Idaho's Little Ski Hill Turns 75 

And Brundage hosts the Beer and Gear Festival

Little Ski Hill, big air.

James Webster

Little Ski Hill, big air.

When you live in a mountain town, where getting out during the winter months can feel like an epic journey, you learn to make your own fun. That's why people in snowbound towns like McCall have the best mid-winter diversions.

Besides the celebrated Winter Carnival, there's the Beer and Gear Festival at Brundage Mountain Resort. The event combines a few of skiers' and boarders' favorite things--beer, cool gear, skiing and movies about skiing--for a two-day celebration Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, check out demos from area ski shops and Salmon River Brewery's beer garden. That evening, rest weary muscles by taking in films from the Winter Wildland Alliance's Backcountry Film Festival on the third floor of the main lodge.

Films include Skiing the Void by Sweetgrass Productions, Further by Teton Gravity Research, Luc Mehl, A Story of Trust, Denali Experiment and Freedom Chair. Admission is free and doors open at 5 p.m., with films starting at 6 p.m.

SideStash Cafe will be selling drinks, soup and sandwiches, and area backcountry experts will be on hand to talk about backcountry skiing.

Sunday, Jan. 27 kicks off with a pancake feed from 9-11 a.m. for $7, followed by demo rentals, rider improvement clinics for $10, and the return of the beer garden.

Get more details at

Just a little ways from Brundage, the Little Ski Hill is where locals have learned to ski for decades. The hometown hill is celebrating its 75th anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 26, with a big-air contest and a $250 cash prize for the skier and boarder who throw the best tricks. Entry costs $10 and registration begins at noon, with competition at 2 p.m.

If you'd rather stick to the cheering section, the competition will be visible from the base area, as will the fireworks display and torchlight parade after the big-air event.

For more info, visit

Not to be outdone, the Boise Curling Club is heading to Stanley for the inaugural Sawtooth Outdoor Bonspiel--a three-day curling competition drawing 12 teams from Calgary, Canada, to Park City, Utah, to Stanley's outdoor skating rink.

The SOB begins at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, and games continue through Sunday, Jan. 27, with chances for spectators to try curling and learn more about the game. Admission is free and there is a heated rink-side tent with a bar inside.

For more info, visit

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