Just last week, a Saturday night dinner at the Ram Restaurant in Sun Valley Village seemed like a great idea. One member of our party was anxious to try the nightly $25 special of Hungarian Goulash, and an evening spent at the beautiful eatery, accompanied by live piano music, and noshing on delicious food sounded perfect. Our decision proved even more prescient when the server announced that the Ram was running a spring special: fondue for two (free!) with the purchase of any two entrees. It was a bubbling, gold prize at the end of the proverbial rainbow!
Fondue for two with...
Sun Valley is Nordic Town USA and the entire valley is preparing for this year's Nordic Festival: more than a week devoted to everything you can do on skinny skis. Each winter, the Sun Valley Nordic Festival brings together devotees of the cross country ski culture with races, training opportunities, parties, innumerable events, and food and drink specials all over town. The fun culminates with the 40h Annual Boulder Mountain Tour on February 7. If you like to get out there, this week is for you!
This is an event many locals look forward to each year, but it also is an annual pilgrimage for skiers from across the country. Competitors and recreational skiers alike travel from near and far to ski, meet like-minded people, talk wax and conditions, and have a terrific weekend.
Starting Friday, Sun Valley celebrates the Nordic lifestyle with non-stop events culminating is the highly popular Boulder Mountain Tour (photo courtesy Nils Ribi)
According to Sun Valley Nordic Festival Director Julia Bowman, the goal is to make this event a true community undertaking and very accessible. “The schedule really offers something for everyone,” she said. “Whether you are a serious competitor or just want to enjoy a snowshoe tour, a presentation at the Community Library, or a party, come by and check it out! The Nordic Town Sprints are always a really fun way to get in the spirit. There is all the skiing, but also a bonfire, food vendors and drinks. The opening night party on Friday is also a must-do. Another bonus is that so many events are free.”
The action is non-stop during the ten-day Festival. For a full listing of events, please click HERE.
Among the highlights:
On January 30, come officially kick off the Festival at a community-wide party celebrating the best Nordic skiing in North America. Ketchum Town Square will be alive with music from the Sheep Bridge Jumpers, dancing, the return of the juggling fire dancer and a Nordic fashion show. Good food and drink will be plentiful and beer will be offered by the local Sawtooth Brewery. This is a great place to connect with old skiing friends, make some new ones, and enjoy a night on the town. The party is free and family-friendly. There will be plenty of dancing to keep you toasty, but dress warmly for this outdoor event.
On February 5, a popular event returns with the Nordic Town Sprints. This provides skiers a chance to go head-to-head in a two-person sprint relay format. This is a great spectator event, located right in town, that features top racers from across the US, outstanding US Paralympic and youth skiers, as well as a fat tire mountain bike race. The fun begins at 4:30 p.m. and registration opens at 3 p.m. The fat tire bike race launches at 5:30 p.m. Events are held at the Simplot Lot right across the street from the Ketchum Post Office. Come out for skiing, music and brats! It doesn’t get any better than this.
The cross country action comes right to downtown Ketchum at the popular Nordic Town Sprints. There is a lot of talent on that course and a lot of spirit among the spectators!
The marquis event of the week is, of course, the Boulder Mountain Tour. The Boulder, as it’s known, will be held this year on February 7. The race draws hundreds of people to town for friendly or serious competition on a course that begins north of Ketchum at Galena Lodge and finishes fast at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters. The big event is a 32-kilometer race but there is also a Half Boulder that covers 15-kilometers. This year, to celebrate the event’s big anniversary, they are also offering a non-timed, no pressure, dress in whatever you want, have fun with your friends “40th Wave” for those who want the Tour experience without any of the pressure!
On Sunday, make a stop at the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center for a great demo event. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., you are invited to join the best local and national reps offering the finest demo equipment. Come and try the latest Nordic ski gear from all major brands and enjoy short introductory clinics on the hour at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. The Clubhouse at the Sun Valley Nordic Center will serve a delicious lunch during this event. Sit down and treat yourself to a wonderful meal before or after your workout. For more information, please call (208) 622-2250.
A great way to test out the latest and greatest gear is at Sun Valley’s Demo Day on February 7. Come out and give it a try!
There is so much to do! Don’t miss the BCRD Ski the Rails event connecting Hailey and downtown Ketchum on January 31. Skin Dollar to win it on February 1 or enjoy the Paw & Pole on the same day to support the Animal Shelter. Support great fundraisers like the Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center Banff Film Festival and Raffle on January 30 and 31 and the always-festive Galena & the Trails Winter benefit at the Limelight Room in Sun Valley on January 31. There are snowshoe tours, special breakfasts and dinners, wax clinics, art exhibits, story times, lectures, and much, much more!
To make this event even more fun and convenient, Sun Valley Resort is offering a special stay and play package. Stay in Sun Valley through February 8 and get a one day trail pass at the Sun Valley Nordic Center along with a night’s lodging for only $100 per person, per night, double occupancy.
Sun Valley loves its Nordic culture. As the only cross country Olympic and Paralympic designated training center in America, with miles and miles and miles of scenic and spectacular trails running in every direction, this is Nordic Nirvana. Come join us and experience it for yourself!
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