The Joy of Weekday Skiing in November

There is a lot to be said for Christmas time in Sun Valley. Ketchum is busy. Restaurants are packed. Hotels are filled. There are late showings of movies at the theater. There is live music abound. New faces and old friends are everywhere. Family visits. It snows. Often it snows a lot. Like last Christmas, for example, when the ready-for-some-snow community woke up on Christmas Day to a good two feet of snow, the best Christmas present ever. Late December brings Christmas, snow, and New Years. There is plenty to do, and everything is bright and festive. The skiing is great.

As a local kid, I was brought into this world in a hospital down the road that has been turned into a dorm and raised on Baldy. Now, I have moved back to my cherished hometown and favorite mountain as an almost-adult. And it has been expectedly great. And the most unexpected treasure of returning to Sun Valley after an eight year absence? Skiing in November and early December. Skiing on weekdays. The skiing right now.

I haven’t skied Baldy outside of Christmastime in eight years. Eight years ago I was in high school. George W. Bush was soon to be sworn in. The Arizona Diamondbacks had just won the World Series. A postal stamp cost 34 cents. Wikipedia was just being introduced to the cyber-world.

So now, at 25, I have moved back to Sun Valley and discovered the best thing outside of 2 feet of snow on Christmas; skiing on a weekday in November. The slopes are empty. The snow is soft. Turns are wide and the sun is even shining. Friends are meeting at the top for some lunchtime turns and kids are hanging out on the pleasant Warm Springs deck.

The guns are running on trails that have yet to open and they are calling for snow this weekend. But this week, I’m going to go and enjoy the sun, snow, and skiing of Baldy on a weekday in November. I hope you can join us.

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Ski Patrol Weekend Update

Winter season opened on thursday and Bryant Dunn, snow safety assistant with Sun Valley Ski Patrol is back to report about weather and riding conditions on Baldy and Sun Valley area for upcoming days!

Happy Thanksgiving and First Day of the Season!

With a new gondola, skiing from top to bottom, and plenty of blue sky and sunshine, Sun Valley kicked off their 74th winter season today. Lines were long, but once 9 o’clock rolled around, skiers and boarders clamored to board the River Run gondola or the Challenger quad on the Warm Springs side, eager to start the season. With nine runs open, like Upper College, Flying Squirrel, Lower Picabo, Lower Warm Springs, Mid and Lower River run, the combination of man-made and natural snow made for some of the best Opening Day conditions in memory. As further proof of ideal conditions, quality snow, decent light, and a good crowd, by noon today the Sun Valley Ski Patrol had no significant accidents to report.

At half day, the skier count estimate was already around 2,500 and between the plethora of Opening Day options, the terrain park features on Lower River Run, the reopening of the legendary Roundhouse, and plenty of sunny deck-space at Warm Springs and River Run Lodges, everyone was stoked to be back in their boots and back on their boards.

Everyone seemed to be out to enjoy the day, as there were reports of celebrity sightings of Bruce Willis and the Crist brothers, as well as local stars like Radio DJ Lenny Joseph, ski team director Don Wiseman, and climbing legend Nappy Neaman. But more importantly, there were plenty of satisfied, exhausted, and woozy-legged skiers and boarders in bright colors, crazy hats, fancy pants with smiles on their faces soaking in the sun on the slopes on our beloved Bald Mountain and enjoying views, French fries, picnics, and PBR’s on the decks of Baldy’s three open lodges.

Happy Thanksgiving and see you on the slopes this weekend!

74th Winter Season Opening Day Info

Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain will open for the 2009-2010 Winter Season tomorrow, November 26th, 2009!

