Tuesday, January 8, 2008

SOLDIER MOUNTAIN-PEACEFUL POWDER INTERLUDE

Should you be traveling to Sun Valley from Boise you owe it to yourself to visit Soldier Mountain. You’ll discover a secret snow riders in the remote Camas Valley have known for years: great terrain, high quality snow, cheap lift tickets and perhaps best of all, an average of about 200 skiers a day on nearly 1,200 acres—and that doesn’t include the cat skiing and Soldier’s renowned backcountry access.

You’ll find this hidden jewel in the Sawtooth National Forest, 12 miles north of Fairfield: “The Best Undiscovered Small Ski Town in the West. Soldier Mountain is 70 miles north of Twin Falls, 55 miles northest of Mountain Home and 50 miles southwest of downtown Hailey.

Taking a left off Highway 20 and driving through Fairfield on your way to the hill is like going back in time to a simpler--and less expensive—way of life. A lift ticket for just $30 brings you to a panorama over the Camas Prairie where you can see seven different mountain ranges.

You may want to spend more than a day here. Stay at The Prairie Inn in Fairfield (208-764-2247), or the Soldier Mountain Ranch 14 miles from the hill (208-764-2506) and get $10.00 off your room rate. You will also receive a voucher good for a $10.00 discount on adult tickets and $5.00 discount on youth tickets. Call (208) 764-2247 for reservations.

Full, half day, backcountry, and punch card tickets are available. Military personnel get discounts and children under 6 or seniors over the age of 70 ski free. College and group rates are also available.

Soldier Mountain ski area has a base elevation of 5,800 feet and a summit elevation of 7,200 feet. Vertical totals 1,425 feet of glades, bowls and groomers. One of the most popular features is the terrain park, considered one of the finest in Idaho. You’ll find it from the top of Chair 2, next to the Air Ride run. Features include a triple hit tabletop with 15-30 foot gaps that transition into groomed roller landings. An eight-foot spine is parallel to the quarter pipe, cornices, ramps, rails, and rollers. No inverts are allowed.

But Soldier Mountain’s main attraction is fresh snow in the backcountry. full day snowcat adventures depart the base at 8:30 a.m. and return to the top of the ski area by 4:00 p.m. You get personal access to 1500+ acres of spectacular backcountry terrain in the Sawtooth National Forest plus lunch in a backcountry yurt.

Plus, you don’t have to be an expert to experience cat skiing or boarding. Trips an intermediate snowrider will never forget are available as well. Call (208)764-2526 for more information.

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