Monday, February 04, 2008

Tamarack Powder

Since Tamarack opened I have shied away. The resort seemed an outsider, out of place in Idaho. Well adjusted to ski areas where the locals play cards and tell tall tales around pitchers after the lifts close and the parking lot resembles a football tailgate, I cannot claim to have been excited by the intrusion of a Vail-styled playground for the rich.

But free passes have a way of softening you. And ninety-six inches of soft luscious powder in one week completes the weakening of one’s so-called principles and preferences.

We weren’t welcome visitors exactly. We arrived late in the evening to “No Overnight Parking” signs. This was an unexpected turn, and despite the rumors of rampant luxury unbecoming of Famous Potatoes and our familiarity with Sun Valley, we were disoriented by the resort. Some circling finally found a construction parking lot, where we bedded down for the night with our two pooches.

Morning light was far kinder to Tamarack. Unshaven, unclean and groggy we stumbled into the lodge for breakfast where we were treated no different than those that spent thousands for the weekend. The staff was friendly, in an honest way that must come from true satisfaction and enjoyment of their jobs. I was beyond pleasantly surprised. And the skiing was simply amazing.

For that day at least, it was, in one word, heaven. With eight feet of fresh powder Brundage would have been equally ethereal, but then I don’t have a way to procure free tickets there.

I’ll be back. One of these days I’ll even buy a lift ticket.

Powder, Powder, Powder
No, I'm not sliding to a stop even though it looks like it. The powder is that deep. At times it was difficult to breathe.