The Roundhouse Gondola Opening at 9:00

 

Starting tomorrow (Friday), the Roundhouse Gondola will be opening at 9:00 am instead of 10:00 for the duration of the season.  The Mountain guys had gotten some feedback from early hikers and others about the loss of that early morning ride.  Now they  have worked out a way to get the Gondola running for passengers at 9 and the Christmas lift just as soon as they can. This should be close to 9:00, perhaps a few minutes after, but they will run it as soon as they can get it open.

We know there will be some happy hikers who had built their days around an early trip up the Bald Mountain Trail before going off to work for the day, and liked to get up and out before the heat of the day.

See you there

James Taylor and Carole King Tonight

 

James Taylor and local favorite Carole King will be continuing their extremely successful national tour tonight with a stop at our River Run Plaza.  Alas, all sold out.  Instantly, in fact, the day they went on sale some months ago. We only wish we had more seats. (Working on it, by the way) And that is why, in case you noticed, the Gondola closed early today. They are setting up the stage for the show all day today.

But all will be back to normal Tuesday morning for all the hikers and bikers and flyers that have been up every day.  And the Weather Service is  forecasting hot, hot, hot weather for the rest of the week so plan to take your lunch break at the Roundhouse, or ride up just for the fresh air, or try an afternoon glass of wine on the deck up there.  I promise you, it is worth the trip.

We’re hearing rumors that they might go back to starting the lifts at 9am instead of 10…Anybody have an opinion on that?  We know there were a few early hikers that got their schedules messed up by the 10:00 opening.  A nice gesture, if they do it.  We’ll see…

Look for our earlier blog with the description of the Bald Mountain Trail. You’ll find it a tough hike up, but a beautiful walk, and a very civilized trip down on the Gondola (free).

See you there

Musician Dave Mason to perform at River Run on July 21

A Celebration of Mountain Life

a benefit for the family of Tim Michael and in recognition and gratitude to all Wood River Valley First Responders at River Run will take place on Wednesday, July 21.

Dave Mason, Kole Moulton and the Lonely Road and the Disciples of Rock to perform at River Run Wednesday, July 21 from 5-9pm.
Tickets are $20, Kids age 12 and under are $5.

From noon to 4pm there will be emergency rescue equipment demonstrations.

Concert tickets are available at Atkinsons Markets in Ketchum and Hailey. $20 for adults, and $5 for kids 12 & under.

Can you believe it?  Here, in  our little town, the ever popular Dave Mason with the disciples of Rock…That River Run concert venue is proving itself to be a great one for performers and enthusiasts both!  What a great spot though, cooler when the sun gets lower, and beautiful with the mountain at your back and the river just in front as you sit on the grass enjoying the show.  And the acoustics are amazing there, it seems the mountainside captures the music and bounces it right back at you. It will be a memorable evening for everybody.

This one is a benefit, organized by the tireless Julie Gallagher and members of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol for the family of Tim Michael who left us this winter while skiing on Baldy. And it is part of a whole afternoon of activities there at the River Run Plaza.   There will be displays and demonstrations by the Wood River Valley First Responders and the Ski Patrol.   The gondola will be running, and there will be lunch served at the Roundhouse during the day. You’ll see games and fun stuff for everybody, kids included.

There will be BBQ, a no-host bar, a silent auction and a raffle for 2 season ski passes on Baldy. The whole Ski Patrol will be out, enjoying the event, and offering the latest version of the Ski Patrol t-shirts and hats for sale. It all goes to a good cause. And a good time for everybody.

Bring the kids and bring your own picnics if you prefer, but be sure to come help out, you won’t regret it.

See you there

It’s Hot Out There, and Cool on Baldy

 It seems that July has finally arrived, and now it’s getting pretty hot out there around town. It could be in the 80′s today, possibly even the 90′s by the weekend. The coolest place in the valley  will have to be the Roundhouse up on Baldy. Great place for lunch at the BBQ on the deck, or a nice sitdown meal inside around the fireplace.  They are telling us that the restaurant is considerably less crowded than it was last weekend, so it might be a great time to get up there and give it a look.  And you can ride right on up to the summit at the old Lookout building, stroll around take some pics, and if you are lucky, it is always fun to watch the parasailers take off from the top.  

