After Vancouver, I decided to stop over in Kellogg, Idaho before heading down to Bozeman. I wanted to check out Silver Mountain, which is where Tom spent his winter ski-bumming – he was able to bring me around and show me where to find the best runs.
The first fun step was to get on the gondola, a 20 minute ride which brought us over the small city of Wardner. There was no snow to speak of in the lower elevations. Apparently this was a bad winter for snow; some years you can ski all the way from the top of the mountain into the town. Judging from the bareness of the scenery, it was hard for me to believe that there would be sufficient snow at the top of the lift to get in some decent snowboarding. But I had to trust that up in the higher elevations things would be white. (I have to say, though, that it felt really weird to be dressed for winter sports and carrying my snowboard across a barren parking lot. Like, is this girl in denial, or what?)
The higher up we got, the more snow there was, and my mind was set at ease. It was a beautiful sunny day, and clear, so the views from the top were incredible. Although there was no new snow overnight, we were able to find some good powder runs, so I was happy. We were also able to find some really STEEP runs. This is one of the steepest I’ve ever done. I was literally almost standing upright on this slope, leaning only slightly forward to touch the hill with my hands. Scary!!! (But fun!!!)
At one point, Tom took a good digger, a golden opportunity to take a picture.
We had lunch at noon, which consisted of an orange, trail mix, and apple juice. Nothing fancy, and nothing real substantial, but it was good enough. Then we went out and hit a few more runs. It was much warmer by then and the snow became very heavy, dense, thick. Even the “powder” was hard to move through; it sucked at my board, held me to my spot on the hill, reluctant to let me go down or turn or move in any way.
So around 2:00 we decided to call it a day. We’d gotten some exercise and spent quality time outside enjoying the fresh air. That was enough. No sense beating our heads into the quickly melting snow, trying to squeeze out fun where there was little to be had.
I saw enough to know that, in better powder conditions, I’d love to go back.
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