It’s beginning to look a lot like ski season. Baldy’s slopes are clearly delineated in delightful winter white, the forecast this week looks wonderfully snowy (more than a foot of snow expected!), and anticipation fills the air. In just a week, at 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 23, the lifts at the base of River Run and Dollar will spring into action, carrying the lucky first skiers and boarders to the start of what is sure to be an amazing year. This year, Sun Valley celebrates its 82nd season as America’s premiere destination ski resort...
Skiing & Riding
Sun Valley consistently wins awards and raves for our fantastic snowmaking and it is about to get even better. Opening day on Baldy is a mere month away and our team of snowmakers is hard at work channeling their inner magicians, alchemists and scientists to make certain we have a terrific early season.
Thirty-five new cutting edge snow guns will help keep some of Baldy’s most popular runs covered in white, even during the early season.
Contributing to that goal is the addition of 35 new state-of-the-art snowmaking guns. These guns made by Rubis Evo are powerful and cutting edge. Each makes snow using 90 percent less energy per gun and produces two times as much snow per gun as the equipment it replaces. In addition to making super snow, the new guns are super quiet, making the experience of schussing down the slopes an even more peaceful one. They are also significantly taller than older models, standing 10 meters tall instead of six.
The new snowmaking equipment will be found on the popular Upper College, Blue Grouse, Upper Warm Springs and Lower Warm Springs runs on Bald Mountain. Sun Valley currently operates North America’s largest automated snowmaking system and these latest editions to the “fleet” are welcome.
Dennis Harper, head of snowmaking, said “We are really excited because the quality of the snow they produce is great. They are a big benefit to the early season because the system is very productive in warmer temperatures. We can also run 10 of the new guns for the same energy it took to run one of the older ones which is great news in general.”
The view from Baldy is pretty jaw dropping and the 2015-16 season begins in less than a month. Let the countdown begin!
Last season, 47 of the new guns were installed on Baldy and met with rave reviews. The slopes of Lower River Run, Mid River Run, Roundhouse Slope and Upper College benefitted from the new technology and helped keep the fun meter high.
Though the snowmaking timetable is always subject to the whims of Mother Nature, Dennis said, “With the new guns on the opening terrain, we will be able to make more snow at warmer temperatures.” To run snowmaking, daytime temps should be below 50 degrees and for nighttime temperatures, “the colder the better,” according to Dennis. “We will start making snow on November 2 on Baldy, temperatures permitting,” Dennis explained. Snowmaking has already started on Dollar.
It looks like the weather will cooperate with mountain snow above 6,500 feet expected today and daytime temperatures in the 40s and low 50s expected into next week.
Soon, this will again be the scene at the base of River Run as Sun Valley’s legendary snowmaking kicks into action to help to make the early season epic.
With this change of weather, everyone around here is starting to think winter. For locals, once the trick or treat bags have been emptied into a bowl (or eaten!), it is time to sort through equipment, match gloves, clean goggles and take skis or snowboards in for a tune. It’s always a fun time to scout the newest snow fashions, too, and perhaps pick up the latest parka or tech pants or even (gulp) to start thinking about the people on your holiday list. The countdown begins in earnest.
Now is also the perfect time to make sure your legs are mountain ready. Please click HERE for some great tips on getting into ski and riding shape.
As the snow guns rev up for action, now is also the time to get your pass. There are options for people who visit Sun Valley for a weekend, a few weeks a year and for those who want to ski every single day the mountain is open. This year, college passes and other special promotions are also being offered. Click HERE for more information or stop by River Run Lodge to chat with the helpful and knowledgeable staff and pick the pass that’s right for you.
For the time being, be sure to continue to enjoy the late fall in Sun Valley. There’s still time to hike, bike and fly fish before the snow flies. But know that Sun Valley’s epic snowmaking is preparing the mountains for the best season ever.
Let it snow and let it “snow”!
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