Ask the mountain guys about the walking trails available, and bike rentals there at Pete Lane’s.  Kaleb is almost always  there and will be happy to supply maps, directions, schedules, even water and snacks if needed.

Look at our previous blog about the Bald Mountain Trail, it describes the hike up, but you could always use it for the walk down just as easily. Think about bringing a light jacket or sweater as well so you don’t get surprised…

See you there

Alert…Lifts closing Early on Friday and Monday

 

Due to a special event, the Mountain Guys will be closing the lifts on Baldy at 2:00 pm on Friday with the LAST RIDE DOWN at 2:30. Try to schedule your day a little earlier, so you don’t get caught short up there after the lift closes. This is a one day deal, and we are back to normal operation on Saturday.

Oh, now we are told to expect the same thing on Monday on account of James Taylor and Carole King. So plan to catch that 2:30 car down unless you prefer to walk down on your own…

See you

Bald Mountain Trail, Details

So, if you are thinking of walking up Baldy as far as the top of the Gondola some beautiful morning, here is a description of the best foot trail going up the front side of the mountain:

First, some details:

The walk is about 4 miles from the River Run Plaza to the Roundhouse. (That’s where the top of the Gondola is) Plan on one hour and 20 minutes of walking time, plus any time you spend resting. Give yourself a good 2 hours, unless you are going to get after it and walk non-stop with purpose.  Then you will be there in about 1 hour 20. There is one water stop, but it is very nearly at the end of your walk, so it won’t help you if you run out of water early on.  Most smart walkers carry at least a small bottle of water for the trip. Also, the Mountain guys warn that you need always to be prepared for bad weather or the possibility that the lift could be closed when you get there due to lightning, or some other situation. In case of lightning, they WILL help you with alternate transportation down the mountain, but it can be cumbersome and sometimes slow, so you may have to be patient.   

Okay, to the walk… You will start out to the left of Pete Lane’s bike shop, walk toward the trees, (not up the mountain, yet)  and look for the big sign at the entrance to the trail. There will be some signage about being responsible in case of bad weather, dogs on the lift(no) and such.  The trail parallels the river here, and climbs slightly away from the valley floor gradually bringing you high enough to get a nice view of town. You will see a row of nice Mcmansions along the river bank with their lawns planted right down to the water. (How can they do that?)

At about 1 mile the trail moves away from the river and through a nice shaded section where you should slow down and listen to the silence. Very calming, a nice sensation. If you look carefully above you, you will see the bottom terminal of the Frenchman’s lift through the trees above. Don’t go there. Then a short hot section out in the sunshine that traverses out to the USFS overlook viewing all of Ketchum, Sun Valley and the Pioneer mountains in the distance. Nice view, great spot for a rest, and not a bad spot to turn back after enjoying the view if you are so inclined.  The trail up goes back across the sunny slope (great flowers here) and at about mile 2.2 will be your first road crossing. Do not be tempted. The shortest route from here is right up the trail to the Gondola.  Go across the road and up the trail into the woods again. You will cross Can-Can, Lower College a few times, Graduate, and Flying Squirrel as the trail swtchbacks up toward the Louis Steur Memorial at 3.5 miles.

The sign says Louis was a gentleman, and he was. He worked for Sun Valley for along time, and enjoyed these mountains as a pilot, a glider pilot, a skier and a climber. He died in the Sawtooths doing what he and most all of us,  love to do.  Think of him as you drink his water and enjoy the shade.  Then stroll 50 yards up to Roundhouse Lane (here it looks like a two-lane road).  Follow the signs down the road to the left about .4 mile or about 10 minutes, and you will see the Roundhouse! Beer, wine, coffee, soda, lunch and a free ride down to River Run. The lift operators will greet you as you arrive. Be sure to say “hi” to Benjy, he’s always  there.