  • Lifts scheduled to be running include #1 River Run, #2 Roundhouse Gondola, #3 Christmas, #10 Challenger, and #15 Kinderspielplatz.
  • Trails scheduled to be open and groomed include Upper College, Flying Squirrel, Lower Picabo, Lower Warm Springs, Roundhouse Lane, Mid River Run, 42nd Street, Lower River Run and the Kinderspielplatz.
  • Mountain Lodges – The River Run Lodge, Warm Springs Lodge, Lookout (limited early season service), and Roundhouse will all be open as well.

Lower River Run will feature a progression terrain park, to remain until mid-December.

Lifts will run to the top 9:00 to 3:45. Lower Lifts will run 9:00 to 4:00.

Information provided above is subject to change based on weather and snow conditions. Check the latest continually updated info and announcements on our Bald Mtn. Report page. We’ll see you on the slopes, have fun!

Sun Valley in Warren Miller’s “Dynasty”

Here are two short excerpts shot in Sun Valley and surrounding areas from latest ski movie, “Dynasty”.

New Year’s Eve Gourmet Dinner in the Lodge Dining Room

Celebrate a special New Year’s Eve dinner with your loved one in the Lodge Dining Room on December 31
featuring a Cocktail Reception and Gourmet 4-Course Dinner. Cost is $145 per person and $85 per child (under age 12). Please call (208) 622-2800 for reservations.

This year there will be 8:30-9:30pm Cocktail Reception in the Lodge Sun Room from 8:30-9:30pm
with the talented Aaron Baker performing on piano. At 9:30pm, move into the Lodge Dining Room for an exquisite four-course dinner featuring live music & dancing with the Brooks Hartell Trio.

New Year’s Eve Limelight Ballroom Party

Celebrate New Year’s Eve Sun Valley style in the Limelight Ballroom from 9pm-1am.
This year, dance the night away with the High Street Band!
There will also be hors d’oeuvres, cash bars and a champagne toast at midnight!
o Tickets are $75 per adult (no children please) at the Sun Valley Recreation Center (208) 622-2135

Sun Valley Resort Christmas Eve Festival 2009

Our annual Christmas Eve Festival on the Sun Valley Lodge Terrace starts at 5pm on Thursday, December 24.
Get into the Christmas spirit with the Sun Valley Carolers, a free performance of “Nutcracker on Ice” featuring talented local ice-skaters, the Torchlight Parade & Fireworks, Santa Claus, free hot chocolate & cookies. Free ice skating after the performance!

2nd Annual Christmas Concert Dec. 23 at the Sun Valley Opera House

Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Classical Christmas Concert at the Sun Valley Opera House.
Doors open at 7:00pm and the show starts at 7:30pm
Tickets are $35 for Adults / $25 for Seniors & Students. No children under age 8 please.
Tickets on sale now at the Sun Valley Recreation Center: (208) 622-2135

For a second straight year Sun Valley Resort brings together four incredible singers for a wonderful night of Christmas music at the historic Sun Valley Opera House. Brother and sister John and Leslie Mauldin and husband and wife Jason and Michelle Detwiler have sung on stages throughout the United States and beyond to rave reviews. Accompanied by an ensemble of talented musicians on strings and piano they are excited to be singing together again and have chosen some of their all-time favorite Christmas songs to share with you. From classical offerings to traditional Christmas tunes, their incredible voices and emotional delivery guarantee a night you won’t soon forget.

Recap by Numbers and Thanksgiving Week Events

So now that the Gondola is officially open and following a party full of free stuff, a packed jib park, tons of "Wow, this is awesome!", more than one "Thanks, Sun Valley!", a tempting 4 inches of fresh pow, here are some numbers to get you even more stoked for the 2009/2010 season:

73: number of ski seasons Sun Valley has been open.
3,400: vertical feet of Bald Mountain.
2,054: Sun Valley’s skiable acres.
65: number of runs on Bald Mountain.
3,200: number of people who rode the new gondola at Saturday’s grand opening.
12,900: feet of cable taking each of the 56 cabins to the top terminal the 1,928 vertical feet to the top.
1,000: feet per minute the gondola travels. Read more…