For the mountain community, February has been like Christmas Day over and over again. The gift? Snowstorm after snowstorm dumping the wonderful white stuff to the tune of more than 100 inches of snow this month – a record since records started being kept decades ago. And the month isn’t over yet.
There has been so much snow atop Baldy that the Ski Patrol shack is literally buried What is a gift to recreationists, though, provides some pretty enormous challenges to the team keeping our winter white playground functioning and safe under extreme conditions. The outstanding men and women...
Even if it’s not yet really beginning to look like winter around here, and everyone is luxuriating in a gorgeous Sun Valley autumn, cold weather and snow sports are just around the corner. The lifts on Bald Mountain are set to kick into gear on Thanksgiving Day, November 27 -- two short months away!
Sun Valley has been busy installing new high-tech snow guns in preparation for a strong opening on November 27
Opening day and the winter months promise to offer the best snow ever thanks, in part, to 47 new snow guns that were recently installed on Bald Mountain. These state-of-the-art Rubis Evo guns create larger particle snow, increase production on the system and (drum roll) make snow using 90 percent less energy per gun than existing equipment. Yes, they use only 10 percent of the energy formerly required to run snowmaking on these slopes.
Before you know it, it will be time to take to the slopes
According to magician, alchemist and head of snowmaking Dennis Harper, each of the 47 new guns also make two times as much snow as the guns they replace. These new guns are now installed on Lower River Run, Mid River Run, Roundhouse Slope and Upper College.
Your skis or snowboard here
“We are really excited because the quality of the snow they produce is great. They are a big benefit to the early season because the system is very productive in warmer temperatures,” Dennis said. “We can also run 10 of the new guns for the same energy it took to run one of the older ones which is great news in general.”
In addition to making super snow, the new guns are super quiet, making the experience of schussing down the slopes an even more peaceful one. They are also significantly taller, standing 10 meters tall instead of six.
“The installation of these guns is part of a long-term project on the mountain,” according to Dennis. “We hope to continue to install more of the Rubis Evo technology in coming years.” Currently, Sun Valley operates North America’s largest automated snowmaking system.
Whether you are a beginner …
… or a pro, it’s time to start thinking snow (photo Tal Roberts)
Though the snowmaking timetable is always subject to the whims of Mother Nature, Dennis thinks an October 20 start-up and system check is realistic with snowmaking starting in earnest around the 27th. The weather needs to cooperate, with daytime temps below 50 degrees and nighttime temperatures, “the colder the better,” being optimal according to Dennis.
As the snow guns rev up for action, now is the time to get your pass. There are options for people who visit Sun Valley a few weeks a year and for those who want to ski every single day the mountain is open. This year, college passes and other special promotions are also being offered. Click HERE for more information or go see the helpful people at River Run Lodge (https://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/mountain-amenities) to pick the pass that’s right for you.
The great folks at River Run Lodge will help you pick your perfect pass
It’s also time to start to get those legs into skiing shape and check your equipment so it’s ready to take on the snow. A great new ski parka or tech pants are never a bad idea, either.
For the time being, be sure to enjoy fall in Sun Valley and get in those bike rides, hikes and fly fishing trips now. Soon, the snow will be flying on Baldy and before you know it, it will be beneath your skis or board. Bring on winter!
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