28
Nov
2014
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Winter

Off and Carving!

There's nothing quite like the first day of ski season. There's a buzz and excitement in the air most of us haven't experienced since the beginning of another year in elementary school, except instead of getting handed homework at the end of the day, we get to grab a hot chocolate or a hoppy beverage and hit the hot tub!

It hasn't been that long since Logan Johnston and his friends were enjoying their first day of another school year. Logan is a recent graduate from the Sage School in Hailey, as are two of the three friends who camped out all night with him to make sure they'd be on the first chairlift of the season at Sun Valley.

It was Logan's third straight year catching the first chair on opening day. This year, he was joined by fellow Sage School alumni Sarah and Luke Verst, and Claire Sauerbrey, who's a senior at Wood River High.

"It's just fun, to camp out the night before and then to be on the first chair. Something you'll always remember," Logan said, adding that winter camping at the base of Baldy isn't bad at all, "so long as you have a good sleeping bag!"

Of course, Logan and his friends aren't the first skiers to ever camp out at the base of Bald Mountain. Warren Miller did so long before his films became synonymous with skiing in America. Just a handful of years younger than Warren, Dennis is 85 years old and has been calling Sun Valley home, for at least part of the year, for three decades now.

While we road the gondola up in the early afternoon, I asked Dennis what first brought him to our little haven of Idaho, he replied in a strong British accent, "An airplane."

Despite suffering mildly from Alzheimer's, Dennis is still a strong skier and has obviously kept his sense of humor. Since everyone is "too damn serious" nowadays, Dennis said he wouldn't want to live if he couldn't make people laugh. He then answered my original question.

"Skiing is what brought us here," he said, explaining that he's also skied quite a bit in Europe. "And skiing is what keeps bringing us back every winter."

Skiing is what brings Mike from Eagle up for Thanksgiving weekend as well. Mike, who's originally from New Jersey, and his wife are now "empty nesters" and their new tradition is to take advantage of the early season ski and stay packages Sun Valley offers.

"It's an amazing deal to ski and stay for what they charge, it's surprising more people near us (in the Treasure Valley), don't take advantage of it," Mike said, as we rode up Christmas chair. He said that most of the people he'd met on lifts that day had been locals, particularly from Hailey.

"The locals here seem to really have a passion for this mountain," Mike said adding with a big smile, "I can see why. Coming up here for Thanksgiving and opening weekend is our new tradition and we love it!"

Smiles were in abundance for the opening of Sun Valley's 79th ski season. Thanks to some "nice help from Mother Nature," as Sun Valley Resort's Jack Sibbach said about November's numerous snowfalls, and the work of Baldy's world-renown snowmaking crew, conditions were terrific. Accompanying the eight runs and five lifts for opening day on Baldy (Dollar Mountain was also open for the younger/newer skiers and park riders), the weather was warmer than usual for Thanksgiving so the slopes and sun decks remained bustling from the first chair of the season until the last one for the day.

Much to the delight of skiers and boarders across the globe, another season is underway in Sun Valley and if the opening day conditions are any hint, it should be another one to remember for America's original destination ski resort.

"It sure does look pretty promising," Logan Johnson said, just before the first chair of the year headed up River Run and hundreds of opening day skiers and riders hooted and hollered in approval.


25
Nov
2014

Winter

Thanksgiving Homecoming

It is a universal truth that even if you are lucky to live in the most spectacular spot in the world, as those of us who call Sun Valley home,...

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21
Nov
2014

Skiing & Riding

Sun Valley Primed for Great Opening Day

Thanks to Mother Nature and Sun Valley's legendary snowmaking equipment, Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain are set for a super Thanksgiving Day opening on November 27. Yes, that...

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19
Nov
2014

Shopping

Style on the Slopes

With only a week to go until the 2014-15 ski season officially kicks into gear, now is the time to begin to think about looking hot in the winter cold....

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17
Nov
2014

Events

Light the lights and deck the halls

With this weekend's snowfall and brisk temperatures, it's beginning to look - and feel -- a lot like Christmas and the fun-filled and festive season that is in...

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More Reading

Birding Heaven


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If you like to birdwatch, Sun Valley has an amazing opportunity for you. A three-day “Birds of a Feather” itinerary includes amazing early summer birding on the one-of-a-kind Silver Creek Preserve and the beautiful Camas Prairie Marsh with lots of time built in to learn, socialize, nibble, and nosh. From June 1 – 4, join fellow minded enthusiasts for demonstrations, presentations, and guided birding field excursions. All levels of birders are welcome.
This June, the opportunity for unparalleled bird watching in spectacular places can be yours over an action-packed, fun-filled long weekend The first day welcomes participants to the beautifully appointed and historic