The Story of a Sleeper Idaho Ski Hill

The Story of a Sleeper Idaho Ski Hill

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The Story of a Sleeper Idaho Ski Hill

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Have you ever heard of Blizzard Mountain in Arco, Idaho? It’s small mountains like these that keep skiing grounded against the corporate interests that are now intertwined in the industry. Boise State Public Radio told the story of the little ski hill that has faced tremendous adversity. The infrastructure of the ski area is unique. They have a platter pull that originally serviced Beaver Mountain in Utah, a 1974 groomer, and their base lodge is an old schoolhouse that was hauled fifty miles to its current location. Their poma “lift is powered by a reconfigured Chevy engine that takes liquid propane.” And lift tickets are cheap, as they only ask for a $10 donation.

Running the mountain has its fair share of challenges. Due to its rural location, the number of volunteers is aging quickly. Seventy-one-year-old Chad Chenney is the main volunteer there, but they will need younger help in the near future. Their platter pull is ancient and requires a whole lot of maintenance. If a skier or rider doesn’t pull off the Poma gracefully, the cable can fall off. Lastly, it doesn’t snow much in Arco, meaning it’s usually only open for a few weekends in February. For example, it closed for two decades starting in the mid 1970s following a drought and a worker shortage. Who knows what the future holds, but it looks like a great ski area to check out if you’re ever in Idaho. Some photos of the hill are below. Image Credits: Boise State Public Radio, Blizzard Mountain, Skimap.org

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