Sun Valley Nordic Festival
January 25th – February 2nd, 2014
The Sun Valley Nordic festival is a week long event filled with Nordic skiing, demonstrations, races, seminars and special activities all culminating with the world famous Boulder Mountain Tour.
Thanks to an incredible cadre of Nordic community partners, this one of a kind Nordic Festival celebrates “Nordic Town USA” showcasing the Sun Valley community and all it has to offer Nordic skiers. From world class nordic trails, to exciting ski racing events and fantastic nordic parties, this is a week long extravaganza for the Nordic enthusiast. For more details about festival week events, lodging and dining, visitsvnordicfestival.com or nordictownusa.com
On Sunday, the Sun Valley Nordic Festival wrapped up with a great Demo Day at the Resort's beautiful cross-country trails
The Sun Valley Nordic Festival drew to a festive close Sunday following a hugely successful week of races, demos, parties, concerts and events. The 38th annual Boulder Mountain Tour drew more than 900 people to a beautiful course north of Ketchum on Saturday where the competition was fierce for the serious racers and pretty mellow for recreational skiers. For everyone, the 32-kilometer course ran fast under a bright blue Idaho sky.
The Laesch family (minus 7-year-old Conrad who opted for a ski lesson on Dollar) at the Boulder Mountain Tour
The Laesch family of Seattle returned to Sun Valley this weekend for the fifth time, drawn by the terrific Nordic skiing and friendly atmosphere. “This year, the girls (ages 10 and 12) and I did the Half Boulder and [my husband] Brad once again did the full Boulder,” explained mom, Lexie. “It was a spectacular day and we all got a lot out of the race. It’s a great experience — from the people from all over the country you meet on the shuttle bus to the race, to the cheers you get crossing the finish line.” Brad, a competitive racer, concurred. “It’s the one race of the year I try not to miss. The people are terrific and the skiing is as nice as it gets. We always look forward to it.”
But for many racers, the Laesch family included, Sunday, was a relative day of rest after the big race, an opportunity to recover, to compare notes and to simply celebrate another beautiful day in NordicTown USA. Approximately 400 avid cross-country enthusiasts spent much of their ‘recovery’ day skiing the perfectly groomed trails at the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center. There, beside the Sun Valley Club, local retailers set up shop for a very well attended Demo Day. I overheard one merchant relay that before 8 a.m., he had 20 people lined up waiting to try the latest and greatest gear.
The gear was out in all its colorful glory – the best in boots, skis and poles were all available to try throughout the day — all the was required was a $10 trail pass. Many skiers took advantage of the opportunity to demo next year’s models and to talk with the experts about technique, conditions and ways to improve. Others just brought the family and enjoyed a spectacular day of browsing equipment and taking a few laps around the 40-kilometers of trails Sun Valley offers.
Gear, glorious gear
All the best equipment was available to try at Demo Day
Although license plates in the parking lot showed guests were visiting from Missouri, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, everyone at Demo Day seemed to know each other. Congratulations on finish times rang out among the crowd and everyone shared their tales from the week’s events.
A very unscientific poll outside the Sun Valley Club echoed those of the Laesch family. Everyone gathered agreed that the Boulder Mountain Tour is one of the must-attend races of the year. A combination of the conditions, the crowd and the truly jaw-dropping scenery make it a day marked in permanent ink on the calendar. Equal praise was given to Ketchum and Sun Valley for the vast array of events surrounding and preceding the BMT. High on everyone’s list of the week’s highlights were the very affordable skiing valley-wide, the Marley in the Mountains concert Saturday night and friendly atmosphere.
Congratulations to NordicTown USA for putting on a wonderful week and welcoming so many guests to our towns and our trails. Congratulations to all the athletes who participated in the races and events. We hope you all come back next year and bring your friends. It’s one of our favorite weeks of the year, too.
The last day of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival was full of fun and relaxation, mountain style
The 2nd annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival will feature nine days of activities, races, clinics and fun events, discounts on nordic ski passes, discounts on demos/rentals, lodging and dining, which showcase and celebrate Sun Valley’s well-deserved reputation as "Nordic Town USA.”
