An international tour stop for skier-x, half-pipe and slope style events
In its 9th season, the U.S. Revolution Tour is a three stop tour consisting of halfpipe, slopestyle, and cross, for both Freeskiing and Snowboarding. The tour is designed to serve as a stepping stone for athletes making the transition from competing at the grassroots level to the elite level. The series pre-qualifies a portion of its field and then opens registration to any athlete, but is focused towards riders 13-19 years old (Cross 15-19) and will award the top juniors an invite to be part of the U.S. Grand Prix, Junior Worlds, the U.S. Open, USASA Nationals, and participate in Project Gold camps. Competition formats may vary slightly at each stop, but athletes will always compete as an open class.
Alice Schernthanner, July 24, 1938 - July 23, 2012. “Alice does ski here forevermore in our hearts.”
Sun Valley can lay claim to many icons. From movie stars to literary giants, world-class athletes to world-wide leaders, hundreds of inspirational people have graced the hallways of Sun Valley Lodge since its birth.
But beneath the glamor and behind the facade of fame lies another legacy – an unforeseen outcome of Averell Harriman’s million dollar palace in the snow – that of the birth of a community in the heart of Idaho’s mountains; one with icons of its very own.
This past Sunday that community came together to celebrate one of those icons. Not an olympic skier or a nobel-prize wining author, but a woman whose life had a much greater impact on those who live in the Wood River Valley.
“The name Alice Schernthanner will remain on the lips of this community for a very long time,” Amy Federko said in her eulogy to Alice, reading from a letter written by Amy’s son, Josh.
A singular woman, Alice was both “famous and infamous, a legend in her own right,” Amy told the packed crowd at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge, and there was not a murmur of dissent.
Alice’s legacy in the Wood River Valley community could be measured in the number of pancakes she’s flipped for the Papoose Club, which she formed in 1954 as a baby sitting co-op for skiers and went on to transform into a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local organizations that serve children. Or it could be measured in the number of times she proudly led her Warm Springs Riding Club along the Wagon Days Parade route. It could equally be celebrated for the foresight she had in starting Blaine County’s recycling program from the back of a semi-truck, or for being a vocal and active advocate for affordable community housing – to the extent her and her husband, Andy, built some on their own Warm Springs property.
But it will be measured in the hearts and minds of the thousands of children she taught to ski both on Dollar Mountain as the children’s program supervisor for close to 30 years, and through her tireless promotion of the Blaine County School Ski Program.
Hundreds of those children, now grown up with children of their own, gathered at Dollar Mountain Lodge on Sunday to celebrate the life of this remarkable woman, who blazed a trail for modern homesteaders: building her own home from the ground up, skiing for a living and raising six children, all while living life on her own terms in the Wild West. The lodge she helped create was full to bursting on a sunny Sunday afternoon, the peals of children’s laughter emanating from the grassy knoll at the base of Dollar making a fitting tribute to the woman who helped create their perfect playground.
The lodge’s namesake, Carol Holding, wife of Sun Valley Resort owner Earl Holding, offered her thoughts on her friend and colleague Alice to the assembled community. ”Listening today I was happy to hear she really had a happy life away from this cabin,” she said with a smile. “I’d been under the illusion all these years that she lived in this little cabin.”
Mrs. Holding went on to say how it was Alice’s persistence that brought this 26,000-square-foot state-of-the-art children’s skiing facility into being ”When Earl built River Run, Alice and I were so upset with him. We tried everything we could think of to get him to build a children’s school there, but he wouldn’t. But she said to me, it’s ok – give it time, it’ll work. It took 15 years, but we got it. And this lodge here is Alice’s lodge as much as it is mine. It wouldn’t be here without Alice and through it all she suffered many hardships to get it here and changed so many children’s pants… .”
Mrs. Holding’s touching and laughter-filled remembrances were followed by a free-for-all as friends, family and former students of Alice shared their memories. What emerged was a portrait of a strong-minded, high-spirited woman with fantastic earrings, who took life in her stride and always told the truth, whether you wanted to hear it or not.
Two of the many stories shared at the celebration of Alice’s life paint a technicolor picture of what was important to Alice: skiing, children and family.
“I would come here from Florida in the winter to ski with Alice,” said her friend Sherry. “One year she was pregnant, just starting to show, and she had the first daughter in a backpack on her back. As we came down the mountain we could hear people at the bottom whispering, aghast, saying ‘That’s child abuse!’ Alice looked at me, clearly baffled, and said ‘I don’t understand. They know I’m only skiing the groomers don’t they? I’m not skiing the bumps.”
Alice’s daughter Heidi shared a favorite story she had heard in the days following her mother’s death on July 24 (the day before her 74th birthday and 50th wedding anniversary).
“Alice was looking after a sick girl at the lodge, she had just come out of the bathroom with her when a grand woman in a mink coat swept in demanding service. Alice said to her ‘Let me just help this little girl lie down, she’s not feeling well.’ The lady replied, ‘Well, she doesn’t look sick.’ Then the girl projectile vomited all over her.”
Alice at home in Dollar Mountain Lodge ski school. Photo by Cody Doucette, courtesy Sun Valley Magazine
Rest in Peace Mrs. Schernthanner. In the words of the condolence book laid out for the hundreds of mourners to sign: “Alice does ski here forevermore in our hearts.”
More than 125 of the bravest, and perhaps craziest, skiers and riders in Sun Valley put their skills to the test last Sunday as they attempted to cross the pond in front of Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge during the 3rd Annual Dollar Dayz Pond Skim event. Competitors were judged on skim, costume, splash and crowd cheer as they careened across, or into, the nearly 60-foot ice cold pond.
The rest of us were there as unapologetic gawkers.
We filled the air with "oohs" and "ahhs"…we gasped and cheered as competitors skied, boarded, slid, skidded and (sometimes) cartwheeled across the pond. The in-water crashes were spectacular and onlookers were not guaranteed to stay dry either–as many a pond-skim-gone-sideways ended up dousing the crowd in a water ski-worthy spray of water.
Luckily the sun was out, the beer was flowing and the BBQ grill was fired up with tasty treats as the crowd gathered to watch what has become one of Dollar’s most anticipated events. It is also happens to be a great excuse for cross dressing!
This year’s event was no exception as there was everything from geishas and aliens to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny barreling down the hill at full speed in an attempt to make it across the nearly 250,000 gallons of water with an average temperature of 34 degrees. A chicken was spotted amidst the ubiquitous sea of tutus, coconut shell bikinis and super hero capes. And the gorilla suit nearly cleared the crowd.
Best guess on your odds to make it across: 50 / 50. So whether you choose to skim or spectate, make sure not to miss this wacky event next year. And bring a towel!
And that’s just a small sampling of the catchiness. Maybe there’s something in the water. Maybe we’re all sun-drunk. Whatever it is, when it comes to names, locals like quirky and unique. We’re about firsts around here…
Which is why this weekend’s extravaganza is already off to a great start. Say it with me: "Sol Fest." Even my Japanese grandma could tell you that "sol" means "sun" in Spanish. And considering that "sol" is also a homophone of "soul," I’d say that "Sol Fest" is a geniusname for what’s happening over the next three days.
Parties. Live music. Skiing down Main Street. More Parties. Lots more music. Plus oodles of Family Fun at Dollar Mountain. What I’ve also realized is that Sun Valley doesn’t mix a great names with mediocrity. When I said "parties," I meant four showdowns at three of Ketchum’s finest establishments: Grumpy’s and Whiskey’s on Friday, Apple’s on Saturday afternoon and Whiskey’s again that evening. And when I said "live music," I meant that there will be seasoned artists, musicians who didn’t just get famous on YouTube, playing at each shindig besides Apple’s (because they’ll be hosting the 4th annual Baldy Poker Run).
As cool as the Bermuda Cowboys (Friday@Grumpy’s) and Fox Street All Stars (Friday@Whiskey’s) should be, the main event is definitely the Blitzen Trapper show on Saturday. To be clear Saturday, the whole day, is actually the main event. If you’re trying to make a day of it (and I hope you do), then the Saturday’s festivities will begin at Apple’s around nine for the Poker Run. From there, it’s onto the Main Street Party, where Blitzen Trapper will headline a FREE multi-act concerto in Ketchum. Things just keep getting better: afterward there’s going to be a talented crew of long-shirted jibbers sliding across rails at the 511 building. Local favorite, Old Death Whisper, will round out the evening with a 10 o’clock show at Whiskey’s. Not a bad Saturday, eh?
For folks looking for Family-oriented Fun, there will be a Slide, Glide, Ride Relay at Dollar Mountain on Sunday. But don’t worry, the Main Street Party and subsequent Rail Jam will definitely be a good time for little ones. I should mention, however, that Sol Fest is going to be a young crowd. In the company’s own words "Sun Valley Resort is rolling out the red carpet for college students." Yup, everyone’s favorite demographic is getting some love from the nation’s oldest ski resort. Specifically, college students with a valid student I.D. will get 50% off lift tickets and "aggressive" lodging specials. Sounds gnarly.
So if you like wintry festivals with tons of good music and possibly gelande quaffing, don’t get stuck inside this weekend.
It’s time for Sol Fest, everybody. Come join the pun, err, fun!
Schedule of Events:
Friday March 23
5:00 pm SolFest kick-off party at Grumpy’s Bar and Grill with musical request specialists Bermuda Cowboys
10:00 pm Southern rockers, Fox Street All Stars, play Whiskey Jacques
Saturday March 24
9:00 am – 2:00 pm Baldy Poker Run, register at Apple’s Bar and Grill
5:00 pm Main Street Party. Blitzen Trapper headlines multi-act, free concert
8:00 pm 511 Rail Jam at 511 Building, downtown Ketchum
10:00 pm Local troubadours, Old Death Whisper, play Whiskey Jacques
Sunday March 25
11:00 am Slide, Glide, Ride Relay at Dollar Mountain, a fun event for families and friends of all ages and sizes.
Are you on college break enjoying Baldy’s steep runs but struggling with Ketchum and Sun Valley’s steep prices? There are plenty of ways save your wallet this winter ‘s break and still have a great time. Whether it’s with skiing, dining, or simply getting around town, keep an eye out for new deals and ways to save.
For skiers, don’t forget to inquire about the College Six Pack, which allows you to ski any six days throughout the winter for the price of just $259. Saving $43 a day, or the College Triple Play pass for just $139. Now these are tough to beat no matter where you are.
Save some gas money and utilize Mountain Rides. Sun Valley’s free public transportation system is a great option for getting around town and to and from the ski areas (Baldy and the terrain park on Dollar) without having to spend a dime. No matter where you’re staying there should be an easily accessible bus stop for one of the many free bus routes. Hop on board and save time, money and the environment.
If you find yourself dumbfounded by the food and drink prices in ski towns these days, at least one wallet saving option awaits right across the street from Warm Springs Lodge. No, it’s not a Ramen Noodle outlet store, it’s Irving’s Red Hots. You can grab a tasty, affordable hot dog and be back on the slopes in no time. Saving a little extra money for some aprs beers on the sun drenched deck at Warm Springs or for some of Sun Valley’s wonderful nightlife. If you’re looking for a cold beer and some grub after a long day of skiing, check out the happy hour specials at some of Sun Valley’s best restaurants (This article highlighting the Valley’s best Aprs Skiing options).
So if you’re on college break and trying to save a buck, be mindful of options like these and don’t let the high prices keep you from having a good time.
Julian Tyo loves his job. He gets to hang out on Dollar with park rats and ski-teamers in the winter and move dirt around and ride bikes in the summer. As the Dollar Lift Supervisor for the past two years and a member of the talented Trail Crew in the summer, Julian has been an integral part of some of the "reinvention" of the Original Ski Town. He has seen the terrain parks and half-pipe move to Dollar, creating a mountain filled with thrills for kids and skiers of all ages. He has seen (and helped create) one of the most epic mountain bike courses ever at the National Mountain Bike Championships, held here in Sun Valley last summer. He is an avid telemark skier, one of the Co-Directors of Sun Valley Tele (the longest running tele series in the country), a member of the newly formed Marketing Alliance’s Event Committee and a guy that loves where he lives, works and plays.
Classic Nordic skis at Mt. Hood with my parents. In my memory, the day went something like this: Dad throwing me in the snow, dad and his friends getting "lost," mom and dad arguing about getting "lost" and burgers at a funky diner in Sandy. I’m fairly certain I had a vanilla milkshake.
Who First Got You on Downhill Skis?
My five-day foray into snowboarding not withstanding, my fianc first got me on downhill skis at the age of 20 on Mt. Ashland in southern Oregon. Having taken her on a downhill trail for her first time mountain biking, her idea of a good first ski day for me involved one run down the bunny hill followed by a bump run. To this day, she still hates mountain biking and I still hate bumps. My second day skiing was five years ago when she took me to the top of Baldy–tough love!
Favorite Memory on Skis?
Skiing Limelight and Rock Garden on Baldy, Christmas Day 2008, right after the two-foot storm.
Do you have a skiing/boarding obsession (something you couldn’t live without)?
My one piece.
Why Sun Valley–what do you love about it?
Sun Valley is where I rediscovered myself, fell in love again and where I want to be for the rest of my life. The mountain biking isn’t bad either.
What is Your Passion?
Helping groups succeed and moving dirt. Or is it helping groups succeed at moving dirt? Both for that matter.
What’s your job on the mountain?
This is my second season as the Dollar Mountain Lift Supervisor in the winter, and in the summer I work for the Trail Crew on Bald Mountain.
How did you get it?
I worked at Pete Lane’s for three great seasons in the bike shop and the River Run Ski Shop, but ultimately wanted to work outside with the Mountain Department. A friend told me about the position on Dollar and I got hired after a long interview process, starting with the Trail Crew later that year.
What’s the Best Part about your job?
In the winter I love being a part of the dynamic energy at Dollar–the kids, the terrain parks, the beginner skiers, the adaptive programs, the race teams and the tubing hill. In the summer I love being out on the mountain doing honest work and am honored to have a role in developing lift-accessed mountain biking on Bald Mountain.