The Payette Lakes Marathon has been held for many years at the Little SkiÂ HillÂ in McCall, ID. The race attracted about 150 people, and features 1 or 2 laps of a 15 km loop. Â The course has great variety and challenging terrain; flat openÂ meadows whichÂ can be sunny one lap and wind-swept the next, intoÂ the trees for gradual meduim-length climbsÂ and shorter sharp climbs, followed by respective short and steep (yet not too technical)Â downhills to long relaxing downhills offeringÂ good recovery.
Race organization was very good, with an excellent post-race feed consisting of homemade soups, cookies and even a beer keg! The grooming crewÂ set a good skating lane, although there were no classic tracks, which might have been good for touring skiers.Â A few inches of new snow made for slow going.Â The snow skied colder thanÂ the -3 CÂ snow temp indicated, due to the high elevation (5500') and dryÂ climate.
My overall placing in the 30k was 8th, a tough day that left me feeling as if I had just skied a 50k. Aspen Village has many condo rentals within walking distance of Ponderosa Park, site of the 2001 USSA Nationals. The recently remodeled Hotel McCall is comfortable and right downtown.Â Â