Fresh snow, big sun and plenty to do around town!

Under blue skies and with three feet of new snow in the last two weeks, January is coming to a close in Sun Valley. With the 2009/2010 season only halfway done, don’t even bother thinking about spring yet! Head up on the mountain and shred, enjoy a beer on the decks of Roundhouse or Warm Springs and work on your goggle tan, get your heart rate pumping and head uphill on your Nordic skis, and make sure to enjoy any of the happenings around town.

The first annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival kicks off tomorrow with a week full of events, workshops, clinics, and parties all leading up to the main event, the Boulder Mountain Tour next Saturday. (www.svnordicfestival.com)

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 30th, is also the first ever January Rail Jam at the 511 Building. The event will take place at the 511 Building parking lot on Leadville Avenue between 5th and 6th streets. Boarders and skiers will ride the rails, including the steep stairway down to the parking lot while DJ Spicetrain spins the soundtrack, with a $500 prize going to the rider with the best tricks. There will be food, drinks, and music, with all proceeds benefiting the SVSEF and Mountain Town Events. Check it out from 7-10pm tomorrow night and don’t miss the afterparty at the Roosevelt following the competition. Organized by Sun Valley Snowboard Team coach, Andy Gilbert and the city of Ketchum, the January Rail Jam is the first of its kind around town and promises to be a good time.

With two local athletes heading to the Olympics next month, as well as a third SVSEF athlete being named to the Olympic team yesterday, our community definitely has something to celebrate. Simi Hamilton, an SVSEF Olympic Development athlete and Nordic skier from Aspen, CO, was named yesterday to the 2010 Olympic Team. After a standout season that has included a US National Championships and a trip to the World Championships, he will now join Graham Wantanabe and Morgan Arritola in representing Sun Valley and the US at the Vancouver Olympics. Come celebrate and show support for our local athletes as the SVSEF and Sun Valley Company throw them a send-off party Sunday, January 31st at the Sun Valley Nordic Clubhouse from 4pm-6pm. A part of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival, the Olympic Send-Off Party will honor our newest Olympic heroes as well as local Para-Olympians Elitsa Storey, Andy Soule, and Mark Bathum.

Now head out and enjoy that epic Sun Valley sun and we’ll see you around town.

Roundhouse First Tracks Breakfast

The Start of World Cup Wednesdays!

The Sun Valley Town Series kicked off its 19th year of ‘Wednesday World Cup" races yesterday with a light dusting of snow on Greyhawk’s Cozy, plenty of friendly competition, and a little bit of not-so-friendly competition for the coveted fifth place spot. The annual eight-week event features a weekly GS race, with racers each getting an option of taking one or two runs, and then a Wednesday night party that rotates between local bars. This week’s party took place at the Roosevelt, where racers and teams sat around, watched themselves on the race video and enjoyed beer, chili, quesadillas, waiting to hear if they were the fifth-place man or woman and the winner of a fifth of tequila.

Thirty-two teams and around 110 racers clicked into their sharp-edged GS skis, snowboards, tele-skis, and even a few twin-tip fat skis this week. Setting the course, timing the racers, putting together the results, and handing out the weekly prizes, the Sun Valley Race Department put on quite a race yesterday. The fastest man and woman for Wednesday January 27th were Robin Sarchett (from team Dead Last) and Erika Hogan (from the SVSEF Team) finishing at a speedy 25.95" and 27.06" respectively. JP McNeal from the Puttin’ In Is For Winners Team finished as the rabbit, at 56th place. For the coveted fifth place guy and girl and the winner of a fifth of tequila, this week it was SVSEF’s Nate Schwing and Scott USA’s Toby Arnett. The second most coveted spot, 55th and a winner of a baby fifth of tequila, was Hores to Culture’s Kevin Moss.

Each week the start order and format changes, with the most important element for racers and teams being consistency, so check back next week for all of next week’s results and photos of the Town Series ruckus.

Ski Patrol Update 1/26/ – 2/2/2010

Welcome to Nordic Town, USA!

This Saturday marks the kickoff of the first annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival. Lasting from January 30th to February 7th, the festival which is promoting Nordic Skiing from one of the country’s premiere Nordic skiing areas, will include demonstrations, parties, celebrations, races, seminars, and more. The week’s events will culminate in the 35th annual Boulder Mountain Tour.

