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Bogus Basin ends ski season with largest 'pond skim' turnout in mountain history

More than 250 skiers and snowboarders registered for the end-of-season tradition. Some had to wait in line for hours.

BOISE, Idaho — More than 250 people registered to participate in the Bogus Basin end-of-season 'pond skim' tradition, according to Bogus Basin General Manager Brad Wilson.

Participants get a wide-open straight shot down the main face of the mountain. The goal is to build enough speed to glide across a pool of ice-cold water.

"A lot of people are getting wet," Wilson said. "Ya know, I've put these on for over 30 years, I've never done it before."

After missing the tradition, the previous two consecutive years through the COVID pandemic, the pond skim returned to the largest crowd in its history at Bogus Basin, according to the public address announcer.

The pond skim became an annual end-of-season event six years ago, Wilson said.

The line to take a shot at the pool stretched so long, that it had local skier Henry Baldiga waiting hours before taking his shot.

"This is my first time," Baldiga said. "But you gotta pond skim. It's sounded fun, and it was very fun!"

Donning overalls and a winter cap, Baliga blended in with the crowd. It's an expectation to dress for the occasion - chicken suits, Pokémon pajamas, and oversized animal heads all have their place in the pond skim.

Though the most unique participants might have gone overlooked at first glance; Kevin Mangel and Michael Wynkoop hit the pond together on a set of tandem skis. They made it across the pond effortlessly.

"I mean, quite frankly, we're the best tandem skiers on the mountain," Wynkoop said. "You have to be clear and concise. [Mangel] points with his arms where we want go. We just kinda move together."

The event waves farewell to another Bogus ski season, barring a large, unexpected snowfall, Wilson said.

Bogus closes until May 30th, according to Wilson. The non-profit recreation area will begin its summer activities - including mountain biking - after Memorial Day, Wilson said.

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