Waking up with the expectation of seeing a large dump of snow on the ground, only to see just around two inches outside your window can be quite a disappointment.
I won’t lie, I was bummed this morning, but reading the Brundage Mountain Resort Snow Report, provided a bit of hope as we made the fifteen minute drive from McCall, Idaho, to the base of the ski area.
“Good morning snow riders and slope sliders,
There is two inches of fresh powder snow at the base this morning, and those of you familiar with Brundage know that there is sure to be more than that as you head toward the summit.” -BK
I was not familiar with Brundage, as today’s visit was my first, but snow reporter BK’s report was spot on.
It was the best 2-inch storm I’ve ever skied.
For our early morning runs, we stuck within the mountain’s lift-accessed terrain.
We were introduced to Meadow Bowl on the frontside and were able to explore several of Brundage’s gorgeous glade runs off of Bluebird Express and Centennial.
You could tell that there had been plenty of skiers within those areas since the last big storm (around a foot on Sunday), but the two inches of light snow that fell last night were providing much more coverage than I ever could have expected.
The backside of the mountain took us through fully untouched powder, beginning steep and rewarding our legs with some gentle sloped powder meadows, wrapping us back around towards the Lakeview Lift.
Just two runs through that terrain was enough to make a grown ski bum cry, but we were still a run away from lunch, and our incredible guide Scott, along with snow report author BK, wanted to show us a bit more of the “earn your turns” type terrain.
^BK getting after it.
There is no doubt that hiking to ski is a pretty hardcore workout, even if you’re departing from the top of a ski lift.
Walking in ski boots isn’t the most functional, and skis can be heavy, adding to the difficulty. Then, when you finally make it to where you want to ski, you, of course, have to ski! Occasionally, hiking to ski is more of a pain than it’s worth.
At Brundage, hiking to ski is remarkable. In the mountain’s lift-accessed backcountry region, two inches doesn’t ski like two inches.
I’d argue it didn’t even ski like a foot! Instead, I’d say the terrain skied like a once in a lifetime powder dump.
Spines, chutes, and drops, all covered in a deep fluff of cushiony snow.
We did one run in the area before lunch and three after filling our stomachs. We only moved down the ridge about 20 feet from the beginning of the last run each time we returned, but the lines still changed significantly and the snow remained untracked.
Looking back towards the zone at the end of the day looked like the first few brushstrokes on a blank canvas, and all of that terrain, plus a boatload more, was accessible with a quick hike from Brundage’s Bluebird Express Lift.
Keep in mind, the terrain is still backcountry, so skiing there without proper equipment, training, and knowledge is not a good idea.
I’ve never in my life been so happy with the results of a two inch storm and, based on discussions with locals and mountain employees, it seems pretty likely that a two inch storm at Brundage quite often skis much like something much deeper.
Brundage Mountain Resort, located just fifteen minutes from the heart of beautiful McCall, Idaho, is included on the Indy Pass.
You can get your own Indy Pass for $369 with blackout dates or $450 without.
If you already have one, or if you’re planning to get one, make the trip to McCall for some incredible skiing at some amazing independent resorts.
I did, and I still have a smile on my face. Need I say more?
Featured Image Skier: @jonas_bourne141