If you look around the ski world, races and events are being canceled on a regular basis. Snow coverage is shockingly low and, in Europe, almost non-existent. Schweitzer Mountain is the exception and I, for one, am happy to ride this wave as long as I can. As of this post, Schweitzer has the 9th deepest snowpack in North America and has enjoyed 2900 acres of skiable/open terrain since the first week in December.
Today marks the 2nd day of the SCHWEITZER NORTHWEST (FIS) CUP, a high level, FIS licensed giant slalom running January 5 - 8. The racers are getting their moneys-worth this year with extremely fast conditions and no significant snowfall expected for several days. They call this "boilerplate" conditions and it suits the "racing mentality" just fine.
More important than the fast course is the fact that the great conditions at Schweitzer insures a vibrant economy for Sandpoint! In fact, next weekend Schweitzer hosts The Western Region Devo Downhill Speed Series...a six-day major ski event consisting of two USSA downhills and two FIS super-G's. Due to the lack of snow at Mammoth Mountain in California, Schweitzer once again scores a major event bringing 1,000's of competitors, spectators and their entourage to Sandpoint, Idaho.
The one thing Sandpoint does have in common with much of the USA this winter are the incredibly mild temperatures! While the temps have remained cool enough at Schweitzer to insure big snowpack, the conditions in town have been wonderfully mild.
I was thrilled to take the Bianchi out on January 4 for a twenty mile bike ride and followed that up with a pleasure ride on the F650 GS yesterday. Biking in January, whether it's on a bicycle or motorcycle, is a treat to cherish. The remainder of my spare time this winter (when I'm not skiing, that is) has been working on the backyard landscaping project I'm entrenched in. Since there is NO frost in the ground, I've been able to complete a huge project that had been scheduled for next Spring!
As most of you are aware, I'm pretty smitten by Sandpoint and the rest of North Idaho. If we have many more winters like this, however, I'm not sure I'll be able to handle my good fortune. Bring on the winds and the brutal temperatures! Let's get real!
(By the way, I should be clear...the average high temperature in Sandpoint's coldest month is a mild 35 degrees F. Not too shabby.)