By Danielle Gruden, Intern at the Idaho Division of Tourism
I like to imagine myself a devout snowboarder, slicing through the snow with ease and precision, leaving the lift with balance and grace. However, I am neither. If anything I am a devout helmet wearer and layering queen (to help with the impact of the stumbles and falls). I (sigh) am a newbie; a complete novice.
On winter break from school, I could think of nothing better than seeing my family and snow-scaping . My family and I agreed to meet and hit the slopes at Pomerelle. As I left Boise for a pre-Christmas mountain top rendezvous, anxiety came creeping into my mind. Would this mountain be the death of me – or my chance to prove that I posses some minuscule ounce of coordination and talent on a snowboard? I was determined to make a mole-hill of the mountain that already had me overwhelmed.
My family and I climbed the mountain in Albion, Idaho in a 2008 Toyota Tacoma, crunching the thick layer of fresh snow from the night prior that covered the road. The road was lined with snow markers, with a few feet of white on both sides. As we parked at the base of the ski mountain, people of all ages filled the parking lot – changing from the morning’s comfy attire to snow pants, hats, gloves, and coats. We piled out and began our own exchange of day attire to mountain-wear. As I zipped up my jacket to just below my nose, I looked up at the massive hill I was about to tackle. We grabbed our boards and skis and began the day.
I was first surprised to find that most on the mountain were similar to me – not only my skill-set, but also my determination to pick-up after each fall. The resort was comfortable. Everyone was there to have a great time. There were no pompous, irritated participants whizzing past as you fell, causing you to gaze at them in misery while losing energy to push yourself up once more. Everyone offered hands to help-up, a quick “Come-on!”, or an encouraging smile for your day’s efforts. Ever better, my step-sister Ali, an advanced skier beyond her years, decided to accompany my hillside wrecks by switching to snowboarding. We counted the times we safely glided off the lift – 5 out of 9 – not too shabby in my book (especially since my father is a known lift hog).
Our ski day ended around 3 pm and we indulged in a packed lunch of cheeses, apples slices, crackers, chocolate and local beers (to numb the falls). We sat on the outside patio and enjoyed people watching and stories of the day. After the drive home, we soaked away the day’s soreness in the hot tub. No complaints here. Perfect mountain, perfect day.
Pomerelle is a little gem nestled in the Sawtooth National Forest. It offers 24 (almost private) slopes suitable for the beginner or the novice skier. Pomerelle offers a perfect snow-scape for someone that is brand new to the sport, gearing up to become better or looking for a great place to take the family.