It’s only a 4 hour drive to McCall, ID, but after a week at the Sun Valley Lodge, it may as well be on another planet. By 9pm when we arrived, all the restaurants were closed and 2 bars were emptying out. Thankfully the supermarket and hotel microwave saved the day.
The ski area and terrain at Brundage, a 20 minute drive from town, was an equally cosmic-scale gulf from the high-brow clientele, snow making and immaculate grooming of Sun Valley. This was without doubt a local’s hill, with small lodge bulging with bags, shoes and coolers containing various lunchtime delights. And they were all here to experience the ample, fluffy snowfall, great tree skiing and respectably priced lift tickets. No gun pow needed here.
Our first day was one of exploration and navigation, on a solid base that, like a chin shaved with blunt razor, exposed some shrubbery in places. And then it snowed 5+ inches, making day 2 an indulgent powder day with a surprisingly small crowds of powder worshippers. Sprinkles of snow kept the conditions creamy and soft for our 3rd day. We left at 2pm as the edge of a massive storm arrived – this is becoming a bit of an alarming habit this season.
It’s taken a long time for us to get to Brundage. I can’t imagine it taking so long to return. The ‘Best Snow in Idaho’ is likely to draw us back in the not too distant future, I’m sure. Perhaps in spring, when the base is deep, and the stunningly beautiful environments of McCall start to rise from their long winter slumber.
3 days: 7600m, 8300m, 6100m
16 days:119,200m vert
1 powder day