The weekend's early opening at Brundage caught just about everyone by surprise, especially those who have been jonesing for a snow fix since last year's meek season sputtered to a halt weeks early. With our first major mountain opening, BW couldn't wait to get started reporting on the flurry of near-openings ... provided the flurries keep falling, that is. We got on the horn and talked to every mountain in the state--well, every ski resort mountain in the state, that is--and put together the scoop on the slopes.
YES, WE'RE OPEN
Brundage Mountain Resort
Boasting its earliest opening in more than 40 years, Brundage is hauling skiers and boarders up the mountain Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. With its inaugural Pray for Snow Party scheduled for this weekend, it looks like Brundage got all the divine intervention they needed. But heck, who doesn't love a good party? Saturday, November 19, check out Carey Park (behind Hotel McCall), featuring Boise band Frame of Mind and one great big ole bonfire to roast your chesnuts and your frozen fingers. www.brundage.com, (800) 888-7544, snow report: (888) ALL -SNOW
P.S. Check out the free Boise to Brundage ride. With the purchase of a full-day lift ticket ($20 roundtrip for season pass holders), you can hitch a ride from the Wal-Mart at the corner of State and Glenwood up to the mountain and back. Reservations are required, and the bus only runs weekends in January and February. Visit the Web site for more information.
The Idaho-Montana border resort answered our phone call all too enthusiastically to be closed. A resounding, "Oh yes!" answered our question about whether or not the mountain was open. www.skilookout.com, (888) 512-0764, snow report: (208) 744-1301
Just off Interstate 84 between Baker City and La Grande, Anthony Lakes may be across the border, but its closer to Boise than some of our northern own. And they're almost open. After some serious decision-making by the mountain's groomers last Monday, Anthony Lakes will officially open Saturday, November 19. With the annual snow party planned for the same day, Saturday promises to be good fun on the hill. Trek on over to Oregon for live music from Hellhounds, as well as a bonfire and hot dog roast. Season pass holders will be taking photos and the mountain will be ready for your boards. www.anthonylakes.com, (541) 856-3277
STILL PRAYING FOR SNOW!
Gretchen Anderson tells us Boise's hill is still crossing all its fingers and toes, doing a little dance and asking the snow gods for a bit of extra help in order to make a Thanksgiving opening.
"The mountain has about 6 or 8 inches now, but we need base of couple of feet to open," Anderson told BW. Of course, if some freak miracle snowstorm dumps buckets between now and then, that could all change, but meteorologists won't be betting their lunch money on it. Bogus did hold its snow dance last weekend, and wouldn't you know, it snowed the very next day.
Until the snow is deep enough for us to play, check out other Bogus Events. Wednesday, November 16, is the annual kick off party for VertiGals, the Bogus women's ski group for beginning to intermediate and advanced skiers. The party will provide info to new recruits and provide a chance for last year's members to catch up before hitting the slopes. Women interested in joining VertiGals should head to Moxie Java on Bogus Basin Road, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. www.bogusbasin.com, (208) 332-5100, snow report: (208) 342-2100
Not open, but persevere and keep checking back. (208) 962-3624, snow report: (208) 746-6397
Danny, the snow lovin' manager at Kelly Canyon, is just itching to open up the mountain. He'd get out and make the snow with his own two hands if he could, but despite a recent dump of 3 or 4 inches, Kelly is still shooting for a December 15 opening ... unless of course Danny steals some snow from Grand Targhee before then. www.skikelly.com, (208) 538-6251
As usual, Pebble Creek is looking at a mid-December opening. www.pebblecreekskiarea.com, (208) 775-4452, snow report: (208) 775-4451
Though not open as of press time, Pomerelle is making offerings to the snow commission on high in order to open this upcoming weekend. Ring the snow phone to find out if they're up and running. www.pomerelle-mtn.com, (208)673-5599, snow report: (208) 673-5555
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Sandy Chio assures us that though Schweitzer is just shy of enough snow for a Thanksgiving opening, they're still hoping to make it by then. "Groomers are out on the mountain working the snow we do have," Chio says. So, Thanksgiving it is, but call the snow phone just to be sure. www.schweitzer.com, (208) 263-9555, snow report: (208) 263-9562
Like everyone else, Silver Mountain is trying hard for a Thanksgiving opening, but even a colossal snow storm won't get the mountain open a day earlier, so just find your patient pants and wear 'em proud. www.silvermt.com, (208) 783-1111, snow report: (800) 204-6428
With 26 inches at the top of the mountain, 3 of which fell within 24 hours of press time, Sun Valley is darn close to being open. The scheduled Thanksgiving opening day will stick, unless another couple of inches piles up and they just can't resist opening up a day or two early. www.sunvalley.com, (800) 786-8259, snow report: (800) 635-4150
Despite our many wishes to the contrary, Tamarack won't open until next week. Wednesday, November 23, is the scheduled opening day and you bet we'll be there with bells on (just don't tell the boss we're not really at home sick). www.tamarackidaho.com, (208) 325- 1000.