder turns on the downhills and inside the resort. Now his 7B Skis has a full line of models for both inside and outside his home ski resort, with demos available on the slopes at Schweitzer.

Caleb Baukol of Big Wood Ski wanted to build elegant, fully customized skis out of hardwoods that could stay stable on the steep, fast slopes of Sun Valley. “This mountain is so steep and so fast and so demanding,” he said. “We have real skiers here that just rip.” All are small ski manufacturers that are part of the craft ski movement, a segment of the ski industry that’s gained such allure that for the first time this year, a portion of the ski industry’s annual trade show in Denver will be set aside for the small ski- and snowboard-makers.

“We’re not trying to take over the ski industry or anything like that,” said Matt Neuman, owner of Ullr Skis, which recently relocated from McCall, Idaho to Sandpoint. “We can’t compete. But more people are becoming conscious of who they’re buying stuff from and where it’s coming from.” You can read my full story here from Sunday’s Spokesman-Review.

Warren Miller ski film comes to town, skiers know it’s time to think snow…

First the weather turned colder and the mountains turned white. Now, the annual Warren Miller ski film is coming to town this week – sure signs that the ski season is on the way. “Ticket to Ride” is the 64th annual Warren Miller ski film to kick off the season and get skiers and snowboarders in the proper frame of mind for the slopes; it plays at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise this Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, plus a Saturday afternoon matinee. There’s more info here from the Bogus Basin Ski Club, sponsors of the annual Boise showing, including a link to watch the trailer for the film; click here for theater info and to buy tickets.

With snow in the forecast, Bogus drops pass prices for this weekend only back to $299

With snow in the forecast, Bogus Basin has launched a surprise, this-weekend-only $299 season pass sale – a price skiers otherwise would have had to buy by Sept. 30 to get; until today, the passes were being sold for $389. At $299 for a season pass and $49 for a single lift ticket, it only takes six days of skiing to break even.

“Snow is on the way, the forecast looks great,” said the non-profit ski resort’s general manager, Alan Moore. “We wanted to give people another chance to secure their season pass. The mountain is ready for snow.” He noted improvements over the summer from new lighting on the terrain park to extensive brush-cutting, thanks to community support that raised the needed funds. The pass sale is good until midnight Sunday, but at the moment, online sales are down, so the best bet is to go visit the Bogus Basin office in person at 2600 Bogus Basin Road; it’s open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The National Weather Service forecast for Bogus, which is just 16.5 miles north of Boise, calls for snow tonight, with 5 to 9 inches accumulation possible, followed by snow showers on Saturday with another possible 2 to 4 inches.

Snow hits, Bogus Basin extends season pass sale thru Thursday…

It’s snowing again, and Bogus Basin has extended its season pass sale through Thursday at the $229 price.  The week-long sale that had been scheduled to end last night at midnight saw a dramatic change once snow hit the mountain late last week, general manager Alan Moore reports; last Monday, pass sales were about half of normal, but as the week progressed and 9 inches of new snow fell, that turned around to where sales were above normal on the sale’s final day. “As we all know, snow changes everything for Bogus,” Moore said. “We just want to make sure that no one is left out that would have bought a pass with the changed conditions.” The low-priced season passes allow skiers to ski right away, plus all through next season; it only takes five trips to the mountain to break even on buying a pass. Click below for Bogus’ full announcement.

Great view above the city; tricky road up requires patience…

This was the view up at Bogus Basin yesterday as the sun slanted through the clouds. Despite a thin snow cover so far this year, the local non-profit ski resort delivered an outstanding weekend of skiing, with warm, sunny, spring-like conditions on Saturday and a more wintry feel on Sunday complete with crisp air and new snow.

The new snow, which fell overnight Saturday night, left the resort’s access road very slick Sunday morning, but it had cleared off nicely by the afternoon, rendering all the more inexplicable the fatal accident in which a 50-year-old Boisean in a blue Porsche careened off a 400-foot embankment and was killed. It’s a narrow and winding road, and buses and other slow vehicles sometimes slow down traffic, but with a little patience, everyone usually gets down safely. Be careful out there.

Up where the air is clear…

While we shiver and sniffle in the frigid temperatures of the inversion-plagued Boise valley, there's a whole different world just 16 miles to the north at Bogus Basin. This view from the top of Chair 1 yesterday afternoon snows the smog-filled valley below in which the city is hidden. The non-profit ski resort's snow cover may be a bit thin, but it is just gorgeous up there. Yesterday, it hit better than 45 degrees with deep blue skies, bright sunshine and fresh, clean air. There were people skiing in sunglasses and no hats; everyone was shedding layers, unzipping coats and slathering on the sunscreen. Rock skis still are in order, and there are few runs they're now able to groom, but the terrain park is open on frontside to the joy of a whole lot of kids, and the snow is holding up beautifully in the Superior and Triangle areas on the back side, especially for those who enjoy skiing bumps. Best of all is the weather - it was really hard to leave yesterday and head back down the hill…

Bogus opens Superior for night skiing

Now here's some news: Bogus Basin has announced that having received more than 9 inches of snow over the last few days, it now has enough to open the No. 3 Superior chair for night skiing. That high-speed chairlift, on the back side of the mountain, has previously only been open for daytime skiing; click below for the full announcement from Bogus.

Up above the fog…

Even though I know it'll be there, there's something startling about coming up out of a frigid, foggy inversion, with snowflakes floating around in the low, gray sky in Boise, into brilliant sunshine above it all up at Bogus Basin. It was like an island of blue sky and sun up there today, with an ocean of cold fog lapping at the edges of all the surrounding mountains down below us.

Bogus is still going strong despite the thin snow cover, but rock skis still are in order.  

Bogus Basin to open night skiing, Superior chair on Wednesday

Bogus Basin has announced that it'll open for night skiing on Wednesday, Dec. 26th, and also that day will open the No. 3 Superior chairlift, the resort's newest high-speed quad and the last major side of the mountain not yet open for skiing. Starting Wednesday, a full day/night lift ticket will be $48; a night lift ticket will be $22; click below for the full announcement. That makes tomorrow - Christmas Day - the last day for discounted, $30 lift tickets; the resort will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Dashing through the snow…

It's amazing how much difference a few inches of snow can make. Our local ski mountain was starting to look a little like a bran muffin in places on Saturday, but after 3 inches of snow overnight, Sunday morning it was transformed into a glittering, frosted cupcake (albeit with a few nuts and raisins still poking through). This shot was taken Sunday; it's the view from Paradise. Really. From the run called Paradise on the back side of Bogus Basin. Since then, a few more inches of snow have fallen, and then a few more inches. The wind did its part, redistributing the snow around the mountain, and today was an awesome powder day.

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About this blog

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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