I’ve been coming to Schweitzer Basin since I was nine. The resort has changed a ton since then. In fact, it’s changed since I was here two years ago. Venerable chair one has been replaced with two new lifts: a high-speed detachable quad that goes to Midway and a fixed triple over Face to the top. It remains a great, relatively undiscovered ski area with lots of great terrain and few crowds.
After arriving a little after midnight on Monday at the Sandpoint train station, my uncle Greg from Spokane picked us up and drove us to his condo on the mountain. On Tuesday morning, he skied with kid one, while I took kid two on the bunny hill. About 400 feet down, kid two fell and strained her knee. She totally wanted to quit, but I got her to ski between my legs to the bottom of the hill. We did four more runs that way before meeting the others for lunch.
After lunch, those two took off and we tried Happy Trails again. Another fall and things got worse. Kid two limped back to the car, dropped off the skis and hobbled to the ski patrol office. Ice, Advil and no more skiing for the day was the diagnosis. We sat in the lodge while the others skied.
On Wednesday, the wonderful staff at the Kinder Kamp agreed to take kid two for the day, even though she was now too old to go there. So Greg, kid one and I got to ski together all day. It pretty much snowed all day (about 4 inches), which gave me my first ever ice beard. We had lunch at the Outback Inn, which uncharacteristically had seating available inside. The Idaho potatoes they serve there are to die for.
The snow yesterday was awesome. The temperature stayed around freezing, but the snow felt wet when it hit you. Once on the ground, though, it stayed pretty light. 3-4 inches of soft snow on top of groomed corduroy is skiing nirvana for this old guy. Sundance and JR (kid one’s first true black diamonds), along with G-3 and Revenge on the Colburn side were my favorite runs of the day.
Today, kid one joined the Mountain Riders–instructor-led groups for kids too old for Kinder Kamp. Dave the instructor led the three Riders all over the mountain, including the new T-bar (which I still haven’t been on). The new snow was knee-deep today (12 inches overnight) and the sun made a brief appearance around lunchtime. Medium-strength wind all day, though.
Kid two and I hung out in the village all day. In the morning, we did some shopping, purchased internet access for the day, uploaded a bunch of photos and had lunch at the Chimney Rock restaurant (taking a break from the cafeteria food). In the afternoon, the kid watched a movie on the laptop while I read a bit of the Ed Viesturs book my friend Jake lent me.
Now we are about to head back to the condo, make dinner, then start getting ready for the return train ride late Friday night (we actually leave at around 2:30am Saturday morning). Depending on the weather (and the knee), we should have one more day of skiing tomorrow too.
Originally published by DK on March 27, 2008 at 6:16 pm