Laura Flood / Cheeso Memorial Race – Hemingway/Cozy
February 2 – 4, 2013
SVSEF Ski Race
Laura Flood / Cheeso Memorial Race – Hemingway/Cozy
February 2 – 4, 2013
SVSEF Ski Race
USSA Freestyle Spectacular – Bald Mountain & Dollar Mountain
January 17 – 20, 2013
Mogul competition on Race Arena, and slope style and half-pipe competitions on Dollar
1/17 Slopestyle at Dollar
1/18 Pipe at Dollar
1/19 Moguls at Race Arena
1/20 Dual Moguls at Race Arena
For more information, contact 208-726-4129
Opening Day for Bald Mountain & Dollar Mountain
The second annual Ride Sun Valley Mountain Bike Festival rode hard and fast into Central Idaho this weekend. Day 1, Saturday, featured the grueling Galena Grinder. One of the longest running gut-wrenchers in the country, the race has been a showcase of the area’s great mountain biking for over twenty years. A 45 mile cross-country marathon, the Galena Grinder Whit Henry Memorial was the official kick off to the festival, which runs through Sunday, July 8, culimating in the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships.
For those who couldn’t be here to join in Saturday’s fun VisitSunValley turned around this amazing video of highlights from the day, almost as good as being there:
The big news on Saturday, according to Shannon Boffeli at MTBracenews.com, was the presence of California-based team Sho-Air at The Grinder. “Several of the Sho-Air riders chose the marathon event as part of their national championship preparation,” he wrote in his detailed review of the day’s riding and results. “The men’s race included Sho-Air teammates Brendon Davids and Eric Bostrom as well as other national-level big hitters like Jason Siegle (SDG) and Drew Edsall (Kenda/Felt).” Team Sho-Air posted some great pictures of the day on their Facebook page and USA Cycling also posted this review of the day’s race.
Grinder winner Pua Mata (of Team Sho-Air) broadcast her thoughts on twitter:
@moniquepua Just finished the Galena Grinder and was able to take the win! It was definitely a grinder…but such gorgeous country and great race!
While Sun Valley locals haven’t been the quickest to jump on the social media bandwagon, there are some forward-thinking ladies and gentleman who are broadcasting the fun to the twitter-sphere and facebook-verse and the Festival picked up a fair amount of activity this weekend. Sun Valley’s unofficial social media maven and current Master’s XC mountain biking world champion, Rebecca Rusch (@TheQueenOfPain), kept her followers up with the details on The Grinder and Sunday’s Super Duper D on Baldy:
“Galena Grinder XC by rebarusch at Garmin Connect – Details:http://bit.ly/MmeLJ1 Our local XC race in Idaho. Hard and fun.”
“EPIC weekend planned with Galena Grinder and Super Duper D. Full suspension, Reverb and fat tires. FATE has the weekend off”
“Sun Valley Super Duper D by rebarusch at Garmin Connect – Details: http://bit.ly/MmeANV Tall socks, Reverb seat post and baggies! So FUN”
“Smooth is fast! That’s my mantra for today’s super duper D in sun valley.”
We also got a glimpse of the Queen on her way up the mountain:
Facebook was busy after the day’s energies were expended, with competitors such as Matt McCourtney, Drew Edsall and Michael Shaw taking the site to dish on their day. See their posts and other tweets on this Storify I whipped up.
The Festival is well underway and there’s a slew of events and activities to keep competitors and spectators busy this week. The Sun Family will be diving in too. This evening we’ll check out the Idaho Pump Track State Championships at the Ketchum Bike Park. Mr. Sun might try his brand-spanking-second-hand mountain bike out at some Local Stoker Rides (starting tomorrow), and we’ll all head up for the Fat Tire Criterium Tuesday evening. I’m pondering signing Little Sun up for the Kids Race on July 6 (that is if I can teach him how to ride a bike with pedals by then). But the Sun Valley Shakedown on July 7 sounds like more my single-speed (and keeps me on two feet rather than two wheels).
For a complete rundown on everything happening visit Ride Sun Valley.
Sun Valley: Come for the winter, stay for the summer. This well-known valley phrase neatly sums up the schizophrenic nature of existence in a resort town. Life in Sun Valley has always been separated into two distinct seasons: winter and not-winter, and the people who live here fall into one of two camps: “Waiting for Winter” or “Waiting for Winter to End.”
I’m in the latter camp. I love summer in Sun Valley, and the fact that it comes after 7 to 8 months of a frigid, snowy landscape makes it all the better in my book. The only downside is there just isn’t enough time to do everything a Sun Valley summer has to offer before that cold white stuff rolls back in.
Despite the vast differences between our two seasons, there is one thing they have in common. Neither is officially here until the Gondola starts to climb Bald Mountain.
Last Friday marked the official start of the Sun Valley summer, and Mr. Sun and I took the little tykes for their first ride on the Gondola. (I must admit shamefacedly that this was my first ride on the Gondola too – if you want to know why I’ve been so bad, ask me in the comments section below!).
Little Sun was thrilled to get in “the big elevator to the sky” but was disappointed to learn that skiing was not to be a part of this excursion. On the ride up he kept pointing out all the areas where he loves to ski (he’s 4 and so far has only showed off his skiing prowess on Dollar, but clearly he’s already a Waiting for Winter-valleyite). Baby Sun was transfixed, as was I, by the views of the surrounding landscape as we rode in comfortable luxury to an altitude of 7,700 ft, arriving in a few short minutes at the doors of the country’s oldest ski lodge, The Roundhouse.
Once at our destination, we headed for the most family-friendly spot in the 73 year old lodge, settling into Averell’s Bar for some light libations in front of a breathtaking view.
While it is clearly in its element as a curious capsule transporting skiers to their ultimate destination, riding the state-of-the-art Doppelmayr CTEC Detachable-Grip Gondola in the summertime is a new Sun Valley tradition. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling mountain bike ride, a challenging day of hiking or a moonlit dining spot, a ride to the top should definitely be part of your summer Sun Valley Bucket list.
Although conceived as a winter resort in 1935, Sun Valley is so perfect in the summertime I think it gives winter a run for its money as the season to come here for. What do you think? Which camp are you in? Waiting for Winter or Waiting for Winter to End? Tweet us @SunValleyResort or post a comment below.
Details: The Gondola travels from River Run Plaza. From there the top of Baldy is accessible by a quad lift. First ride up is 9 am and the last ride down is 4:30 pm. Ticket prices are here. Mountain biking opens June 30. The Roundhouse serves lunch from 11:30 – 3 pm, with lighter fare available from 3 – 4 pm. Lunch is first-come, first-served, reservations are required for dinner (served Friday and Saturday beginning this Friday, 208.622.2012). Each adult gondola pass receives a $10 coupon for lunch at the Roundhouse.
Paragliding World Cup – PWC
August 18 – 25
Over a hundred of the world’s best paragliding pilots will compete in Sun Valley this summer as part of the 2012 Paragliding World Cup. The Sun Valley event will be the 5th competition of the 2012 circuit season.
The skies over Sun Valley will be filled with colorful paragliding wings as pilots maneuver and race to check points and eventually a daily finish line. The summit of Bald Mountain, the top of the Sun Valley Resort, will be the starting point each day. The flying course and finish line/goal will change daily due to wind and weather conditions. Course lengths of anywhere from 25 to over a hundred miles is expected. Take the River Run gondola up the mountain to witness the action at the launch site as pilots take to the skies. Or better yet, contact Fly Sun Valley to reserve a tandem paragliding flight and join the competitors in the air!
Baldy Super Duper Downhill
Putting the “Super” in Downhill riders race from the top of Bald Mountain to the bottom at River Run. Over 5,000 vertical feet of descending and another 1,000 of climbing. Flowing, fast singletrack, death claw knuckles, glory, and cold hard cash prizes await.
I arrive at the bottom of the mountain last weekend in a hot pink one piece, ski boots and leather chaps … only to find that I am a tad underdressed. It is the 15th Annual Janss Pro-Am Classic on Baldy and the costumes and props are over the top.
The first person I see is Langely McNeal dressed as a Twister board game and moving in a sea of red, yellow, green and blue dots. Langely is standing next to her teammate, who is decked out in striped thigh-highs beneath a colorful minidress (bare-legged on a ski hill, as far as I can tell) and a blue wig with a lollipop hat, in what I can only imagine as the Candyland game.
Their team theme is "Vintage Games"–to match the "Vintage" theme for this years 2012 Stifel Nicolaus Weisel Janss Pro-Am. Langely is joined by the rest of her teammates, which include Monopoly, Barrel of Monkeys, Mr. Potatohead and Operation. Brilliant. They end up sweeping the costume contest award at the end of the weekend, followed in close second by the 10th Mountain Division, and the Gender Benders, with Honeymooners and Tinseltown as Honorable Mentions (be sure to check out the photo galleries below).
The Janss Pro-Am is probably one of the most spirited and lively annual fundraisers in the Valley. It features three nights of hosted parties and revelry sandwiched between two days of dual Giant Slalom racing on lower Warm Springs–in costume and with an announcer to heckle you (if you take yourself too seriously)–all to benefit the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) and its training programs for youth skiers, boarders and Nordic athletes.
(Click here to read the full recap or to check out more photos from this year’s Janss Pro Am.)
