March puts the ‘sun’ in Sun Valley as days grow suddenly longer and brighter, the snow on the mountains begins to turn to corn, and the party at River Run, Roundhouse, and Warm Springs moves outside. Think bluebird skies, lots of live music, the sun on your face, and nothing to do but play all day. Lucky for so many that spring break falls smack in the middle of this munificent month. This year, the pleasures of a family spring break in Sun Valley are even more palatable with a Kids Ski Free special in March. Yes, you read that...
Skiing & Riding
It’s pretty easy to see why Nate Sheehan loves his job. That’s because there’s a lot to love about being the Terrain Park Manager for Sun Valley.
Nate spends the winter—and much of the off-season—creating terrain parks that will bring pure joy to kids of all ages.
“I love it,” Nate said about his job. “I feel very fortunate to stay in an industry I love in an amazing place like this.”
Originally from Fairfield, Pennsylvania, the home of Ski Liberty, Nate is a former professional snowboarder. He’s excited to begin his second season running the show in Sun Valley, and said his first was “super fun. It was a blast.” Nate’s hoping for more of the same this season.
To keep skiers and boarders happy, Nate said the terrain parks at Dollar will keep their same general layouts and flow, especially since parks and pipes fan were raving about them last year. But they’ll also be mixing things up and changing elements weekly.
“We want keep things fresh, so we’ll be changing out jibs and boxes each week,” said the former X Games contestant. “We’ve also built a few new jib features for the Railyard that we think people are really going to enjoy.”
Nate said that there will also be more to enjoy on Baldy this season as well.
“Adventure Zones” are being created in a few different areas around Baldy. The pocket terrain parks are designed to be family-friendly and for entry-level abilities.
“They’re going to be a lot of fun. They’ll have rollers, berms and small rails and will be accessible to most skill levels,” said Nate, the three-time Mid-Atlantic snowboard champion and a former coach for the University of Utah.
Nate actually earned his college degree as a Ute, taking classes in the summer after snowboarding all winter. So he’s obviously no stranger to hard work. Nate says much of the credit for the success of the terrain park at Sun Valley belongs to his talented and hard-working crew.
“The team here is awesome. It’s been a huge help for me to have an experienced crew that has been doing this for a while and has great passion for the park,” he said.
Dollar Mountain will host a handful of events this year including: The Free Skiing Spectacular in late-January, the USASA Regional Snowboard tour in February, the USAA Nationals in March and the Go Pro Rail Jam later in the season, which is open to the public and includes prizes from Go Pro, Candy Grind, Board Bin and Smith.
Nate said they’ll also be doing lots of planned and impromptu photo and filmmaking shoots on Dollar this season, something local ski-film star Collin Collins does often.
So you never know who you’ll see out there. All you know for sure is that they’ll be smiling, thanks to the hard and impassioned work done by Nate Sheehan and his Sun Valley Terrain Park team.
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