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By Devon Barker

My friend Longley and I took this week to see if we could ski and kayak each day. McCall, Idaho has the best location for ski and surf /river run combos of anywhere I know. We skied at Brundage Mountain in the mornings and surfed and river ran in the afternoon. There has been a lot of writing lately about all of the great ski and paddling towns in recent magazines but they were not about my hometown. Here are a few of the combos that we did or were possible last week here in sleepy little McCall.

Brundage to Little Salmon, 30 minutes drive from Mt. to 15 miles of Class 4 or surfing at 180
*Running the Little Salmon is perfect, fast, and fun but hard to choose between my favorite play spot in the world & great river running. 180 is fast & bouncy with a class 4 drop if you miss the eddy with a nice trail to walk back to the wave.

Brundage to Main Salmon, 60 min. drive from Mt. to 10 miles of Class 3 or surfing at Rodeo Hole & Gold Hole-20 more miles upstream
*Gold Hole is actually a wave and is amazing- hard to chose between wave or hole…

Brundage to Payette River Lake Run, 15 min. drive from Mt. to 3 miles of Class 2/3 river running.
*At the put-in we looked up to see the mountain and the ski runs we just were carving up turns on. Amazing!

Now to the other side of the mountains as McCall is perched with the Salmon River drainage to the north and the Payette River drainage to the south.

Brundage to North Fork of Payette, 60 min. drive from Mt. to 15 miles of Class 4/5 river running or an additional 15 to 30 min. of driving to South Fork of Payette or Main Payette, mellower river running and numerous play spots including Climax, Gutter, or Bladder.
*The Gutter was packed with kayakers surfing right next to the Bladder- just waiting until they can move from the little hole to the monstrous wave.

It was a perfect, but exhausting week to see just how much fun we could have. About half way through the week we took a stop at Zim’s hot springs, located between Brundage and 180 surf wave for a little squirt boating in hot water.

Come surf and ski with me sometime. The mountain will be open until the end of April….



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brundage mt. in background

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confluence of Main & Little

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Rodeo Hole

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Sunny Main Salmon River