And congratulations on a great walk and a nice climb. You will really appreciate the gondola ride down, and the quiet that descends over you when floating above Exhibition and Sleeping Bear if you just listen to it.

Some day, we can talk about the hike to the Top… But that’s another story…

See you

…And it Flows

The mountain guys call it the “Flow Zone”, but it could also be described as a cross between a pump park and a cross country bike trail. It lays in the aspen trees just upstream from the bridge at River Run covering about 2 acres of nice shady turf with trails snaking around and through the trees. Look for the two blue Sun Valley Flags on your right just before you go over the bridge, and follow the track there. You’ll find single track and some double track with bumps, banked turns, pump bumps, and three and four-way intersections with triangle berms in the middle. A great place to polish up your turns and bump skills. I rode there for about 30 minutes the other day, and went and soaked my feet in the river right there by the log. Try this spot, you’ll love it, and then coffee at Jessica’s coffee stand on the Plaza, and you’re ready for Baldy… Now there’s some cross country. More on that later.  See you

The SVSEF Freestyle Team’s End of the Season Shoot

The SVSEF Freestyle team celebrates the end of the 2009/2010 season with some fun, turns, and blue sky on Baldy. Thanks to Coach Jeff Page for the video!

Epic Sun Valley Days in March

Most of our "epic ski days" in this valley come on deep powder days in December or January. Days when we wake up to one, two feet of snow and go to stand in line at the lifts for two hours until the Patrol deems it safe to ski. Then we race with the crowds to the Bowls, to the Lower Bowls, to ungroomed Christmas Ridge, or to International and Exhibition. We share our unbounded joy with fellow Chairlift riders, fellow sick-day claimers, and wear ourselves out for an entire six hours.

Come March, most of us settle into our warm, sunny, casual Spring Skiing Routine. A routine in which we enjoy the slush of the afternoon sun, beers are clinked together at the end of the day, and we no longer worry about the lack of big storms coming our way. This morning was a little different. Today, March 4, we woke up to six inches of fresh snow, with the sticks measuring nine by midday.

It might not have been the biggest dump of the year. It might have not been the best snow of the season. And some of us might not have gotten up there at nine. But somehow, some of us, managed to get an epic ski day out of this powdery March Thursday and were reminded exactly why we live here, in Sun Valley.

No, it wasn’t a huge snowfall of early season proportions. But when you start down Upper River and the clouds part, revealing blue skies above and almost untracked snow below; you smile, hoot and holler, and know that this is a snow day of epic proportions.

The 2010 Janss Pro-Am Classic Debuts this Weekend!

Founded in 1988 by Beverly Hay DeChevrieux and sponsored by Thomas Weisel Partners, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Fundraiser, the Janss Pro-Am is back this weekend! An all-weekend event with 22 registered teams, The Janss mixes a “Pro Racer” with four amateur racers, skiers or snowboarders. The teams then compete for racing titles and costume prizes throughout the weekend of parties and on-snow races. Rumors of costume themes from some of this year’s teams include Mardi Gras, School Spirit and White Trash Wedding. Last year’s champion team, the Community School, is back to defend their title. As is last year’s costume winner, Koth Sports. There has even been sightings of “Bad Cops” and “Indian Princesses”, so keep an eye out on the slopes this weekend for troublemakers in costumes zooming around Lower Warm Springs and around town!

2010 Janss Pro-Am events include tonight’s opening celebration Pro Party at Michel’s Christiana, Friday’s Apres-Ski party at Whiskey Jacques, and Saturday’s Award Banquet and Dinner at the Sun Valley Inn’s Limelight Room.  Benefiting the SVSEF’s Nordic, Alpine, Freestyle and Snowboard teams, this weekend’s event is one of the Foundation’s biggest fundraisers of the year. Big thanks to all that participate and sponsor the fun!