By Heather Burke, Boston.com Correspondent
We struck white gold today at Silver Mountain. Never heard of it? Its home to the world’s longest single-stage gondola. No it’s not in the Alps. It’s in Idaho. It was originally dubbed Jackass Ski Bowl when it first opened in 1968 and was rebranded Silver Mountain in 1990.
A 3.1 mile, 25 minute gondi ride brings you up 3,400’ vertical from the village to the ski area base. This quiet northwestern ski area has authentic trails like Bootlegger, Prospector, Centennial, and Eureka, with hundreds of acres of glades stashed in between that are served by reliable doubles and triples. For a humble ski mountain, Silver is sizeable — 1,600 acres spread across two expansive peaks, Kellogg at 6,300’ and Wardner at 6,200’.
As you can imagine, Silver doesn’t get crowds (it’s Idaho, you know). Soft natural snow on Steep and Deep, Quicksilver and Moonshine were a treasure, and we had long trails and powdery glades all to ourselves — a very good MLK day on the slopes.
We staked our claim on Silver Mountain. This is the first stop in our Idaho alpine assault. We flew into Spokane Sunday, drove an hour and changed – arriving just in time for skiing at Silver. We then watched the Pats game (surrounded by Seahawks fans).
Now you can’t say you have never heard of Silver in Idaho!
By Heather Burke, Photos by Greg Burke