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Brundage 22-23


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I picked up my season pass yesterday at the downtown office.  I might make a trip to the hill soon to look around.  They are targeting Nov 25 for opening if conditions permit.  There's around 23" of snow up there now.  I understand that the minimal snowmaking they have is all around the main lodge base area.  Only one detachable grip lift, the others are fixed.  I've never ridden there so I don't exactly know what to expect.

This is a 360 video.  You can rotate the view.  Just guessing, but I think this must be shot on the green Bear and Jammer runs under the Bear chair.

Edited by ExcelsiorTheFathead
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Friday, November 25.  Day 1.  Brundage opened this morning with super limited terrain.  Basically only the bunny lift.  Without even trying, I was the first chair of this season.  It wasn't a Nate Dogggg event.  No photographers or anything.   The beginner run is pretty short and shallow but I made a couple dozen laps.  I was told that conditions permitting, the Bluebird lift would be next to open when enough snow happens, but with limited ungroomed runs only.  I'd really like to ride the runs over on Bear and Centennial but that base area has no snowmaking and coverage is too thin to open yet. 

More snow is in the forecast over the next week, so I'll be hoping for the best.

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Saturday, November 26.  Day 2.  The BlueBird high-speed quad to the top opened today, only for passholders.  Only two trails back down are open and neither are groomed so I didn't go up.  Instead I did laps on the kiddie lift again.  There was 1-2" of new snow overnight so conditions there were good.  I rode for the first 75 minutes and left.

Nearby Tamarack resort has an announced opening day of December 9.  Bogus Basin is partially open.

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Sunday, November 27, Day 3.  The kiddie lift is getting boring AF but I hit it first thing in the morning again.  Few other customers around.  The resort closes until next Friday.  It was supposed to snow Sunday night but it only amounted to a couple of inches.  More is predicted for later in the week.   I'd really like it if the Bear chair could open soon.

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Friday, December 2, Day 4.  Lots of new snow fell during the week when the resort was closed.  Today was the "official" opening for daily operations.  Bluebird and Centennial lifts were operating but the Bear chair is out because its motor is being repaired.  It was foggy and single digit cold up top.  I was riding the green Lakeview Ridge and Temptation just to orient myself, and this, along with the 45th Parallel trail were pretty much the only groomed runs.  I had around 4 runs in when I reached the top of Centennial and an awful grinding noise started coming from the bullwheel area.  They stopped the lift and restarted it but the noise continued, and it stopped again. 

I thought that the noise might indicate a bad failure so I went down 45th and hit the cat track to the main lodge to warm up.  After a while I went back to my car and heard that they got everybody off the lift.  Later in the day it was running again, so maybe it was just a chunk of ice? 

The resort was fairly crowded by noon.  Not so many people really, but Bluebird was the only lift and nothing was groomed there.

As the days progress more of the mountain will be packed down and groomy.

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I gave Bachelor a chance.  I don't think I'm going back there.

Saturday, December 3.  Day 5.  No new snow, bluebird and cold on the 2nd day of grooming for the Temptation green run.  With good vis and firm, fast snow, this is the first day I can really try to make hard turns.  It takes me a while to trust the edge again but I am able to link some tight cross-under turns on the steeper parts of the run.  I rode for 2 hours but it was freezing cold and the fixed-grip Centennial lift takes LITERALLY FOREVER to get to the top.

Yesterday's closure of Centennial must have just been due to ice, cuz it seems to be up and running fine.

The Upper/Lower Alpine run was also groomed but I didn't go there because it is only the first day of groom.

I really wish the Bear chair would open soon.  The green runs there look really good for getting back into shape early season.  I read that the resort took delivery of a new snowcat just a few weeks ago; I hope this helps keep the quality of grooming up.

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Sunday-Monday, December 4-5.  Day 7. 

On Sunday it started snowing right at open and was moderate for most of the morning.  I rode for 90 minutes.

Monday was cloudy on top.  I went up the high-speed Bluebird lift for the first time and tried the Alpine and North runs.   Not good.  Alpine was the primary groomed run here since opening day and it is scraped down by the crowds.  It is uneven and needs a couple more feet of snow before it will get good.   The North trail was on its first day of groom today and had a lot of pushed around snow.   On the bright side, both of these runs look like they have good potential as carving terrain, but it is just too early.

Back at the Centennial lift, I found that the best current carving at the resort is on the 45th  Parallel run.  The steep initial section still shows too many undulations, but there is a long, easy mid-section where I could link over 30 turns.  This will be my go-to place until more snow comes or the Bear/Lakeview lifts open.

