>Kepps Cross Powder 8’s

>Just after moving to Idaho Falls in January 1980 I think my first skiing question was “Where’s a good nearby spot to practice telemark turns?” The nice folks at Solitude Sports (Dirk, Dale, Greg) advised to just go on up the Iona Hill east of town and head down any snow covered grain field. Well, this never seemed to work out. Either there wasn’t enough snow, or the snow was too crusty and glazed. Yes, over the years I was able to put together several interesting out and back ski tours in these hills, but the idyllic practice powder stash always eluded.

On February 27, 1993 I was driving up the Bone Road just past Kepps Cross Road when the sweep of an untracked crystalline hillside made my heart skip a beat. Fortunately, skis were at the ready in the truck. Pulling off the road it was a quick 15 minute kick and glide to the hill. Incredible! This is it. Such good snow and so close to town! Frankly, the only reason I stopped putting in turns that afternoon was a feeling of guilt. It wasn’t fair one person should have all the fun.


Kepps Cross Powder 8’s, ten miles east of Idaho Falls, Feb 1993… Post-mortem/ Wind turbines have now been constructed all along this hill and no trespassing signs outnumber ski tracks.

PS/ You may remember a recent e-mail where I described in vignette fashion a lightly clad visitor to the Kelly Mountain igloo in early February. Based upon a newspaper photo and subsequent information, I believe this person was Wray Landon, the skier who was later killed in a 2/21/10 avalanche on South Teton. Because our ski tracks have crossed (several times), I now have a personal involvement with a by chance friend. My condolences to his parents. Your son and my daughter both graduated from IFHS class of 1997.

Rick Baugher
Feb 23, 2010

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