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 & Riding
We have all been waiting anxiously and counting down the days until Bald and Dollar Mountains open for the season. That day is nearly here. On Thanksgiving morning, November 26, starting at 9 a.m., skiers and riders will hop on the lift at the base of River Run kicking the snow season into high gear.
Thanks to some early season snow storms and Sun Valley’s outstanding snowmaking, plan on making turns on quite a few runs. The runs slated to be open on Thursday include Upper College, Lower College, Sunset Strip, 42nd Street, Mid River Run, Lower River Run, Ridge, Blue Grouse, Roundhouse Slope, Lower Canyon and Upper Christmas Bowl – allowing enthusiasts to enjoy Baldy from top to bottom. Runs will be serviced by River Run Quad, Lookout Express, Christmas, Roundhouse Gondola and the Kindelspielplatz. The River Run Lodge and Lookout Restaurant will be open for a snack or a hot chocolate to tide you over until it is time for a Thanksgiving feast.
The cats are busy every night readying top-to-bottom runs on Baldy for opening day November 26. Let the fun begin!
On Dollar Mountain, Sepp’s, Poverty Flats, Quarter Dollar Bowl, Prospector Park, Progressive Park and the new mini-pipe will be open. Depending on natural snow and snowmaking, more terrain could also open for the early season. Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge will welcome skiers and riders who may need to rest their legs or grab a refreshment.
Sun Valley’s SnowSports School will be fully operational starting Thanksgiving Day, as well. Whether you or someone in your family is an absolute beginner or is need of a brush up to start the season off on the right foot, Sun Valley’s accomplished instructors are here to help. Group and private lessons are available.
Right now is the time to get your passes and make sure you are ready for that first chair on Thursday. My family made its annual pilgrimage to the River Run Lodge last weekend to secure ours. Sitting in front of the magnified map of Baldy for a photo each year and, minutes later, taking home a shiny new pass is always a highlight of the year. There are passes available to fit the needs of every skier or boarder. Please check HERE to see which choice is best for you (you can even purchase it online), or visit the helpful folks at River Run to discuss your options and get the pass that makes the most sense for you. Whether you are in town for a week or the season; if you are a college student or a senior, there is a perfect pass for you.
Securing your pass always makes the coming of the snow season very real and exciting. Get yours today so you can enjoy every minute the mountains are open on Thursday.
For some, the ski season on Baldy started early. For the fifth year, lucky young alpine and freestyle athletes representing 25 junior and college teams got first dibs on the mountain during a pre-season camp that runs from November 21 to 25. The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) is hosting this camp and said more than 150 racers from across the western United States are training on the hill with their own coaches and teammates. An additional 125 local racers are also enjoying the “home field.” The camp offers tremendous training, mileage, and early season learning opportunities. In an earlier interview, SVSEF Alpine Director Scott McGrew said, “This provides our club with an excellent opportunity for world-class skill development and training in the early part of the season. We travel all over the world looking for opportunities to find training and conditions like this. We are thrilled to be able to have it right here in our backyard.”
Lucky young athletes from all over the west are enjoying a preseason SVSEF camp on Baldy this week, training for the season to come and having a blast.
On Thursday, it will be everyone else’s turn to feel the snow beneath their skis or boards and to enjoy the world-class Sun Valley experience. Cold temperatures and sunny days are predicted for this week and next weekend so snowmaking should continue to do its magic and recreationists can look forward to a terrific start to the long season ahead. It is always a great moment when you stand atop Baldy for your first run, take in the jaw dropping panoramic views, and push off into your first turns on College as the ground slopes away from you, quickly finding your rhythm. Wahoo!
Now is also the time to tune your skis or board at Pete Lane’s at the base of River Run and to replace that missing neck gator or mittens (or maybe a even get a new ski parka) at Brass Ranch. Maybe the best way to start the season is with a pair of new ski boots – what a difference the perfect fit makes. Let the pros at Pete Lane’s help you with that, too.
Get ready for the season at the base of River Run. Right now, the selection of ski clothes and accessories is fantastic at Brass Ranch, and the pros at Pete Lane’s can tune your skis and equip you with anything you might need (or want!)
Please check back to this website for more information about opening day, open trails, and conditions.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving and wonderful first tracks on opening day. Let the season begin!
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