Outdoors

Snow Swami's guess: Brundage opener possible, Bogus unlikely

Since I do the fishing report, I already have extensive experience with being wrong about things. So why not bring that experience to skiing?

We're now in December, which means if you're a skier or snowboarder, your attention is focused on the slopes and what areas are open, or about to open. Ski area folks are great to work with, but can pretty tight lipped about predicting opening dates and typically announce 24 or 48 hours before their openers. I am looking out a little farther and taking my best guess based on how much snow is needed for each area and what's in the forecast. Repeat: this is all unofficial, except places that are already open.

Sun Valley is open and rolling with 19 inches on top and 12 at the base. For a full list of what's available for skiing, go here. There's a mix of rain and snow in the forecast, which probably means more snow on top and some rain in the base area.

Brundage is reporting 18 inches on top and 12 inches at the base. Storms are backed up and heading into McCall, but forecasts are calling for mild temperatures with highs this week in the upper 30s. Fortunately, Brundage is higher elevation, so those storms could bring snow. Brundage tried to open Easy Street on Saturday but had mechanical problems. I'm guessing there's a 50/50 chance they will open some skiing for the weekend.

Bogus is reporting 7 inches at the base and its snow gauge showed about an inch of fresh on Monday. The forecast this week looks wet, but not necessarily cold. Thursday's high is forecast at 49 degrees for Boise. Knock 10 degrees off that for the change in elevation at Bogus and we're still only at 39 degrees, which is too warm for snow. Timing of when precipitation rolls through will be critical because if it's at night it may come as snow and during the day it may fall as rain. My guess is based on mild temperatures odds of rain up there are about the same as snow, and even if it's all snow it probably still would not be enough for a weekend opener.

Tamarack is scheduled to open Dec. 13, and last month said they plan to stick to that schedule even if storms bring enough snow to open sooner. Tamarack is making snow and getting some help from Ma Natural. Cascade is also supposed to get some rain later in the week which means that's also likely at Tamarack's base. But not all news is bad there. It will likely add snow at Tamarack's summit and shouldn't hurt the man-made snow too bad, just make it heavier and a firmer base.

Soldier Mountain is reporting about a foot at the top of its lifts and anything from bare to 6 inches at the base and up to 2 feet in its catski area higher up the mountain. Manager Don Shiermeier said they are hoping to be open by Christmas. It's currently snowing there (Monday), but that could turn to rain later this week. Forecasts for Fairfield are also calling for mild temperatures and precipitation, but not big storms that add lots of snow. Shiermeier said they like about 18 inches of snow to open, so a weekend opener is unlikely.

Other Idaho ski areas:

Pomerelle is open and is reporting 2 inches of fresh, 23-inch base and 30 inches at the summit. For details go here.

Grand Targhee is open and reporting 7 inches of new snow, and a 36-inch base. For details go here.

Lookout Pass is open and reporting no new snow, a 10-inch base and 28 at the summit. For details go here.

The terrain park at the Eagle Sports Complex is open for skiing, snowboarding and tubing and making more snow when conditions allow.

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