Nearly 900 skiers competed in the 2013 Boulder Mountain Tour, one of the regions top Nordic races. No clouds. Sunshine and fast. This is how we like our Boulders to be, said Cortney Vandeburgh of Hailey.
The 32-kilometer race began in 1973 with about 50 skiers who trimmed willows and packed a course. Over the years, it has turned into a premier race on the groomed Harriman Trail that begins at Galena Lodge high up in the Wood River Valley and descends on a gently rolling course that is not without hills, however about 1,100 feet to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters, roughly 20 miles away.
Its come a long ways, said executive director Kevin Swigert of the nonprofit Boulder Mountain Tour Limited. If youre going to do one race in a year, this is it.
JoAnn Levy has skied every year of the race, which has been canceled three times due to lack of or too much snow. Its the biggest thing that happens all year for me, she said. Its my Super Bowl.
About 125 skiers are from the Boise metro area. Each year, (that number) gets bigger, said Swigert. Skiers come from 29 states and Canada. Debbie Butt and Wendy Epp flew from Vancouver for their first Boulder race.
It was a bucket list item, said Epp, grinning at the finish line. But we didnt know it. We added it to the list so we could cross it off.