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Nice Jim.  Reminds me of the rare days of good skiing in the SLC
foothills above the U and the avenues.

On 2/2/08, Jim Crowley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> The downside of this seemingly never-ending parade of snowstorms is that
> avalanche danger in the backcountry goes up. Ski resorts in SW Idaho
> reported 4-7 feet of snow this past week, and the Snotel site near where
> I was planning to ski today has gone from 65" to 100" this past week. My
> skiing buddy and I decided to not ski in the mountains today given all
> this new snow. Another storm is expected tonight, so tomorrow is also
> off.
>
> The resorts are an option, as I do have a pass , but I'd prefer to ski
> there only if there are no backcountry options.
>
> The upside of all these storms is that there is snow at lower
> elevations, places that normally don't have more than an inch or two
> snow on the ground in normal winters, giving us an opportunity to ski in
> places that are usually not skiable. One such place is the Boise
> Foothills that lie between the city and the mountains. The Foothills are
> a semi-arid environment, brown throughout the year except when they are
> green for a few weeks in the spring. Since I moved to Boise a year ago,
> I've asked all backcountry skiers I've met whether they've ever skied in
> the Foothills. They all said "no", but they've heard stories of skiing
> there back in great snow years of the 1980's.
>
> I headed out to the Foothills today just expecting to do some
> kick-and-glide touring on the mountain bike trails, with hopes of
> getting in a few turns if I found enough snow.
>
> The hills certainly look prettier in their winter white than summer
> brown:
> http://jimcrowley.smugmug.com/gallery/4271308/0#250154243-A-LB
>
> I was never far above the city:
> http://jimcrowley.smugmug.com/gallery/4271308/0#250154173-A-LB
>
> Many slopes piqued my interest for making some turns as I headed up the
> mountain bike trail:
> http://jimcrowley.smugmug.com/gallery/4271308/0#250154189-A-LB
> http://jimcrowley.smugmug.com/gallery/4271308/0#250154023-A-LB
>
> But most were highly wind-affected by strong S to SE winds, some had
> too much sagebrush, and some were so wind-loaded at the top that I was
> concerned about snow stability, so I kept looking for the perfect
> slope.
>
> I eventually found a nice slope that was not too steep, not too mellow,
> not too wind-affected, and actually had some unmolested powder at the
> bottom in a wind-protected nook. The turns were buttery smooth in
> between the sagebrush:
> http://jimcrowley.smugmug.com/gallery/4271308/0#250154002-A-LB
> http://jimcrowley.smugmug.com/gallery/4271308/0#250153400-A-LB
> http://jimcrowley.smugmug.com/gallery/4271308/0#250152669-A-LB
>
> The hill was only 400' or so of vertical, so I lapped it up:
> http://jimcrowley.smugmug.com/gallery/4271308/0#250152590-A-LB
>
> There is lots of terrain in the Foothills, but with all the wind they
> get, I wouldn't ever expect to get long runs with good snow from top to
> bottom. Rather, just pockets of good snow in wind-protected areas.
>
> I'll get back into the mountains once the snow let's up a bit.
>
> Jim
>
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