Fresh Powder Coats Pomerelle Mountain Once More

by Simon Naylor | Published: September 6th, 2023 |  Ski News

POCATELLO, Idaho - For the second time in just over two weeks, Pomerelle Mountain Resort welcomed the sight of fresh snowfall overnight Sunday into Monday. While the dusting of less than half an inch was not enough to be considered an official accumulating snow event, it served as a promising sign that winter is fast approaching at the Albion Mountain ski area.

Tucked away in the Rocky Mountains of southeast Idaho, the family-owned and operated Pomerelle sits at an altitude of 8,000 feet. The resort's location makes it one of the first in the region to see snow each year. This season's initial flakes flew on August 22nd, marking the earliest recorded snowfall in its over 80-year history.


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"Our snowmaking crew is eagerly preparing to fire up the guns once temperatures allow," said Matt Espil, Pomerelle's Mountain Manager. "Mother Nature gave us a little sneak peek these past few weeks of the winter fun ahead."

Winter Weather Arrives Early

While summer often lingers into September across the Gem State, cold air funneling down from Canada has brought below-average temperatures and batches of snow to the higher elevations. Pomerelle joins other resorts out west like Mount Hood Meadows, Oregon, and Sunshine Village in Banff, Alberta in registering snow this past month.

Areas out east haven't been spared either. New Hampshire's Mount Washington and ski resorts across Europe have also been coated in white. For skiers and snowboarders eager to shred, it's a welcome sign after a long offseason.

"Our guests are calling wanting to know when we'll open," said Espil. "The recent snow has everyone excited to get back on the mountain."

Snowmaking Operations Underway Soon

Pomerelle tentatively plans to kick off their 2023-2024 season in late November, joining other resorts in the quest to claim "first to open" bragging rights. While the early snowfalls help with baseline coverage, consistent cold temperatures are needed to permit snowmaking.

"Once we can dial in the guns, our snowmaking team works around the clock to build up a solid base," Espil noted. "We're usually blowing snow by Halloween."

The resort has heavily invested in snowmaking infrastructure over the past decade. High-efficiency pumps, fan guns, and increased water storage capability allow Pomerelle to open more terrain faster. Staff meticulously groom the manmade snow to ensure quality conditions.

Idaho Ski Country Gearing Up

idaho winter skiing
Photo by Antone Kom licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Further north in the state, renowned destinations like Sun Valley and Schweitzer Mountain are also preparing for winter. Both resorts are unveiling newly upgraded lifts and terrain expansions this season to enhance the guest experience.

Meanwhile, the upstart Woodward Park City in Southern Idaho is looking to make a splash by integrating state-of-the-art action sports training facilities into traditional ski resort offerings. With skiing and snowboarding continuing rapid growth, the moves highlight the ever-increasing competition for Idaho's winter business.

Pomerelle's leadership stresses that investments must balance retaining loyal customers while attracting new ones.

"We entertain fresh ideas but stay true to our roots as a family-focused, affordable option," Espil emphasized. "The snow may be coming early, but we're ready whenever it flies."

Let the Ski Season Begin

The countdown is on to Thanksgiving weekend, which signifies the unofficial start of ski season across the West. Resorts big and small will look to capitalize on pent-up demand after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.

While uncertainty always looms over factors like the economy and weather, most indicators point to an excellent winter ahead. From gear shops stocking shelves to ski vacation rentals booking up, the excitement is palpable.

"Maybe these early snows are a sign of more to come," hoped avid skier Jay Pollock of Boise. "I know I'll be one of the first in line when the lifts start spinning."

So keep those tips tuned and waxes ready - winter will arrive soon enough. And for skiers in Idaho, that means plenty of mountain fun is just around the corner.

Pomerelle Mountain Resort

Nestled in the Sawtooth National Forest, Pomerelle Mountain Resort offers skiers and riders an authentic, unpretentious experience. Founded in 1948, it is one of Idaho's original ski hills.

With a base elevation of 7,200 feet and a summit of 9,012 feet, Pomerelle boasts over 1,800 vertical feet of terrain. Its 24 runs are evenly divided between beginner, intermediate, and advanced ability levels. The area is renowned for its light, dry powder.

In addition to alpine skiing and snowboarding, Pomerelle also offers Nordic skiing, snow tubing, and winter uphill access. The area's peak season runs from mid-December through mid-March.

Pomerelle prides itself on maintaining reasonable prices and providing personalized service. Season passes are under $500 for adults, while lift tickets max out at $89 on weekends and holidays. Over 80% of guests arrive from within a 90-mile radius.

Recent investments include upgraded snowmaking capabilities, a new magic carpet lift for beginners, and renovations to the Albion Lodge. Pomerelle continues working to preserve its welcoming, community vibe.

The dedicated staff looks forward to sharing their passion for sliding on snow. As Mountain Manager Matt Espil says, "Skiing and riding brings people together. We're all family here."

Key Takeaways

  • Pomerelle Mountain Resort in Idaho received its second snowfall of the early season on September 4th.
  • While not an official accumulating event, the snowfall builds excitement for the upcoming ski season.
  • Pomerelle plans to open in late November and begin snowmaking operations by Halloween.