Double Days: Spring Skiing and Paddling in Idaho


devonkayaktalkMany boaters ski when they can’t paddle, and paddle when they can’t ski. This spring presented Team NRS paddler Devon Barker the opportunity to do both—in the same day. She even managed to score two double days in one weekend, the ultimate Idaho “double double”!

As the seasons shift from winter to spring, the daylight hours increase, and the possibility for double days also increases. My favorite double day includes skiing and kayaking. When Mike, my husband, is not quite sure why I am packing the car—jamming skis, boats, and gear bags inside—and packing the cooler the night before, I say, “Perfect prior planning equals double the fun.” There’s no feeling like the perfect, happy tiredness that overtakes you after a double day of fun.

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Here in central Idaho, we have great skiing just 30 to 45 minutes from whitewater paddling on the Little Salmon River and spring surfing on the Main Salmon River. This year we had an early melt at the lower elevations, but we had fresh snow on the mountain in April—ideal conditions for double days. With an elevation of 7,640 feet at the top of Brundage Mountain dropping to just 1,500 feet at the Salmon River, you can experience a wide range of temperatures in a short drive while trading your ski pants for a dry suit. I used my H2Core layers for skiing and kayaking this year. Having my core warm makes it easy to swap my outer layers when I switch from skiing to paddling.

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Last weekend was my first-ever double double. On Saturday, Mike and I skied at Brundage, then enjoyed some great surfing at Rodeo Hole on the Salmon River. The next morning, we went skiing again, then ran the Little Salmon River with a group of kayakers and catarafters. A few paddlers joining us on the river found it hard to believe that the skiing was so good. We enjoyed knowing that some of that great powder and corn snow was now floating us down the Little Salmon River.

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I feel so blessed to live in a place where I can experience the joy of double days. I love knowing that there are a lot more double days to be had. What is your favorite double day in your area? Are you planning an epic double day? Here’s to spring, spring snow, and spring run off. See you on the river, and hopefully next winter for a double day of fun.

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