Ski Season Is A Comin' 

The ski resorts are already ramping up as they play a waiting game with the powder. Idaho's ski areas continue to grow, and with so many options so close, why vacation anywhere else?

The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts that the Intermountain region will have less-than average snowfall, about one-inch less than average for December, and roughly average for January. The estimates call for the biggest flurries in early to mid-December and both the beginning and end of February.

Of course, if you listen to the television weather folks predicting an above-average snow year thanks to La Nina, The Old Farmer's may end up eating its words.

If this fall is any indication of winter, chances are the flurries will sneak up on us and it'll be boarding and skiing weather before we know it. We may already be there with fresh snow on Sun Valley's Bald Mountain.

This year marks the 75th Winter Season of the resort, with the anniversary of Sun Valley itself taking place in December. To celebrate the occasion, the ski slopes will be welcoming the expansion of the rail area of the mountain. For serious snowboarders and skiers--read: brave young kids and teenagers--these rails provide the perfect opportunity for grinding and showing off tricks.

Boise's own ski hill is bracing for the coming cold. Gretchen Anderson, spokesperson for Bogus Basin gave BW the details on a new addition for all the snow noobs: Bogus has installed a new moving carpet on the beginner's hill, an area that has gotten pretty congested with just one system, resulting in long waits for the snow-level conveyor belt. It's no fun waiting for a ride back up the hill--or hoofing it for that matter.

If the bigger resorts aren't your fancy, and the local destination is too crowded for you, why not try a Little Ski Hill? Nestled roughly two miles outside McCall, off Highway 55, the Little Ski Hill started life as a snowy stop-off for local forest workers. The 405 feet of vertical terrain is the only lit ski and snowboard hill in the area, and now offers groomed cross country ski trails at the new Little Bear Basin facility. While the peak may not be the biggest, it's a welcome respite from long lines and overpriced lodge brews.

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