Do you go to the same ski resort every year? Do you go because you love it or because you know it? Why not try something new with the kids?
Our family had yet to ski Brundage, even though it’s so close and the snow is dependably great. This is our third ski season in Idaho: this was the year.
Brundage Mountain, for the uninitiated is where you go to get a true local flavor, but with world class snow, easy and affordable access and fun for gnarly skiers as well as families with little kids.
Brundage is a mere two-hour, stunningly beautiful drive from the (easy to use) Boise Airport. Much of the drive follows the Payette River into the town of McCall. Although McCall is an isolated mountain town, there is a long tradition of good food and luxury lodging.
The great news is that Brundage, a true local resort, is blessed with over 320 inches of snowfall annually and an 1800 foot vertical drop, and endless off-trail terrain. My husband likes skiing through the trees — I prefer a more groomed run. We could still ski together as he weaved in and out of the trees adjacent to the run. On our first run, it had been groomed at closing the day before and had about three inches of powder sitting atop the corduroy. Glorious morning skiing — and we weren’t even the first ones on the slopes!We put the kids in ski school for both days and they had a great time. If you get only one thing out of this post, get this: Put your kids in Ski School! Not all day every day, but every year and for the first few days at least. You will have a better time, they will have a better time and when you all ski together toward the end of the day, you will have perhaps, missed each other. The kids will want to show off their new skills! You might consider taking a lesson yourself.
Brundage has a Bears Kids Program where you drop them off around 9:30 (they ski at 10:30) and for half day, pick up is at 1:30, for full-day, 3pm. Lunch, snacks, and games are included. Although the school is open seven days a week, weekdays are typically light and there was a 2:1 ratio for my kids on a Monday. You can even drive your car right up to the front door — so much easier than lugging the kids’ skis through a resort.
After their lesson, we were able to ski off the Bear Chair — a lift with easier runs mingled with intermediate. We were all able to find runs that we could all agree on, despite our varying levels.
We even had tasty, affordable food: they have a new area with sit-down service called Smoky’s Bar & Grill. They have an area for adults only as well as an area for families. Or, you can grab and go from the 3rd floor of the lodge or even bring your own food.
On our last day, we had taken off our ski boots and about to leave when the overcast sky turned exceptionally blue. We put our ski boots back on and skied for another 2 hours in full sun! Our kids were so much more confident than a mere 2 days earlier, thanks to their lessons. Thanks, Brundage. We’ll be back!
Note: The 1st days lift tickets and ski school were sponsored by Brundage Mountain.