Lift Line: NordicTown USA Comes Alive!

Th Sun Valley Nordic Fest kicks off this weekend!

The Sun Valley Nordic Festival kicks off this weekend!

By Katie Matteson

And we’re off!

We all know the great alpine skiing around here, the numerous skiing prodigies raised around here and the world-renown competitions hosted here. But for those not so, well, gravity-inclined, there’s a pretty big Nordic skiing scene around here as well … But really, who are we kidding?? The Olympic Norwegian Nordic Teamtrained here, we host one of the biggest Nordic events of the season, the Boulder Mountain Tour  and our local racers are some of the best in the world. So the Nordic scene here isn’t just big, it’s HUGE! So massive and impressive, in fact, that Sun Valley has recently earned the official title of "NordicTown USA!"

And one of the biggest highlights in NordicTown USA is the annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival. Starting this weekend here in Sun Valley, the event features a plethora of events like the Blaine County Recreation District’s (BCRD) Ski the Rails Day, a randonee race, training clinics with Fischer athlete Nicole DeYong, Alturas Lake Ski Day and aprs dinners, lectures, clinics, the downtown jam and Sprint Races. All culminating in the epic Boulder Mountain Tour. (A complete schedule is available here:

It’s bound to be a busy week of Nordic skiing and celebrating around the Valley, so here is write-up of the five events we won’t be missing during this year’s Sun Valley Nordic Festival!

 1. Skin It 2 Win It Randonee Race!

Saturday, January 28th, 10:00 AM

Dollar Mountain

This premiere Randonee Race will have teams of 1, 2 & 4 persons skinning from the base of Dollar Mountain to the summit where they will remove their skins and ski back to the start to hand off their baton to the next teammate. Racers will complete as many laps as possible in 5 hours. The distance is approx. 1.3 miles and 600 vertical feet.

This is a fund raising event for the Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center. Entry fee is $50/person and must be entered in advance. No registration day of race! Racers are encouraged to secure sponsors to cover entry fee and beyond. Hot drinks & food will be provided for racers. Awards will be same day at Dollar Lodge @ 4:30. Prizes will be awarded for fastest lap, most laps completed, best costume and most money sponsored.

Costumes are required!

Galena Lodge.

2.  Galena and the Trails Winter Benefit

Saturday, January 28th, 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Limelight Room, Sun Valley Inn, Sun Valley

Don’t miss the annual Galena & The Trails Winter Benefit this year on January 28th, the first day of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival. The Benefit is the annual celebration of our community trails and lodge supported by the BCRD. All support from the Benefit goes to the annual costs of maintaining the trails and lodge facilities. For a full list of live action packages for this year’s benefit, click here.

Don’t forget to buy your tickets now, they’re going fast!  Purchase tickets online at!


Highly-acclaimed Nordic ski coach Rick Kapala.

3. Nordic Lecture: Building a Bigger Engine

Monday, January 30th, 7:00 PM

The Community Library, Ketchum

Join Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Head Nordic Coach Rick Kapala for a presentation on how to improve your physical capacities for cross country skiing. They’ll cover training physiology, workout design and training monitoring as key elements in managing your training plan.

4. NordicTown USA Downtown Jam and Sprints

Thursday, February 2nd, 4:00 PM

Downtown Ketchum, at the intersection of 4th and 2nd.

Quickly becoming the "can’t miss" event of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival! World-class sprints with Olympic caliber athletes, kids races and accompanying music all in one! Get some dinner with Galena Lodge onsite, grab a warm drink and enjoy the bonfire and on site winter artwork after checking out the amazing sprint races!

Tim Snider and Sound Society are going to rock the Ketchum Downtown Jam and Nordic Town USA Sprint races! Tim has traveled to Europe, Cuba, Morocco, Spain, Indonesia, and much of Central America in his ongoing journey to study the world’s different styles of music. Blending American roots, world beat and Latin rhythms into an inspired sound that has been dubbed “World Rock,” the group creates a high-energy performance that gives its audiences an irresistible desire to dance. Some say it is just foot-stomping soul-stirring goodness!

Grab the kids, bundle up and get ready to watch the races, dance and then compete in the legendary World Snowshoe Dance Competition. Refreshments will be available for purchase and the bonfire will be going!

5.  2012 SWIX Boulder Mountain Tour

Saturday, February 4th, 10:00 AM

Senate Meadows (Start area)

One of America’s longest running and most respected cross-country ski races, the Boulder Mountain Tour (BMT) is the Wood River Valley’s winter treasure. Drawing a field from across the country, and across the spectrum of abilities, the BMT welcomes all. The race traverses the spectacular Boulder Mountains for 32 kilometers of breath-taking beauty and world-class competition. Some of the finest skiing to be found anywhere on the planet combined with warm hospitality and first-rate race organization.





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