Dollar Days/Rail Jam
Saturday, April 7
Dollar Days/Rail Jam
Saturday, April 7
Hobson Memorial Ski Race
Saturday, March 24
Contact SVSEF: 726-4129
Sun Valley Telemark Series
Dollar Mountain Family Cross Course
Sun Valley Tele Boarder/Tele-Cross
Course closed for racing 12–4pm
Freestyle Intermountain Division Championships
Catch the air at Dollar Mountain!
Friday, February 24, 2012 – Slopestyle
Saturday, February 25, 2012 – Half Pipe
Events start at 10am each day.
Looking for something fun to do for the whole family, or for a different take on aprs skiing? Snow tubing at Dollar Mountain is it! Read all about the growing sport for kids of all ages here. (Photos courtesy of Mike McKenna.)
Nicky Biddle Elsbree
Mom (of two), Sun Valley SnowSports School Ski Instructor, DIVAS Program Co-Founder
As part of an ongoing Winter Profile series featuring real mountain divas–who are living and working and loving life in the mountains–we caught up with former collegiate ski racer, wife, mother of two, DIVAS Program co-founder (along with Danielle Crist Carruth) and Sun Valley SnowSports School ski instructor extraordinaire Nicky Biddle Elsbree last week. Here is what she had to say about life in the mountains.
First Run in the A.M.? On a Powder Day…Upper River, the road less traveled. On any other day it would be Graduate for a groomer, as it’s so sweetly falls away…
Last Run of the Day? Plaza… Picabo’s Street…whatever you want to call it. It’s a nice little secret–if your legs can handle “one more.”
Favorite Run on a Sunny Day? Maybe a groomer..and I don’t know exactly why, but there’s something about skiing Squirrel with the sun on your back and your shadow stretching slightly ahead. Also any Bowl on a sunny day.
Best Run on Baldy? Exhibition and Lefty’s are my favs when they are ripe for the taking. They are interesting and challenging: right, left or straight down the middle.
Favorite Lunch Spot? I’m not big on combining lunch with skiing. I just don’t have time to get bogged down and prefer to just snarf down a snack. Although my body somehow requires a Bowl of Soul for Apres, no matter what the time.
First Memory on Skis? I have two (hundred). The first real memory was going down a patch of parental packed snow on a hill in our neighborhood. We’d get lugged up (again by the parents) and ski down…or at least try. The packed snow hill (involving shovels) represented a huge effort on the part of my folks and there are some fun pictures to prove it.
The second is letting the rope tow at Nashoba Valley (MA) whirr through my mitts as I tried to get brave enough to really grab on and go. That thing was fast and furious. And scary. But it had the advantage of making the ski down seem easy.
When did you learn to ski? I learned when I was 2 years old. The between-the-legs, work-my-parents-back method was our only option. Lucky for them we figured it out pretty fast. Unlucky for us, my big brother and I both broke our legs at 5 and 3 years old (at Stowe and Nashoba the same winter). After that, we figured it out a little better, so it was easier on everybody.
Favorite Memory on Skis? That’s tough as there are memories galore. Eastern skiing, western skiing, dabbling in Europe, good days and GREAT. My fondest memory of skiing (as recently as two hours ago) remains the FREEING feeling that magically happens while on the slopes. There is nothing on earth that compares.
Favorite Off-Mountain Activity? Let’s see…with kids, I’d have to say sledding, tubing and hockey. Without kids, I gotta give nordic skiing the nod, even though it doesn’t happen very much. It is great for the dogs and good to clear the head and inhale that mountain air while getting exercise!
Do you have a skiing or mountain obsession (something you couldn’t live without)? Hats. I pretty much love hats and could not live without them. I do wear a helmet as it’s the right thing to do, but oh how I love my hats. Oh, and ski apparel too (jackets, pants, outerwear)…but I’ve really gotten a grip on that. Really.
Why Sun Valley–what do you love about it? I love Stoecklein’s Baldy poster from way back. It evokes what Sun Valley is to me: magnetic, peaceful, wondrous, alluring, changing, quiet, western. And after one year (tops): HOME. And now, 23 years later, it’s still home.
What is Your Passion? I’m passionate about coaching. It seems I’ve found my niche in ski coaching and instructing, adults and kids alike. I like to empower people to become better and it lights me up when they do.
