Brundage Resort Guide
McCall is home to a ton of activities like snowmobiling to the Burgdorf Hot Springs adventure, but a ski trip isn’t a ski trip unless you actually go skiing. And for here the main resort in this region it’s called Brundage. The drive from town, which most of the lodging is at, is an easy one. The road slowly meanders its way up from Payette Lake to the resort. Arriving at the parking lot around 9 am, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see a quaint lodge and the chairlifts not running yet. Why? Brundage is only 40 minutes from the Pacific Timezone so the sun tends to sleep in a little later than most places.
Local Freshies® Tip: Lifts at Brundage don’t start until 9:30 am
Don’t worry! You don’t lose 30 minutes of ski time if you’re a bell-to-bell type of person. Last chair pushes to 4:30 pm as well so you’ll get your fill. With extra time in the morning, you can have a leisurely breakfast or check out some of the local ski & snowboard shops.
Brundage – A Place of Surprises
Whisked away by the High Speed chair, you’ll get a chance to survey the terrain below. The open front face is reminiscent of Grand Targhee WY. There is a few clumps of trees here and there but overall, it’s a big bowl-of-fun with a nice moderate pitch.
Depending on when you visit there’s a good chance that upon off-loading the chair, you might be greeted to the winner of the snow sculpture contest. Each year in January, McCall hosts a Winter Carnival and one of the events is snow sculpting. Large pieces of snow art decorate the entire town from the ski resort to the shops downtown. Last year, the winner of the contest was at Brundage. It was a massive logging train complete with a conductor.
Powder Stashes Galore
During our time at Brundage Mountain we received a few storms that dumped a couple of inches. This typically translates to dust on crust, but not here. There’s something magical about this place where any amount of fresh snow however meager means you’re having a DEEP powder day. Here are just a few of the tips we got from our tour with the locals.
Lakeview – A Powderhound’s secret
If you arrive at Brundage on a day that they only received a few inches then you should head over to the Lakeview area. On a day we showed up they recorded only 1″ of new snow but it was deep, billowy powder knee deep in spots, that was ALL UNTRACKED. So, why is there so much more snow in this part of the mountain? The only reason we could think of is that the terrain is only open from 10 am – 3 pm and lift access is via a fixed grip chair meaning the snow stays longer. Whatever the reason, there’s a good chance you’ll fund entire slopes FILLED with untracked pow that no one had ridden.
A Secret in Central America
During our tour of the mountain, we were introduced to a run named after a Central American country. Much like the surfing culture, we can’t divulge exactly the name of this spot or its location, but if your lucky enough to befriend a Local that’s in-the-know, perhaps they will share. It was beyond amazing! A bit steeper than the other zones AND there’s a good chance you’ll find some untracked lines.
Where is the Steep Terrain
Brundage may look tame, but if you know where to search, you’ll find slopes that will get your heart pumping. First on the list should be the Northwest Passage. Steep, craggy & bumpy, this trail is fun to blast through while getting a few little airs along the way.
Hidden Valley – The Zone for Steep
NW Passage is located in what is called the Hidden Valley. This IS the zone where all the serious terrain lives. From mandatory airs to chutes and cliffs, it can get dicey if you don’t know where you’re going. We can’t tell you exactly where to go but let’s just say when you do find it, you’ll know ’cause it’s off the chain! As we said earlier, put in a little effort and make some new friends. The Locals that know this mountain will open your eyes to a different Brundage experience and you don’t want to leave without it.
Brundage is as close to the Bay as Mt Bachelor
Did you know that McCall ID and Brundage are just a tad further from the Bay Area as Mt Bachelor is in Bend OR? We didn’t until we drove it. With little to no crowds, affordable lodging, amazing food, and steep fun terrain, this is the time to hit up this gem before people start finding out about McCall. We’re definitely coming back and enjoying this mountain next winter.
Be sure to check out our full McCall Travel Guide for more