My first time skiing at Brundage Mountain, friends took me for a run down 45th Parallel.
I’ve been hooked ever since.
The blue run starts with a stunning view of the valley that stretches from New Meadows to Riggins — where the 45th parallel crosses the state. It’s one of the longest runs at Brundage, winding its way down the mountain through some steep and mellow stretches, some wide and some narrow.
It ends at the Centennial and Bear chairlifts, which cuts down the traffic a little bit. The run can be accessed from the lodge via the Bluebird Express, but you have to go up again before returning to the lodge.
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April Whitney, the communication director for the resort, often hears guests mention 45th Parallel as their favorite — particularly newcomers to the ski area. It doesn’t hurt that the run always seems to be one of the best-groomed on the mountain.
“They come out here and they look at this spectacular view and they’re like, ‘Whoa, this is beautiful,’ ” Whitney said. “And then they get to ski it, and once you get in the groove of 45th, it’s just super, super fun.”
For the more adventurous, the run provides access to other popular spots.
“You can jump off in a lot of places and get some cool little powder turns and then pop back on the run,” Whitney said.
Or, as sales manager Michael Hayes points out, you can exit early. Options include the black runs Dixie and Swinger and blue run Stump.
“One of the things I like best about 45th Parallel is all the great runs that are off of it,” Hayes said.
To get there, take Bluebird to the summit, turn right and follow the cat track toward the Lakeview Bowl. The turn for 45th is on the right. At the bottom, you can take the Centennial chair back to the top or the Bear chair to mid-mountain and cut back over to the lodge.