Wednesday, November 21, 2007

THE WORD IS GETTING OUT ABOUT SCHWEITZER

This expansive mountain in the Idaho panhandle with world-class terrain and Tahoe-style lake views, used to be a well-kept secret. But people around the world are now discovering that Schweitzer offers a special winter experience.

For decades locals have reveled in its two massive bowls, breathtaking views and abundant glades. Now they have to share, but there’s plenty of room on nearly 3,000 acres, and even more outstanding out of bounds terrain.

This fall Skiing Magazine rated Schweitzer number 21 in its annual readers’ survey of the top 25 ski resorts in North America. The same issue rated Schweitzer among the continent’s top three hills for tree skiing.

With all the attention, the mountain isn’t resting on its laurels. Visitors this year will notice over $10 million in upgrades and improvements, including renovation of the Lakeview Lodge and new snowmaking capability. The original double Riblet has been replaced by two new lifts: the Basin Express, a high-speed detachable quad, and the Lakeview Triple. This new tandem will increase total uphill capacity at Schweitzer by 28 percent this winter.

About the only thing Schweitzer lacked up to now has been convenient access to easier skiing on the front side. The Basin Express makes the mountain more family friendly, unloading mid mountain to wide-open gentle slopes and the Stomping Grounds terrain park. The Lakeview Triple starts mid mountain and takes snowriders to some of Schweitzer’s most challenging steeps and chutes.

It probably takes a week at Schweitzer to experience all the mountain has to offer. Off the back of the mountain, 2,000 acres of cat skiing await from the top of The Great Escape Quad. Don’t miss the Idyl Hour T-bar for a ride to Little Blue and some of the mountain’s fastest, longest cruisers and classic glades. The T-bar also gets you closer to some of Schweitzers more legendary out-of-bounds terrain. If you’re lucky, you can tag along with a local for a hike to Big Blue. The sweet, deep powder turns are worth the hard work.

Another great amenity Schweitzer has going for it is the town of Sandpoint, just 11 miles down the hill. Sandpoint sits along the shore of Lake Pend Oreille. The town is full of great places to shop, eat and stay. Numerous Sandpoint properties offer lift tickets with their lodging.

Of course, there’s nothing like staying slopeside at Schweitzer. Check out the Slopeside Ski and Stay deals [link to http://www.schweitzer.com/plan_vacation/vacation_packages/great_deal/]. Starting at only $64 per person, per night, you can stay in Schweitzer Village and get lift tickets for up to four people.

With all the new amenities and the great La NiƱa weather pattern taking shape, this is the season to check out Schweitzer. Gorgeous views in every direction, great terrain and a nice atmosphere will make this one of your all-time favorite places to ski.

-###-

SIDEBAR:

Eight things every skier and rider must do at Schweitzer:

1. Dig into a loaded baked potato at the Outback Inn on a snowy wintry afternoon

2. Pause at the top of the new Lakeview Triple chairlift to take in the amazing view of Lake Pend Oreille

3. Explore the trees off the Idyle Hour T-bar and find a new line and some powder stashes.

4. Refuel at the end of the day with Buffalo Stew and a glass of hearty red, fireside at the Chimney Rock Grill.

5. Spend some time with the kids on the tubing hill

6. Resolve to start the new year with a new sport - take a lesson in nordic skiing, rent your gear at The Source, and see the wonder and peace and quiet of the nordic trails.

7. Say hi to the Stomping Grounds Terrain Park rangers, who are always there to fine tune jumps and supervise the action. Whether you hit the rails and jumps or just watch other get airborn, our terrain park is not to miss.

8. Re-connect with friends or family over a long weekend in a winter wonderland. Stay at the White Pine Lodge and soak in the hot tub after a long day on the slopes.

No comments: