March puts the ‘sun’ in Sun Valley as days grow suddenly longer and brighter, the snow on the mountains begins to turn to corn, and the party at River Run, Roundhouse, and Warm Springs moves outside. Think bluebird skies, lots of live music, the sun on your face, and nothing to do but play all day. Lucky for so many that spring break falls smack in the middle of this munificent month. This year, the pleasures of a family spring break in Sun Valley are even more palatable with a Kids Ski Free special in March. Yes, you read that...
Skiing & Riding
When America’s favorite groundhog, Punxsutawney Phi, recently saw his shadow and announced there would be six more weeks of winter, Sun Valley folks were both confused and excited. For it’s been so warm to start 2015 that it feels like spring has already arrived. But since the ski conditions in Sun Valley have been—and continue to be—terrific, no one around here wants winter to end any time soon.
Despite a rather warm couple of storms that dumped mostly rain on the lower elevations, Baldy has been skiing and boarding exceptionally well this week. Nearly a foot of fresh snow blanketed the slopes in the last few days. Alpine enthusiasts of all ages have been raving about everything from the smooth and fast groomers to the unmatched beauty of carving turns in the bowls.
“People are definitely pretty stoked, enthusiastic, any word you want to use that means ‘happy,’” explained Claudia, when asked how the ski crowd has been enjoying the conditions. Claudia bartends at River Run Lodge and is in her 4th year in Sun Valley after moving up from Arizona.
“It’s been surprisingly good. I thought it would be really scrape-y and ice-y, but it’s been really nice,” Wendy agreed. Dividing her time between Northern California and Sun Valley, Wendy has been skiing locally since 1984 and would always chose Baldy over the Lake Tahoe resorts closer to her other home. “Why? Because Tahoe is usually scape-y and ice-y,” she said with a smile.
“It’s like winter on top with spring skiing on the bottom. I had a good time,” said Taylor, who grew up locally and plays forward for the Sun Valley Suns hockey team when he’s not bartending at River Run.
“The top was good. It was really surprising. The only reason I even went up is because I had a friend in town. I’m glad I did. We skied the bowls all day,” said Eric, a local for more than 20 years who had only planned to ski for an hour, but lasted much longer than that and returned to find the two golden retrievers in the back of his truck dying to go have some snowy fun of their own.
“It was much better than we expected it to be! Best Powder Day ever!” a group of kids from the Community School happily reported. More than a hundred local students, from 3rd through 12th, grades took to the slopes earlier this week as part of the school’s annual “Powder Day.”
“It’s really fun right now. There aren’t too many people. The conditions are really good. The snow is soft and the weather is warm. The sun’s been coming out. There have just been some a great days out here,” said Ryan, a liftee in his 5th season. Originally from Los Angeles, Ryan learned to ski and snowboard in Sun Valley.
“Everybody’s happy on a perfect day like this one,” he said. “There are friendly people everywhere when the sun is out in Sun Valley.”
That’s why it’s just fine with most Sun Valley fans if there are six more weeks of winter. It is, after all, awfully tough to top a great day on the slopes of Baldy or Dollar. And why the only talk about Groundhog’s Day around here will be people quoting the movie: “That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day over, and over, and over?!”
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