Recreation

A souped-up paddle board, custom rowing craft and high performance, carbon fiber sailboats are just some of the eye-catching entries in the inaugural Race to Alaska.

Susan Drury / Flickr Creative Commons

According to data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, women are the fastest growing group of hunters in the country. While the number of young men picking up the sport has taken a nose dive in the last 30 years, participation by young women has increased.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

In the Olympics, it’s called beach volleyball.  In college athletics, it’s sand volleyball.  No matter its name, the sport has seen unprecedented growth in the last decade. So much so,  it's now spread to places not known for their beaches. Places like Boise.

Sand volleyball's popularity has spiked ever since August 2004. The Olympics were in Athens and a young, athletic duo from California dominated their beach-volleyball competition.

From Wenatchee, Washington, to Bend, Oregon, whitewater rafting guides are preparing for a flood of business as school lets out. But this year’s low snowpack could mean less whitewater and more demand for trips.

Hut-to-hut or village-to-village trekking is a popular vacation pursuit in regions as diverse as Europe, New Zealand, the Himalayas and Vietnam.

Two experienced hikers arrived safe and sound at the Mexican border Sunday, four-and-a-half months after beginning their trek in the North Cascades.

Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

Yellowstone National Park will require an overnight backcountry permit fee starting May 1.

The National Park Service says the money raised from the new fee will help pay the costs of running the park's backcountry program.

Under the new fee, anyone obtaining a permit to stay overnight in the backcountry between Memorial Day and Sept. 10 will have to pay a per-person, per night permit fee for all individuals 9 years of age or older.

Mike Paananen / Ada County Parks and Waterways

It was a photo contest by the people and for the people of Ada County. The goal was to highlight the parks and waterways managed by Ada County, and to encourage people to get out and enjoy that landscape.

"We were blown away" by what people sent in, says Scott Koberg, Director of Ada County Parks and Waterways.

Aspen Skiing Company, artist rendering

Aspen Skiing Co. plans to build a hotel in Ketchum, Idaho, modeled on its Limelight Hotel in Aspen.

The company said Tuesday the hotel will be near Sun Valley's River Run base at Bald Mountain. It will also be called the Limelight.

Aspen Skiing bought the property from Bald Mountain LLC. No cost figures were released.

The company says the site has approval for 119 rooms and suites and 11 residential units. The company says it will ask Ketchum city officials for minor modifications in the plans, including a reconfiguration of the main floor.

Bogus Basin

Bogus Basin will open Friday despite anemic snow accumulation on the mountain north of Boise.

The ski resort plans to open limited terrain to skiers and snowboarders. Bogus reports 13 inches of snow at its base.

"We’re ready and very excited to welcome the community up the mountain to have fun enjoying early-season skiing and boarding,” says Bogus General Manager Alan Moore.

Jody MacDonald

A Ketchum resident has received an unusual honor this year. Gavin McClurg is one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year. McClurg is a paraglider who, earlier this year, flew more than 400 miles through the Canadian Rockies.

Paragliding is flying using a parachute. Some people do it as a hobby but it’s also an extreme sport. It’s popular in Europe where the biggest competitions take place.

mor gnar / Flickr

An Idaho charity is giving a million-dollar makeover to a skate park in downtown Boise.

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation is donating $1.25 million for the renovation of the Rhodes Skateboard Park. The park is underneath the connector that joins I-84 to downtown Boise.

Over the summer, a group of homeless people began camping out across the street from the concrete skating area. Boise has tried repeatedly to move the campers out of the makeshift camp.

City spokesman Mike Journee says the camp had no bearing on the gift from the foundation.

Torch Magazine / Flickr

After two years of planning, a snow park will open Saturday for tubing and snowboarding in Eagle.

The City of Eagle and the park’s developer, Ryan Neptune, had been trying to get the park underway for two years. But they clashed with Ada County, which owned the land and said a commercial operation wasn’t allowed under the lease agreement.

The city finally bought the property from the county earlier this year, and gave the green light to the operation.

Bald Mountain, Sun Valley
Christopher Koppes / Flickr Creative Commons

Sun Valley Co. is prohibiting recreational activity on Bald Mountain while workers prepare the ski area for the season.

The company has an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management that allows for the prohibition for safety reasons.

The company in December 2013 enacted a policy not allowing uphill foot traffic on the ski area from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the ski season.

Bogus Basin, ski
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 3:15 p.m. Nov. 14:

Those who operate Bogus Basin ski area say they're now "in wait-and-see" mode. Snow totals have been on the low side of forecasters' predictions for the mountain.

General Manager Alan Moore says the ski hill needs three or four more inches of packable snow in order to open a limited number of runs this weekend.

"At this point, without more snow, we're not opening," Moore said Friday afternoon. "And as of right now it's not snowing."

tamarack, donnelly, resort
A.Davey / Flickr Creative Commons

Tamarack Resort could take a significant step toward a clearer financial picture Thursday when Idaho officials decide whether to transfer a ski area lease to a new company that emerged after a sheriff's bankruptcy sale last spring.

But first a majority of the five-member Idaho Land Board will have to be persuaded at the special meeting that Tamarack can afford about $278,000 annually to use the 2,100 acres of state-owned land the ski area is built on.

The lease represents one of the state's more lucrative deals.

Slide the City

How does sliding down a busy Boise street on a 1,000 foot waterslide sound?

Amazing.

Utah-based Slide the City is making plans to bring its giant waterslide to Boise. The event is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 6, and details are contingent on permitting. If approved, you may have the chance to slip-and-slide your way down Americana Boulevard between Ann Morrison Park and Kathryn Albertson Park.

Greg Dusic / U.S. Forest Service

Fifty years ago, the Wilderness Act was signed into law, setting aside large areas of land in their natural state. Today, almost 110 million acres have been designated as wilderness by the U.S. Congress.

Idaho is celebrating the milestone with a lecture series in the shadow of the Sawtooth Wilderness Area, sandwiched between Atlanta and Stanley.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Most of the people who use the Boise Greenbelt have a college degree. And last year, more people used it on weekdays. Those are two big conclusions from two years’ worth of surveys on the 45-year-old trail system.

Jaap Vos is director of the Community and Regional Planning Program at Boise State University. BSU has done surveys on the Greenbelt two years in 2012 and 2013.

Mount Rainier is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the nation, but this weekend, it became the scene of a terrible tragedy -- the second worst climbing tragedy in the mountain's history. Six climbers apparently fell to their deaths.

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