10
Jan
2017
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Skiing & Riding

Snow, Glorious Snow!

When you live in a ski resort, there are few words that warm the heart like “major snow event expected,” and in the past month, we have delighted in these words again and again. In this, my ninth winter as a full-time resident of the Wood River Valley, the snow outside my house has never, ever been as deep as it was this morning and the wonderful gift from Mother Nature just keeps on giving. In the mountains, it’s even better.

Photo by Jon Mancuso

Director of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol, Mike Lloyd, said Tuesday was “one of the top three best days on Baldy in my career.” That career, mind you, spans 42 years, so you can only imagine how good it is. “All gates on the mountain are open, and we hit 60 inches on the snow stake which really is a milestone,” he added. “It’s just a great day up here. People are coming up after skiing Easter Bowl and telling us it’s the best they’ve ever skied it!”

Since early December, Sun Valley’s Bald and Dollar Mountains and the valley beneath the slopes have been blessed with 105 inches of snow.  It just doesn’t get any better than this. In the past 72 hours, we have received upwards of two feet of wonderful white, fluffy powder and the forecast predicts that it will just keep coming!

Local children awoke to the announcement Monday morning of a snow day, a rare occurrence in these parts. Many made a break for the mountain to take advantage of a true powder day. Many adults may also have declared a snow day and done the same, calling in to work with a severe case of powder fever.

Photo by Cory Smith

Jonna Mendes, a former Olympian and program director for the Sun Valley Ski Academy, took her six-year-old son Declan over to Dollar on Monday to enjoy fresh tracks.  “We could not resist hitting the slopes, after all it's called a snow day!” she said. “What better place to go after a big snow storm than the mountain? Declan is just getting old enough that we can really ski together, and this was a snow day that we will remember for a long time. They don't come very often, so we did our best to take advantage of each great run.” 


Photo by Cory Smith

With 97 trails (yes, 97!) and 12 lifts open on Baldy, it’s an epic season already in Sun Valley with more snow expected and more fun in the near future with the Martin Luther King, Jr. long weekend coming up and Presidents’ Week just around the corner.

With all this snow, though, common sense need prevail!  The amazing members of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol are working like crazy to keep you safe while you’re covered in powder. With all the fast falling snow, there is high avalanche danger and it is imperative that, even on Baldy, skiers and riders heed all warnings, closures, and signs. This includes a prohibition of uphill traffic until further notice while avalanche mitigation takes place. If you want to be in the know, you can receive snow and powder alerts on your mobile device by texting SVSNOW to 42427.

Patrol Director Mike Lloyd added, “Sun Valley Ski Patrol thanks everyone for being good mountain users.”


My two favorite 5’3” sixth graders in the backyard. Yes, the snow really is chest deep!

Not a big powder skier? Now might be the time to spend some quality time with one of the pros at the Sun Valley SnowSports School to get some pointers on getting the most of current conditions. Don’t be intimidated! With a little instruction, you will be riding the pow like never before.

If you love to ski or ride or slide or glide, there is no better place to be than in Sun Valley. The snow just keeps falling, blanketing the mountains and valley in pristine powder, ensuring the weeks to come will be filled with joy for locals and visitors alike. It’s a pretty amazing winter, come enjoy it!


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Favorite Holiday Traditions Old and New


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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