Owned by a state government notorious for bloated bureaucracies, Gore Mountain is one tax-supported operation that actually works. The hill is deceptive, with most of its respectable 2,100 vertical hidden behind a false summit.
On any given day, half of Mad River's skiers can be found dressed in wool and weaving through the trees on core-shot tele skis. They'll be riding the nation's only diesel single chair, known simply as "The Single." Pasted on their car bumpers: the infamous red and white Ski It if You Can sticker. And if they act like they own the place, could be they do-it's a co-op.
In 1939, a narrow, dusty, dirt road led west from the small, almost abandoned mining town of Ketchum, Idaho, to the base of Mt. Baldy. There, an even narrower ski trail had been cut the summer before from the top of 9,000-foot Mt. Baldy.