What is your job on the mountain? I am in the midst of year seven with the Sun Valley SnowSports School, and count my blessings every day, as I’m a ski instructor and there are a lot of times when it doesn’t feel like a job. It hardly feels like work on an early-up powder morning with clients (most of whom become, or have become, friends) or while skiing, and laughing, with “my” Thursday Smith kids. So guess I am a living example of the philosophy that you should do what you love and it usually works out.
Parting Thoughts… When my parents come out to visit, I always say thank you (for taking the time to teach us how to ski and introducing us to the industry and the mountain and the lifestyle). Thank you.
There is arguably no a better place on the planet to hold a dream wedding than Sun Valley, Idaho, especially if you’d like your nuptials take place in a winter wonderland. Jessica and Tyler Budzianowski are just such a couple. Here they share their thoughts on getting married in Sun Valley on a crisp winter evening, early last December.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SUN VALLEY?
Jessica grew up in the Wood River Valley and has since shared all that the Valley has to offer with Tyler. We couldn’t imagine a winter wedding anywhere else! We wanted our wedding to have an Idaho feel to it, and incorporated many characteristic Sun Valley and Idaho aspects. Jessica has worked at both The Pioneer and The Kneadery for many years and we wanted to share these special places with our family and friends.
We met through mutual friends. Jessica’s sorority sister married a gentleman that worked with Tyler, and the two had been trying to set us up for years! Finally, we met at a summer picnic and never left each other’s side.
HOW DID YOU GET ENGAGED?
In 2008, Jessica introduced Tyler to the outstanding Sun Valley Christmas Eve celebration of the ice show, torch light parade and firework show. Every year we continue to go to the Valley to enjoy the epic Christmas Eve celebration. On December 24th, 2010, we took the Gondola to The Roundhouse for an early afternoon drink prior to the ice show. Neither one of us had been to the Roundhouse before, and wanted to experience the iconic building. As we were both enjoying a blue bird day and looking out over the beautiful view of the Valley from the Roundhouse, Tyler got down on one knee and proposed!
NUMBER OF GUESTS?
Classic, Idaho, vintage, rustic winter and black tie.
Pewter / silver, black and off-white.
ANY CULTURAL TRADITIONS?
We created a few unique traditions of our own for the wedding. We got married at 8:00 PM, outside, in 14-degree weather and offered a dessert reception after our wedding. For the "first dance," Jessica danced with all of the special men in her life – uncles, cousins and a close friend. We love good wine so we also had a Wine Ceremony during the wedding ceremony, sharing a glass of wine. We had also prepared letters declaring our love for one another and packaged them up with a special bottle of wine that we will enjoy on our first anniversary.
WHERE WAS YOUR HONEYMOON?
WHAT WAS THE BRIDE’S FAVORITE MOMENT?
At the first sight, when I was walking up to Tyler sitting on a chair lift at Dollar Mountain. The sun was brilliant, the snow machines were blowing and it was just us, sharing a precious moment of love. Even though it was 14 degrees out, I would have never known!
THE GROOM’S FAVORITE MOMENT?
Walking down the aisle together after we got married to Van Halen’s "I Can’t Stop Loving You" with my beautiful bride by my side. For our first Christmas together, Jessica surprised Tyler with a trip to Las Vegas to see Van Halen, his favorite band. How else would we walk out??
Like any out of town wedding, it’s important to keep in communication with your vendors and trust who you’re working with. We didn’t encounter any challenges, as our incredible planner, Amanda Seaward, was always a step ahead of us and worked with all of our vendors with ease!
1. Use a wedding planner, at least for the day of the event! Your planner can help you navigate through your visions and help you prioritize. And of course, manage the day of the wedding. You want to enjoy, not worry about details!
2. Go Local! There are a lot of great resources and vendors in the Valley, all with a variety of pricing.
3. Spend quality time with your photographer prior to your wedding. I highly recommend having the same photographer take your engagement photos. This is a time that you can get to know each other and learn one another’s styles and needs.
4. Come a week early and enjoy the Valley while finishing up last minute details!
By: Mike McKenna
If you’ve never been snow tubing, well then I’m sorry to report that you’ve lived an unfulfilled life. Sure, most folks who’ve never tried snow tubing might not think they’re missing much. But whoever said, "Ignorance is bliss," obviously has a serious misunderstanding about the word "bliss."
Bliss actually means "a perfect untroubled happiness," which pretty much sums up how you feel while spending an hour or two snow tubing. And the best part of the blissful act of snow tubing is that it can be done by anyone from four to 84. Basically, if you can sit and giggle at the same time, you can enjoy snow tubing.
