Bucolic Bliss

At Pomerelle, the bike park’s chairlift runs on demand, and while word on the trail is that some veterans can unload their bikes without stopping the chair, lead trail builder Michael Westfall takes the safe tack.

Bucolic Bliss The Pastoral Charm of Pomerelle, Idaho

“Sorry, we’re kinda slammed today,” the guy handing me my lunch order tells me.

The chairlift at Pomerelle Mountain Resort, in extreme southern Idaho, runs on demand—and today’s traffic of four riders is causing the tickets at the park’s grill to back up as the burger-flipper leaves his post to stop the lift and load bikes. I’ve been watching him run back and forth, slinging bikes over the seat back like it’s the tailgate of a pickup and then ushering riders to climb on alongside them.

Sometimes the chairlift doesn’t run at all if no one from the neighboring communities shows up to this tiny, family-owned ski area that lies three hours from both Boise, Idaho and Salt Lake City, Utah.

I’ve arrived at Pomerelle on a whim, with no expectations. Trailforks shows only one run on the mountain, while the resort website shows none at all. The lift-cum-grill attendant points me toward Pounder.

At the top, I unload my bike and follow his directions into the trees. Kickers constructed from skinned logs launch into low-slung berms as the black-diamond run flows through a forest of Douglas fir.

Halfway down Pounder, a postcard-sized sign nailed to a tree points the way to Chip. I continue through Pounder’s fast, flat turns until they suddenly drop away in a blind four- foot-high huck to flat. Dirt gives way to a dry fall-line creek bed filled with baby head cobble that I can only assume is the trail. It’s one of the rowdiest runs I’ve ever ridden in a bike park, and I wonder who built these trails.

 

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