Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Generous winter presents Silver Mountain at its best

One storm after another has been pounding Idaho and this winter Silver Mountain is at its absolute best. The resort averages 300 inches a year and already reached that total in the first week of February. And the snow here is typical for Idaho: grade triple-A plus light powder.

Other than the huge amounts of high quality snow, what sets Silver Mountain apart is the gondola—a 3-mile scenic ride taking you 3,800 feet from the Silver Valley floor to the Mountain Haus a mile high in the Bitteroot Mountains.

Thanks to the gondola, access to Silver Mountain’s excellent terrain couldn’t be easier. It departs from an emerging five-star alpine village just off the 1-90 exit ramp. Here you will find shops, restaurants and the Morning Star Lodge, the region's newest premier condominium resort. Plus, this spring, you’ll be able to ski in the morning and surf in the evening when the Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark opens in the village. Up and away on the mountain, a six-lane snow tubing park with a conveyor lift offers alternative thrills.

When you arrive in Kellogg, simply pull off the freeway, park your car across the street, check in and you’re ready to ski or ride. Board the gondola and 20 minutes later you’re hitting the slopes.

The layout packs incredible variety into 1,600 acres. It’s possible to explore most of Silver Mountain in a single visit—if you never stop. But the terrain and views on Kellogg and Wardner peaks are best enjoyed over a weekend or more.

Check out the Morningstar Lodge. The upscale rooms are reasonably priced, have lots of amenities, and great service. Studio, one and two bedroom units and family suites with lofts are available

Gentle, expansive beginner runs branch out directly from the Mountain Haus. Jibbers flock to a terrain park that has doubled in size for this season under chair two. For cruising, hit the ridge lines off chair two and the boulevards under chair four. Around and in between, glades, chutes and bump fields proliferate.

Silver is at its best on a powder day—and there’s plenty of those. Your visit here won’t be complete without a hike to Wardner’s summit. The view and sweet powder turns are well worth the effort.

Huge piles of nachos and excellent burgers are served in Mountain Haus bar upstairs. After a huge day on the mountain, ride the Gondola down to the base, have a nice dinner in Noah’s Canteen and then soak in a rooftop hot tub at the Morning Star Lodge.

You would think it couldn’t get any better at Silver Mountain—but it will as the resort continues to upgrade and expand.

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Eight Things Every Skier and Rider Must do at Silver Mountain.

1. Find and pet Ezekiel the Squirrel, our terrain park mascot.

2. Traverse to Wardner Peak and ski waste deep powder after a big powder dump.

3. Cruise Centennial, our longest run at 2.2 miles.

4. Relax in the rooftop hot tubs at Morning Star Lodge in the Village.

5. Try the huckleberry elk skewers in Noah's Canteen

6. Conquer high score with your favorite game in Noah's Arcade

7. Go Tubing!

8. Jib the groomer cab in the terrain park

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