Tamarack Resort, located in Idaho, announced on March 3rd that they would provide free year-round passes to students K-12 who are enrolled in the surrounding Valley County and New Meadows schools. Hosting skiing during the winter and mountain biking during the summer, these free passes to Tamarack Resort will enhance accessibility while fostering inclusivity in the outdoor sports world.
Getting a free pass to the mountain is only half the battle; Tamarack resort is also working with local businesses to rent free ski/snowboard gear to families in need. This rental shop will be staffed by volunteers and supplied by a gear drive hosted by Tamarack Resort, Tamarack Municipal Association, Tamarack Ski Team, and other organizations. The gear drive will run from March 20-April 4th, and people who donate will be rewarded with raffle tickets for the chance to win gift certificates to local businesses, private ski lessons, and Tamarack Stay and Play packages.
Why this is a HUGE deal. Over the years, skiing and snowboarding have become less accessible to many due to increased costs. This year, a day ticket at Vail costs $229. While these price increases are quite appalling, it wasn’t always like this. My dad immigrated to the United States when he was nine years old. Even though he was extremely poor, he and his brothers could scrounge up enough money to make it up to the mountains from the Bay Area to ski. He fell in love with the sport and passed his passion on to me. I have carried on his passion, and I currently work as a big mountain ski coach and writer for SnowBrains. Had skiing been any less accessible during my father’s upbringing, I probably would have never discovered this passion, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
By offering free gear and season passes to children, Tamarack Resort provides these kids what my dad provided for me. These sports should not be reserved for those who can afford them; they should be equally accessible to anyone who has a passion for them. Tamarack Resort isn’t just offering a weekend activity; they are providing a life-changing experience that could significantly shape these children’s lives. Tamarack Resort is raising the bar, and I hope to see other resorts follow suit.