Brundage was recently named #4 on the USA Today survey of top North American resorts.

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Tuesday-Thursday, December 6-8.  Day 10.

Three somewhat cloudy and cool mornings with no new snow.  The Main Street run is now being groomed but it is still somewhat uneven.  45th is still the best run and I have been doing laps there trying to tackle the steeper sections as well as the easy mid-section.

Starting tomorrow the Bear chair will open on diesel backup power since the electric motor still isn't back from repair work.  Also the Lakeview chair and associated terrain will open.  There could be some good groomed blues there.  Snow is in the forecast for the next few days so I'm not sure when I will ride again.

Tamarack resort opens tomorrow.  I might have reports from there soon.

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Monday December 12, Day 11.  I took 3 days off because of constant snow that brought around 17".  This morning had high clouds and low fog.  Viz was ok, but with flat light. 

I blew $80 on a full tune for my Oxess skwal and this is my first day on it.  A shop in town claims to have one of only 4 brand-new super-duper German robotic edge machines currently in North America.  I gave it a try and it seems to be good.

Because of all the new snow, everything is too soft and I'm scared to bring the Oxess up to the speeds necessary to make it carve well.  So I just fart around the resort.  I got my first rides up the Bear and Lakeview lifts.  The green Bear run might have been great when I was just starting out this season, but now it seems like a waste of time.  The Lakeview area has 4 blue runs but only Kickback is groomed.  It has a few nice carvy sections. 

The Engen run under the Centennial lift saw its first grooming of the season.  It was wildly uneven, but this might be the Hollywood carving-spectacle run once it firms up.  It is comfortably steep, straight, and wide. 

The forecast is for several days of good (but cold) weather. 

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8 hours ago, ExcelsiorTheFathead said:

Monday December 12, Day 11.  I took 3 days off because of constant snow that brought around 17".  This morning had high clouds and low fog.  Viz was ok, but with flat light. 

I blew $80 on a full tune for my Oxess skwal and this is my first day on it.  A shop in town claims to have one of only 4 brand-new super-duper German robotic edge machines currently in North America.  I gave it a try and it seems to be good.

Because of all the new snow, everything is too soft and I'm scared to bring the Oxess up to the speeds necessary to make it carve well.  So I just fart around the resort.  I got my first rides up the Bear and Lakeview lifts.  The green Bear run might have been great when I was just starting out this season, but now it seems like a waste of time.  The Lakeview area has 4 blue runs but only Kickback is groomed.  It has a few nice carvy sections. 

The Engen run under the Centennial lift saw its first grooming of the season.  It was wildly uneven, but this might be the Hollywood carving-spectacle run once it firms up.  It is comfortably steep, straight, and wide. 

The forecast is for several days of good (but cold) weather. 

Better than CO?

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17 hours ago, Odd Job said:

Better than CO?

Nah.  How could it be?  Especially when comparing against A-Basin/Loveland where it is possible to have a 200+ day season.  Most resorts out west of CO are basically Thanksgiving to Easter affairs if you are lucky.  Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Hood might be exceptions.  People around here say that last season only had barely enough snow to allow the resorts to operate.  Only Sun Valley has a really huge snowmaking capability. 

Brundage is a small place compared to the big CO resorts.  One of the benefits is less crowding and I can park my car right next to a trail.

Tuesday December 13.  Day 12. 

Some clouds and a bit windy on top.  Engen is still the run with the most obvious appeal but the grooming was super stripey and a washboard on traverses.  Parts of Kickback were in full sun at open.  It was nice to see every detail of the terrain but the good carving areas are limited.  In the end I got my best turns on Main Street but had to watch my back for idiots. 

I wasted a run down 45th which was not groomed even though the report claimed that it was.  Same with Sensation.  This kind of thing really bugs me so I went into the office to COMPLAIN.  I don't think anybody really cares.  They must think I am some kind of weirdo.

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Wednesday December 14.  Day 13.   The morning starts with high, thick clouds and cool temps.  Engen is groomed really nice today, maybe 90% of being perfectly flat.  I made a few good turns on it but the dim flat light was really screwing me up.  The top part of Engen has few trees or markers and I can't discern where I am and which way I am pointing.  I gave up on it after 2 runs and did laps on 45th which was really nice and easier to deal with.  It was actually groomed today, unlike yesterday when the grooming report was full of CONTEMPTIBLE LIES.

