Ski Season Roundup

Ski Season Roundup

Brundage and Tamarack are ready for the winter.

5 min read

Brundage Builds New Lifts

The high-speed quad tops the list of what’s new for the upcoming season

Brundage Mountain Resort’s 10-year improvement plan will deliver meaningful improvements in mountain access and convenience for the 2023-24 winter season.

A swift six-minute base-to-summit ride will greet skiers and snowboarders at Brundage Mountain Resort this winter after the 32-year-old centennial triple chair was replaced with a high-speed detachable quad.

The new “Centennial Express,” a Doppelmayr 4CLD, will cut the ride time from 16 minutes to just six minutes. The upgrade gives Brundage Mountain a total of two high-speed quads on the resort’s front side, which will ease congestion during the arrival process and balance skier traffic across the mountain’s 1,920 acres of terrain.

“We’re constantly focused on improving all aspects of the guest experience as Idaho’s skiing and snowboarding community continues to grow,” says Brundage Mountain general manager, Ken Rider. “The investments we’re rolling out this season will make a huge impact on some of the biggest pinch-points we see during our busiest days and the new lift will boost the fun factor all season long.”

In addition to the new lift, Brundage Mountain Resort has adopted a new point-of-sale system that uses RFID technology. Each guest will be issued an RFID card, which can be loaded and reloaded with season pass or day ticket products online, allowing for straight-to-lift access for years to come.

The new system boasts a vastly improved online interface that is more intuitive and user-friendly. In addition to streamlining the season pass and ticket purchasing process, the system provides a more efficient way to make reservations for the resort’s signature guided Snowcat Adventures, which are offered on 18,000 acres of pristine backcountry terrain.

Those looking to book a private snowcat can now view a calendar showing availability in real-time. 

Brundage Mountain Resort is also working to expand the free shuttle service between McCall and Brundage Mountain. Brundage partners with Mountain Community Transit to provide the service. This year, the partners are targeting seven-day-a-week operations during the winter season. Prior to this season, it was offered five days a week during peak season and three days a week during off-peak periods.

“Providing a more consistent schedule will make it easier for guests to use the shuttle on a more regular basis, which should help ease congestion in parking lots on our busiest days,” Rider says.

Other improvements for this season include recontouring the Easy Street area to increase terrain-based learning opportunities, along with the removal of hazard trees around the Centennial Express lift line and annual brush-cutting efforts to prep slopes for the possibility of an earlier opening.

Brundage Mountain Resort announced a $25- to $30-million 10-year improvement plan in 2021. Last year, the resort constructed a modern Mountain Patrol building, which encompasses 2,800 square feet and a state-of-the-art first-aid facility. The resort also expanded employee housing opportunities with several new projects, including the “Meadows Haus,” a historic schoolhouse in New Meadows that was refurbished to provide housing for 17 employees. The resort also contributed to a public/private/non-profit partnership that created the new 6.4-mile Brundage to Bear Basin (B2BB) Bike Trail, which opened in early July of this year.

Additionally, Brundage will soon feature a new 17,000-square-foot Mountain Adventure Center to provide efficient access to tickets, guest services, reservations, rentals, retail, the Mountain Sports School, restrooms, and a coffee shop, all on one level. Crews broke ground on the MAC in spring of 2023 and the thoughtfully laid-out building—just steps from the BlueBird Express chairlift—is expected to be completed by the 2024-25 winter season.

“Brundage Mountain’s owners and management are all passionate about skiing and snowboarding, so we were able to prioritize improvements that will have an immediate impact on how our guests experience the mountain,” Rider says. “We think the Centennial Express will be a true game-changer, and this is only the beginning of many more great things to come.”

Tamarack Unveils Upgrades

The resort’s winter upgrades will increase accessibility this season 

Tamarack Resort is gearing up for the 2023-24 winter season with several new additions and amenities to improve the guest experience. The season is tentatively scheduled to open in early December, with lift operations running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. 

On the terrain lift-access side of things, skiers and boarders will enjoy more than 60 acres of new open terrain in the “Reasons to Quit” area. This brings the resort’s lift-accessible terrain total to 1,385 acres, which includes 50 named runs and six named glades and natural tree-skiing areas. 

Additionally, Tamarack built a new interactive, family-friendly zone—Lumberjack Land—which will be located just off the Waltz run, along with a 5.5-acre learning area with sculpted terrain near the Discovery chairlift where beginners can hone skills and gain confidence.

This season, guests will also enjoy enhanced ski-in, ski-out lodging access with the Buttercup lift operating on weekends and holidays. 

Tamarack Resort has invested in its snowmaking and overall conditions on the mountain. The snowmaking coverage will increase by 30 percent this season, spanning 150 acres of named runs, with the addition of six new automated snowguns and one mile of new snowmaking pipe.

The addition of cutting-edge snowcat technology—a Prinoth Winch Cat and extra Winch Cat pick points—will enhance grooming on steeper terrain and give guests a smoother and more enjoyable mountain experience all season long. 

The resort’s new Nordic Center is in The Lodge at Osprey Meadows and will offer retail, rentals and lessons for those exploring the trail system, suitable for cross-country, skate skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking. 

Lastly, Tamarack guests will enjoy quicker lift access and additional ticket options for ease of entry. A new automated ticket and pass kiosk will be located in The Village Plaza, allowing skiers and boarders to skip the ticket line and purchase or reload their day ticket and then proceed directly to the lift. Additionally, Tamarack will introduce multi-day, consecutive-day tickets to provide more flexibility for guests. 

Online reservations for rental equipment are now available on the Tamarack website, and visitors now have access to paid overnight camping in the lower Aspen Parking Lot.