The history of ski racing in Sun Valley is as rich and as impressive as anyplace in the country. And the future is looking pretty bright, too. It is as if the slopes of Baldy and Dollar were blessed by the ski gods, Ullr and Skadi, to groom the fastest and strongest skiers and snowboarders to ever ride on snow. Sun Valley has been home to the best in the alpine sports scene since shortly after inventing the world’s first chairlift back in the 1930s. It’s a tradition that’s staying strong and is proudly on display as Sun Valley hosts events like last weekend...
Skiing is a rather adventurous sport. And as is the case in any good adventure, there's always a great story or two to go along with it.
That's why those of us with passions for carving downhill or gliding cross-country all have our fair share of great skiing stories. Heck, they're what makes après skiing so much fun, getting to relive some truly memorable stories with friends—while also figuring out new and creative ways to exaggerate.
Even though skiing stories tend to get passed along more verbally than in the written form, there are quite a few good skiing-related books out there. So here's a rundown of some books that should be part of any Sun Valley skier's library.
Gretchen's Gold: The Story of Gretchen Fraser, America's first Gold Medalist in Olympic Skiing by Luanne Pfeifer tells the inspiring story behind the "Gretchen's Gold" ski run on Seattle Ridge. The diminutive Fraser found athletic success during an age when women weren't supposed to be sports stars. Ever since Fraser won the nations' first skiing gold medal in 1948, the "gracious champion, " as she was called when she passed in 1994, has been a hero to countless women—and men—in Sun Valley and across the globe. Her impressive story is well worth a read
Fifty Places to Ski and Snowboard Before You Die: Downhill Experts Share the World's Greatest Destinations by Chris Santella makes compiling your Bucket List a lot easier.
The Sun Valley Story by Van Gordon Sauter tells the definitive story of America's first destination ski resort in all its rich history. Sauter follows Sun Valley from its Old West mining and sheep herding days to the ski resort's star-studded opening and onto it's modern-day rock star status for continually producing some of the best alpine and Nordic skiers and snowboarders in the nation. This book is a "Must Have" for any Sun Valley fan.
Skiing for Dummies by Allen St. John is probably the best of the "How To" books out there. Sure, Harald Harb's Essentials of Skiing and the like are classics, but St. John's book really gets down to the brass tax: Don't try to figure the sport out from a book or under the tutelage of your "friends." If you want to learn how to ski, hire an instructor!
The Perfect Turn and Other Tales of Skiing and Skiers by Dick Dorworth shares some great stories by a skiing legend who still calls Sun Valley home in the winter and Baldy his favorite mountain. Dorworth has long been considered one of the ski industry's best writers, as his induction to the U.S Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame a couple years ago cemented, and this collection shows why.
Killer View by Ridley Pearson is a fast-paced and downright fun read. Pearson started his ridiculously successful writing career while living here and working odd jobs. The local references, from places like Galena Summit to people like police chief "Walt Fleming," really make this book and the entire "Killer series" enjoyable.
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway is a great book to dive into during chilly winter nights in Idaho. Papa wrote much of the book in the Sun Valley Lodge, which is in the midst of a big remodel, and although he is usually more associated with the sports of fishing and bird hunting, Hemingway was also known to occasionally ski on Baldy.
Lurching from One Near Disaster to the Next by Warren Miller is a collection of stories by a man best known for filmmaking. Miller, who started his legendary career as a local ski bum, does know and have a passion for the sport like few others.
"We are all little kids when we have skis on."-Warren Miller
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