I found that on the easy midsection of 45th, I could make only around 24 turns riding my Oxess, when my Coiler M radius skwal will make around 30 turns.  When riding the longer-radius Oxess I had to release turns earlier to keep my speed up.

Viz and WX got worse as the morning progressed and it started to snow.  There will be some minor flurries but tomorrow should be nice and clear.

One inobvious downside to riding in this part of Idaho is the fact that this is about as far West as one can get and still be in the Mountain time zone.  It means that at 9 AM when the lifts open, the sun is still very low in the sky.  At this same moment in Colorado, the sun is far higher.  Unlike here in Central Idaho, the Idaho Panhandle up North is on the Pacific time zone because of its economic connections to Spokane and the Inland Empire.   Schweitzer and Brundage are nearly on the same longitude, but Schweitzer opens an hour later, when the sun is higher.

I'm getting the impression that Brundage gets almost no carvers.  I wouldn't be surprised if I never see another hardbooter all season here.  The locals act like they haven't seen a carver in years.

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Thursday December 15.  Day 14.

It was too cold in the early morning to go up, so I waited until the sun hit the front side and the thermometers started to move.  Ultimately I was on a lift around 11:20. 

Grooming on Engen wasn't perfect, but with clear viz and bright sunshine there wasn't any problem.  Many good turns made.  The trail is fairly long and I'm not in good shape so I had to stop and rest 3 times on every run.  I did all my runs here for almost 2 hours.

A strange thing about Engen is that even though it is immediately under the Centennial lift, the fastest way to loop it is to use the Bluebird chair.  Weird but true.  Next year Centennial is supposed to be replaced with a high speed lift and this may change.

There was no problem with crowds even though I arrived late.  This will not last because the local schools go on vacation next week, for 2 weeks.  Then one week later the Boise area schools will go on break.

Engen is a very, very good carving run.  I might compare it to Floyd's at Grand Targhee.  Maybe it could be a little steeper or a little longer but maybe I could be younger and more skilled. 

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Friday December 16.  Day 15.   Same as yesterday.  Too cold so I went up late.  Fog in the valley but sunny on the hill. Just six runs down Engen and I was too tired to continue.  I'm trying to relax more and open up instead of always trying to turn as hard as possible out of fear and self-preservation.  The resort is not crowded and few people use Engen probably because they think it is boring or something.  I keep meeting people who say they have old hardboots and alpine boards in their closets.

I happened to share one lift ride with the General Manager.  We talked about a bunch of stuff but I mentioned my complaint about the grooming report.  He said that it was discussed at the afternoon management meeting and the source of the error was found and fixed.  At least it is encouraging that they cared enough to investigate, but he probably thinks I'm a weirdo anyway.

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Sat-Sun-Mon December 17-18-19.  Day 18. 

The past 3 days have had no new snow but were plenty cold.  On each day I got on snow around 12:30 and rode for a couple of hours.  The first holiday weekend was sparsely attended cuz all the powderhounds were not impressed by conditions.  The groom was good for me and I had a nice time tearing up Engen.  We do need more snow overall to help flatten out all the carving spots across the resort.  Today the Dropline run on the Lakeview side was groomed for the first time so I checked it out.  It has potential but needs more snow to fill it in.   Many, many people thought I was a weirdo.

I heard that the re-wound motor for the Bear chair has arrived, but I'm not sure when they will try to install it.  It is still running on diesel.

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Sat-Sun-Mon December 24-25-26.  Day 21.

Last week had some really cold weather, getting down to -15 in town and making it impossible to go ride.  After that a warming trend started that is peaking today.  Sat/Sun were just above freezing at the base with the top of the mountain in thick clouds.  I mostly did laps on the Bear chair which is running on its new electric motor.  The snow quality was tight enough to make some good turns with my short board.

Monday saw base temps reach 40.  The whole mountain is springy and slarvy.  Some runs are too soft.  Some runs are too firm.  I just farted around the mountain.  New precipitation will fall from around midnight and hopefully it will be cold enough by then for it to fall as snow.

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Thursday December 29.  Day 22. 

On Tuesday it was still warm and it snowed, sleeted, slushed and rained on the mountain.  After that things cooled off and a few more inches of snow fell.  Thursday morning saw reasonably good weather with just moderate clouds around the summit altitude, so I went up as early as I could.  The groom up high was very good but down low it got firmer and a little icy.  I did most of my runs down 45th and got some good turns in before the place was overrun with people.  It didn't help that the Centennial lift was having periodic fits of coughing up a hairball or something.  I was only there for maybe an hour and 40 minutes but it was kinda worth it.

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