Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bald Mountain takes you back to another era

If you’re looking for a change of pace from the crowds, quads and condos, consider a getaway to Bald Mountain—seven miles up the road from the small town of Pierce in the Clearwater Mountains.

Bald Mountain is a place from another era, where the price of a family season pass hasn’t risen since 1959. The hill is operated by the Clearwater Ski Club, a group of volunteers doing everything from plowing the road to paying the bill, so people in this remote region can ski and ride.

Small, remote community hills like Bald Mountain play a vital role in the continuity of skiing and boarding. They’re breeding grounds for snow enthusiasts. Low prices—lift tickets priced $15 or less--and easy access help fuel the passion that gets passed on to future generations.

Potlatch Corporation owns Bald Mountain. Nearly 50 years ago Potlatch carved out the hill so workers in nearby logging towns could ski. Today Potlatch leases the hill to the Clearwater Ski Club.

You get plenty of fun for a great price at Bald Mountain. When you arrive fuel up with some homemade biscuits and gravy in the lodge. Then board the vintage T-bar to a surprising variety of terrain on 140 acres. There’s something for everyone—cruisers, trees and short, sweet, steep drops into pillow soft snow.

To get to Bald Mountain take highway 12, cross the Clearwater River on highway 11 and head for the hills. You’ll get to Pierce in about an hour. A great little hotel called the Outback Inn [www.outbackidaho.com] has a variety of rooms and cabins with kitchens, cable and a free continental breakfast.

Then hit the slopes at Bald Mountain. The setting is rustic and the amenities are sparse, but the smiles will be the same you see everywhere.

No comments: