Sun Valley is rightfully known for consistent, perfect vertical on our slopes; the best cross country skiing in the country; hiking and mountain biking and rock climbing. But Sun Valley is also famous for its thriving arts scene. Local galleries feature top artists that draw collectors from near and far. Renown speakers and performers grace stages and podiums year-round. The calendar is dotted with star-studded film festivals and conferences. The arts scene in this little town in the Idaho mountains offers so much that visitors are often surprised by the breadth and...
There’s only one complaint from the parents of children participating in the Kids Adventure Games and it’s a pretty simple one: Why don’t you have a course for the grown-ups?!
For the second straight year the Kids Adventure Games (KAG) will return to Sun Valley on Labor Day weekend, September 5-6th. It will be the sixth stop on the nationwide, ski town tour that challenges kids to make their way through an obstacle course that’s basically a gigantic jungle gym in the mountains.
For last year’s inaugural event in Idaho, my oldest son, Jack, teamed up with his good buddy, Isaac Burks. Just a couple days before they started first grade, the six-year-old dynamic duo had a blast.
“It was really fun,” Isaac said.
When asked if he would recommend the KAG to his friends, Jack said that most kids he knows would really like it.
“It makes you stronger and you get to do lots of cool stuff like ‘American Ninja Warrior,’” Jack said, referencing his favorite summer TV show. Jack said that his favorite elements were, “climbing over the water on the nets, doing the rock wall rappelling, shooting water balloons, and mountain biking.”
There are 18 elements on a course that takes less than an hour for most kids. But it’s really not about how long it takes the kids, it’s how much fun they have and how much self-confidence they gain from conquering a very cool, but still taxing course.
Teams of two navigate a “natural terrain” inspired obstacle course that covers the area around River Run Lodge. The race begins on bicycles and then challenges kids with a series of obstacles like zip lines, climbing walls, a Darwin Dash across a floating platform, a tube float down the Big Wood River, a double rope walk, some rock climbing, and it ends with a slip ‘n slide on the face of Baldy down Lower River Run.
One of the best parts about the course is that parents can easily walk along it and watch the kids rappel, slack line or float down the river. There are also lots of course marshals there to help guide the kids.
The Kids Adventure Games is open to teams in boys, girls and co-ed divisions and will take place rain or shine. Teammates don’t even need to be the same age. Registration in advance is recommended, and the entry fee includes not only the day of the actual races, which is Sunday, but also Skills Clinics on Saturday afternoon as well.
With Kids Adventure Games growing in popularity at Sun Valley’s sister ski resorts like Mammoth Mountain, Snowbird, Vail, and Big Sky, it’s obvious that they appeal to young mountain fans. Now if they’d just let some of us older mountain fans/local moms and dads run the course too, there’d be no complaints at all.
“Every kids should do it at least once,” Jack said.
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