"This is soooo much fun," squealed four-year-old Athena Sterios, between hoots and giggles as she and her cousin, Jack, took a break from skiing to spend some time at Sun Valley’s Snow Tubing Park at Dollar Mountain recently.
"This really is pretty fun," Athena’s grandmother, Patti Anderson, said as they got ready to swoosh down another run.
Not to be confused with its watery, warm weather cousins of boat or water-ski tubing, snow tubing is basically sledding in style. Participants ride a large "Magic Carpet" up to the top of the snow covered hill, pick a run, then hop on the glorified inner tube and with a shove from a friendly attendant it’s time to slide on down the hill. There’s something about the sensation of sledding down a snowy slope that just makes you smile–and makes youngsters laugh unabashedly. Snow tubing sort of makes you feel like you’re riding a frozen water slide.
For obvious reasons, the sport has been growing in popularity nationwide and it’s now tough to find a ski area from little mom-and-pop places in New Hampshire to the largest resorts in California that don’t have a snow tubing park. The ski industry is now calling snow tubing, " the rising star of the slopes."
"It’s a great alternative for people who don’t ski or snowboard but still want to have a fun winter experience. It’s also a fun thing to do if you just want to take a break from skiing or as a fun thing to do aprs skiing," said Jon Golden, who’s worked at Sun Valley’s Tubing Park for a couple years. "People from all ages and all walks off life have fun when they come here."
No wonder snow tubing is growing in popularity. It’s the type of simple outdoor activity that can put a smile on anyone’s face. It also offers kids (and the kids in all of us) an opportunity for a few gloriously blissful moments. The type of boundless joy that kids remember their whole lives.
"Can we go again? Can we go again?" Athena and Jack asked after each run, before bounding back up to the top to giggle and squeal in delight as they zipped down the hill again. The sound of kids laughing is good for the soul, so snow tubing must be pretty good for it, too.
[The Sun Valley Snow Tube Park is open daily from 11am to 5pm. Warm hats and gloves are recommended, but there are no other clothing requirements. Check here for ticket information.]
Don’t miss all the high flying action at this weekend’s Sun Valley Freestyle Spectacular! Friday’s events include the Slopestyle Competition, with Saturday and Sunday featuring some of the nation’s best in mogul and double mogul competitions. For more info call 208.726.4129. Conor Davis photo courtesy of SVSEF.
Sun Valley celebrates safety!
By Mike McKenna
Adhering to the general philosophy that it’s a lot more fun to play it safe and be smart than it is to wind up in the Emergency Room, each winter the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) celebrates "Ski Safety Week."
Sun Valley is once again taking part in the national party to promote safe and responsible skiing and boarding. And the great news–besides the fact that ski patrollers are giving out coupons for free cocoa!–is that these annual reminders are working.
According to Mike Lloyd, Sun Valley’s Ski Patrol Director, Baldy is one of the safest ski areas in the country, boasting a mere 1.7% accident rate (per thousand skiers); almost a full point below the national average.
"We definitely see a positive impact from this program," Lloyd says.
To help keep Baldy and Dollar Mountains safe, fun places to shred, here are some of the highlights from this year’s National Ski Safety Week (January 14-22).
Know the Code!
It’s the responsibility of every skier and snowboarder to know and adhere to the Responsibility Code. It’s what you agree to when you buy a ski pass at just about every resort on the globe. In case you need a refresher, or a member of the Ski Patrol asks you (every day this week they’re giving out 100 coupons for free hot cocoa to kids who know the Code), here’s a refresher:
1. Always stay in control.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way.
3. Stop in a safe place for you and others.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
5. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
7. Know how to use the lifts safely.
Lids on Kids
Since wearing a "Brain Bucket" is no-brainer when you’re skiing or snowboarding, Sun Valley is supporting the Lids of Kids. The program reminds shredders of a few basic guidelines:
-Wearing a helmet when participating in snow sports is a smart idea. Besides the overwhelming safety benefits of wearing a helmet, they tend to be warmer than simply wearing a hat.
-One size does not fit all. Make sure to follow some fitting guidelines before hitting the hill in headgear.
-Heads Up, Set an Example: Skiing and riding in a responsible and safe manner isn’t just important for your own sake. It’s sets a good example for kids of all ages (and sometimes it’s the adults who need to be reminded how to follow the Responsibility Code the most).
Besides plastering both Baldy and Dollar Mountains with posters promoting the Responsibility Code, Sun Valley is also holding a Kid’s Poster Contest. Entries can be picked up at Dollar Mountains’ Children’s Center. Good luck and be safe!