Costumes and GS Races draw professional skiers to the slopes of Baldy
It may look like it … but it’s not all fun and games, parties, costumes and hilarity at the Stifel Nicolaus Weisel Janss Pro-Am events and giant slalom races on Baldy’s Lower Warm Springs this Friday and Saturday. In fact, the Janss Pro-Am is one of the most important fundraisers for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF), a valley organization which provides year-round ski and snowboard training and competition opportunities for athletes from the Wood River Valley and beyond.
And they do a good job of it too! Over the past 45 years, the SVSEF has helped launch many athletes onto the world stage. Past alumni include Christin Cooper, Picabo Street, Reggie and Zach Crist, Lynsey Dyer, Morgan Arritola, Jake Adicoff, Tanner Farrow, Kaitlyn Farrington and Langely McNeal, among many others.
And the program keeps growing with the likes of current SVSEF Snowboarder Chase Josey, who recently claimed the top American male spot in the halfpipe at the World Junior Championships in Spain, or SVSEF Gold Team member Shane Cordeau who took Bronze with a podium finish at the U.S. National Freestyle Championships at Stratton Mountain, Vermont, or Tai Barrymore was recently named to the U.S. Freestyle Pro Halfpipe Team.
And while the development, grooming, nurturing and elevation of all that raw talent is certainly the focus of the SVSEF, some of the serious business of those achievements will be temporarily put on the back burner by each of the thirty-two teams of six (which include one pro racer from the ranks of Olympic, World Cup and Pro Tour athletes, and one junior pro SVSEF athlete, combined with four "citizen" skiers/riders of all ski levels) for the next two days in favor of everybody having a good time and letting their how down in celebration of skiing and riding.
Each team dresses in costume in honor of the race theme and in the spirit of the event’s namesake–former owner of Sun Valley Resort, Olympian, SVSEF supporter, and ski and costume party enthusiast: Bill Janss.
The costumes are always creative, entertaining, and wide open to interpretation of the "Vintage" theme, with many details being acquired only after serious consultation with the staff of the Ketchum Sun Valley Ski & Heritage Museum to ensure authenticity. The race format is a dual slalom that is entertaining for both racers and spectators (for a sneak peek, check out the photo gallery from last year)–and you may even see a few wine bottles racing down the slopes, right alongside a team of Austrian ski instructors or 80′s one pieces.
It makes for great spectating!! So look out for the costumed racers of the Janss Pro-Am this Friday and Saturday–you’re likely to see somebody you know.
Handicap races start today (Friday, April 6, 2012) in full costume at 10:30 AM and continue throughout the afternoon on Lower Warm Springs.
Saturday (April 7, 2012) races begin at 10:30 AM, then break for lunch and are followed by the Race Finals–the four top teams competing in a round robin format to determine the winner–after lunch.
Sun Valley Resort’s Limelight Room also hosts the Awards Celebration Dinner and Vintage Party on Saturday night, April 7, 2012.
All the money raised by the Stifel Nicolaus Weisel Janss Pro Am goes to help support the 500 youth skiers and snowboarders on the SVSEF’s teams. For more information on the Pro Am or the SVSEF, visit www.svsef.org.
My favorite run on Baldy is Warm Springs, top to bottom. Okay, so I live at the base. Bias established. But how can I deny Warm Springs the title? What’s not to like about being able to walk home after a day on the hill? No cars, no bus, no fuss. I love Warm Springs because the run, in its proximity to where I live, is a reminder of why I moved here. Live in the mountain’s shadow, watch the snowcats at night, ski it in the morning and go home.
That’s not to say Warm Springs gets my vote simply because it drains homeward. No, Warm Springs is still a solid 3,000 foot descent with some of Sun Valley’s best snow. North-facing, that’s just how it goes.
Technically, I’m speaking about Warm Springs the run. Warm Springs can also, however, be a connector, a faithful linker to the gems tightly sandwiched beneath the lowest ridge: Greyhawk, Hemingway and Cozy. So cozy. Often stitched with race gates, that trio undoubtedly sees the mountain’s fastest skiers.
“Take it over to Hemingway,” patrol told me long ago, trying to get my friends and I off of College.
Well, I did.
… But not all the way. I ski Hemingway fast, but I ski Warm Springs the fastest. Even if it’s not as steep, Warm Springs is open and normally uncrowded. Let ‘em run, I say. The base is watching. Seriously, they are. The lodge’s long windows give a fantastic view of Lower Warm Springs, which becomes a show in and of itself, with skiers fast and slow meandering toward the bridge.
My second favorite run on Baldy? The trees off Fire Trail — and for entirely different reasons: Woods, silence, powder. Yet my answers are just that, my own. Anyone who spends time on Baldy, depending on their priorities, will tell you that this or that is best. They’re right because we’re all right. At Sun Valley there’s hardly anywhere to go wrong and you may as well ski the groomers, the bowls and the trees with the same lofty expectations.