The creation of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival was a collaborative efforts from a wide variety of groups, individuals, and businesses, now known as the Sun Valley Nordic Ski Alliance, who are all interested in further promoting Sun Valley as a major Nordic ski destination. The idea to create a weeklong event that capitalized on the renowned Boulder Mountain Tour ski race and built in new activities that might encourage racers to come a few days earlier, but also to have activities that non-race skiers and families could enjoy.
Learn to ski on skinny skis, improve your skating and classic skiing skills and/or train for the Boulder Mountain Tour at the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center. The Nordic Center is located at the Sun Valley Club and Golf Course. We offer nearly 42km (25 miles) of groomed trails with a variety of terrain and clinics for beginners to experts.
For more information and trail rates, please call the Nordic Center at (208) 622-2250.
Specialty Nordic Clinics include: Ski with the Masters
Sun Valley Masters Clinics (coordinated by 3-Time Olympian Jon Engen) http://www.sunvalleymasters.com/
Fast Skating: 8-week course begins January 4 at noon. $320 per person.
Classic Technique: 8-week course begins January 5 at noon. $320 per person.
Skate Technique: 8-week course begins January 6 at noon. $320 per person.
Skate Ski University with Kris Thoreson- Graduate to better skiing with this 6-week work-out. $240 per person
The Nordic Center offers Learn to Ski and Intermediate Group Lessons for both skate and classic style Nordic skiing daily. Please call (208)622-2250 for lesson times. Learn to Ski packages are $40 per person and include equipment rentals. Intermediate Groups Lessons are only $25 per person (equipment not included).
Private instruction is also available.
Just want to hike? Try snowshoeing. This is a great way to see all the beautiful Sun Valley sites and get a great workout! Rentals available daily.
Every Saturday and Sunday from 1-3pm, sign up for the Historic Snowshoe Group Tour lead by Katherine Pleasants telling her own narration of Sun Valley’s colorful history.
The Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center can also outfit you with top of the line Nordic apparel and equipment. We have a full service tuning, repair and rental center. And we also have locker rooms and showers. For more information please call us at: (208) 622-2250.
Lunch is served at the Sun Valley Club Restaurant daily from 11am-3pm and the Club bar is open from 11am-5pm daily. (208) 622-2919.
*Don’t forget that the Sun Valley Club offers year-round indoor virtual golf and the Sun Valley Golf Pro-Shop is also open all winter. For virtual golf tee-times call (208) 622-2251.
Don’t forget about the Nordic Demo Days this Sunday, the day after the Boulder Mountain Tour, at the Sun Valley Nordic Center. Marking the official end of the highly successful Sun Valley Nordic Festival, the Demo Days give skiers a chance to try the latest and greatest from Fischer, Rossignol and Salomon. Wax technicians, local shop representatives and BMT racers will be on hand to offer advice and pointers. Hours are from 10-2, and there will be an outside BBQ during the Demo! Oh yea, and the Super Bowl will be streaming inside the Clubhouse later in the day. Best of all, the skiing is FREE all day, as are the Demos. Don’t miss this chance to ski some of the best trails in the world, on the best Nordic gear available today. What a great way to recover from the Boulder.
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!
With 10 inches of new snow, the trails at Sun Valley Nordic are as good as it gets. Fast, smooth, and fun. The entire trail system will be opening this week as our world class groomers “work” the snow for optimal skiing conditions. Because of the variety of terrain at the Nordic Center and the accessibility to Ketchum and Hailey, there is no better place to prepare for the Boulder Mountain Tour. Throw in a Boulder Prep Clinic featuring an Olympian (Tessa Westbrook) and a BMT Champion (Brooke Hovey), and you’ve got a match made in heaven. Get faster, ski better and have fun this week and next at Sun Valley Nordic. Call to reserve your spot in the Boulder Prep Clinic. Clinics meet at 4pm, and last about an hour and a half. Cost is $40 per session. Expect video analysis, technique work and a great workout. Experienced skiers only please!! See you at the Nordic Center!