Starting Saturday, January 30th, with the Blaine County Recreation District Ski the Rails/ Downtown Hailey Celebration and continuing throughout the week with events like Boulder Mountain Tour Preps and Clinics, Alturas Lake Skis, an aprs-ski party at historic Smiley Creek Lodge, an evening with ski-writer Dick Dorworth, Avalanche Awareness Programs with the Sawtooth National Avalanche Center, guided snowshoe adventures, the first Sun Valley 5K Snowshoe Challenge, and Sun Valley Nordic Sprint Races. There will also be a Downtown Ketchum Nordic night on Thursday, February 4th, with friendly competition, music from Reno-based World Pop group Sol’Jibe, and a bonfire. The party will take place at the future site of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, across from the Ketchum Post Office. Check out the Sun Valley Nordic Festival’s website for a complete list of the week’s activities (www.svnordicfestival.com).

The highlight event of the week will be the Boulder Mountain Tour. The 32-km world famous race starts at Senate Meadows and snakes along the immaculately groomed trails along the beautiful Big Wood River. Don’t miss your chance to race alongside some of the country’s best Nordic skiers and enjoy some spectacular views. New to the tour this year, the Half Boulder Mountain Tour. Beginning at the Tour’s halfway point, Baker Creek, the 15K course is an excellent opportunity for young and novice skiers to check out what the Boulder Mountain Tour is all about. For more information or to sign up for the race, go to www.bouldermountaintour.com.

A special thanks goes out to the Nordic Festival’s organizers including the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau, the Blaine County Recreation District (BCRD), the Boulder Mountain Tour, the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, the Sun Valley Nordic Center (nordic.sunvalley.com), the Elephant’s Perch, the Sawtooth National Avalanche Center and many more who made this awesome week of Nordic skiing happen. Welcome to Nordic Town, USA!

Graham Wantanabe headed to the Olympics!

Local snowboarder and Boardercross competitor, Graham Wantanabe, has officially nabbed a spot in the Vancouver Games! Wantanabe, another SVSEF Olympic Development athlete, Wood River High School graduate, and lifelong Sun Valley resident, will compete in his second Olympic Games in February.

After he did not qualify for the 2006 Winter Games, Graham attended as a Wax Tech for the US Snowboard Team. But when a teammate was unfortunately injured during training, Graham was in the right place at the right time and filled the vacancy on the Olympic squad. But this year, Graham has taken a more traditional route and qualified at last week’s snowboardcross World Cup in Stoneham. Graham’s second place finish concretes his spot on the Olympic Team. Read the entire story: click here.

Don’t miss Graham next month and send him tons of Sun Valley love!

Three Powder Days in One Week for Sun Valley!

There’s nothing like 22″ of fresh powder before Thursday and another 5″ last night to bring a community together. Fat skis and boards were out in hoards Tuesday and  Thursday, then again Friday, as skiers and boarders hooted, hollered, and smiled through face shots following some of our biggest dumps all season. We say, we’ll take lift lines, Tuesday’s delayed openings (for safety precautions), and digging our cars out any day if we can get more powder like this. So give yourself a powder day or hang on until Saturday because they say there is even more coming tonight! Grab your girlfriends or your ski buddies, share a chair with a stranger, and go shred. Have fun out there and be safe!

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Her Turn Women’s Alpine Ski Clinic Friday-Sunday, March 5-7

Her Turn Women’s Alpine Ski Clinic – March 5-7, 2010
Intermediate to expert women Alpine skiers who want to improve their ski technique, broaden their ski experience, and enjoy the camaraderie of other women while exploring Baldy, should not miss this program.
Women’s Clinic cost is $550 and includes:
-5 hours of on-snow instruction and lunch on Bald Mountain each day
-Video analysis
-Morning Yoga sessions
-Special Gate Training
-Apres Ski Party on the last day of class
-Gift Bags
-Personalized coaching and instruction from the nations top female ski instructors
(Price does not include lift tickets)
Space is limited! Sign up now at the SnowSports School 208-622-2289
Or click here to go to our website for more information.

Mountain Update – January 21, 2010

Check out today’s fresh footage from Baldy’s slopes!

Ski Patrol Update for 1/20 – 26