The ski season is almost here and it’s the perfect day for a party: the 2009/2010 Winter Expo and Gondola Ganza
It’s almost here. Snow is falling. Lifts are moving. Skis around town are coming out of garages and getting a fresh tune. The snow guns are running full force. The 2009/2010 ski season is literally, just around the corner. And with the completion of the new gondola, Sun Valley decided it was time to celebrate.
Today was the Sun Valley Winter Expo and Gondola ‘Ganza at the base of River Run, and it was the perfect way to open the season. A traditional ribbon cutting ceremony kicked off the day and included speeches by mountain manager, Peter Stearns, the president of lift company Doppelmayr, the mayors of both Sun Valley and Ketchum, and Sun Valley owner, Carol Holding. The excitement was palpable, as thousands of people drank beer and free hot cocoa in the mile-long line to get a free ride on the new gondola, River Run Express #2.
Once in one of the brand spanking new 56 cabins, tourists and locals alike seemed twitterpatted by the gondola’s speed, the smooth six minute 40 second-ride from the base of River Run to the Roundhouse, the warmth of the cabins, and the views of the new lines to hit in Sleeping Bear and never-before-seen views of classic runs like Olympic. The only worry I heard was whether or not powder-specific Pontoons would actually fit in the ski racks. But on a storybook, blue sky and sunny, Sun Valley day like today, that worry seemed very little.
The Gondola ‘Ganza also showcased features from Snow Park Technologies new Jib Park, a retail expo with the newest ski threads from Pete Lane’s, Brass Ranch, Smith Optics and Scott, a snow cat demonstration that had kids of all ages climbing over the Bombardier BR-500, and "Tastes of the Mountain", where you could taste the grub from each of Baldy’s four lodges.
There was also a free snowshoe/foot race from River Run Plaza to the Roundhouse Gondola Top Terminal put on by the guys at the Elephant’s Perch. Speedy local, John Reuter, established the very first course record. Followed by 85 other racers, Reuter finished at 30 minutes 28 seconds, a mere 23 minutes behind the first gondola cabin.
With parking lots full to the brim, a gondola line that literally overflowed into the parking lot, a delicious lunch spread, visitors from far and wide, locals from around the corner, and an infectious positive spirit, the Gondola ‘Ganza was the perfect way to get excited for the ski season. See you Thursday for Opening Day!