The holidays in Sun Valley are unique. From the snow-covered peaks (and ski runs!) that surround the Wood River Valley, to the old-fashioned charm of the Sun Valley Village and the decidedly European feel of the Resort, Christmas in Sun Valley is straight out of a beloved picture book. I have spent more than 30 Christmases in Sun Valley and while I certainly appreciate all that the Resort does to keep current (our amazing snowmaking and grooming, the gorgeous Lodge remodel, The Spa, and new
Skiing & Riding
For the first time since the `70s, Sun Valley is the center of the alpine racing scene in America this week. And even though it’s been far too long since Sun Valley last hosted races at the Alpine Nationals level, America’s original destination ski resort is showing that it deserves to do so more often.
The racing conditions on the Warm Springs side of Baldy have been challenging but terrific, with the Greyhawk Run beginning to earn some legendary accolades. Big crowds have rooted on the athletes at the various events, and the entire community of Sun Valley has been welcoming and appreciative of the racers.
“How nice is it to have racing back?” Tim Silva asked the hundreds of fans who attended the Parade of Athletes and Opening Ceremony Thursday at Ketchum Town Square. The crowd roared in delight.
Silva, Sun Valley Resort’s general manager, thanked the entire community for helping to bring big time ski racing back to Sun Valley. He then wished the racers, “good luck, especially at the top of Greyhawk.”
Earlier in the day, the Super G had seen numerous racers fail to even complete the course, which starts on Warm Springs and finishes at the bottom of Greyhawk. Fast and challenging, nearly a third of the men and a quarter of the women have recorded a Did Not Finish (DNF) on the various Super G individual and combined races on Greyhawk.
The announcers for the Super G (which will be aired on NBC Sports on Saturday morning, March 26th) called the course “challenging,” “relentless,” and “intimidating.” Still, some of the best skiers in country were able to make it look easy, while hitting speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.
Tim Jitloff took home the Super G title, sharing the podium at Town Square with Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Erik Arvidsson. Sun Valley local Tanner Farrow finished an impressive 10th.
The women’s Super G afternoon races were greeted by a big crowd of partying and cowbell ringing fans at the bottom of Greyhawk. The grandstands were packed and the festive atmosphere was a big hit with locals, visitors and racers themselves. Anne Marno took home the title with Lauren Ross and Tricia Magnan sharing the podium.
The Super G section of the Alpine Combined championships held earlier in the week also knocked many racers off the course. US Development Team member Galena Wardle wasn’t one of them, however, and she managed to claim her first national title on Wednesday, taking the women’s Alpine Combined. Patricia Mangan edged Megan McJames by just 0.02 seconds to take the other two spots on the Nationals’ podium. Sun Valley’s own Hailey Cutler, who has a large and vocal fan base, finished 8th in Alpine and 10th in Super G.
US Ski Teamer Brennan Rubie also won his first National title men’s Alpine Combined. Second place went to Kieffer Christianson, with Hig Roberts rounding out the podium. Sun Valley’s Kipling Weisel finished 10th overall but took home 3rd for the Fastest Junior.
The Giant Slalom will take center stage as races continue through the weekend. Closing Ceremonies will take place Sunday afternoon at Warm Springs Plaza and all events are open and free to the public. Here’s a full schedule.
Olympic silver medalist Christin Cooper hosted the Opening Ceremonies, which included an all-star line-up of Sun Valley’s former Olympic skiers and snowboarders like herself. She praised the community for being so supportive of our athletes and explained that it was only fitting that big time ski racing returned to the heart of Idaho.
“How great it is to have ski racing in Sun Valley again. We’re rested and we’re ready to rock. We’re good at this,” she said, explaining that Sun Valley will also host the Nationals in 2018. “Ski racing is in the blood here.”
Christin then thanked the US Ski Team for inspiring us all and reminded the racers that they weren’t the first ones to be challenged by Baldy and runs like Greyhawk.
“It’s hard. It’s a hard hill, but it’s the best coach you’ll ever have,” Christin said. “I owe everything to this mountain … and this community.”
And don’t miss Mikaela Shiffrin, the 2014 Olympic gold medalist and two-time Slalom World champion and four-time Slalom National champion signing autographs from 4 to 5 pm at the Brass Ranch at River Run Plaza.
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