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 ski season is almost here and it’s the perfect day for a party: the 2009/2010 Winter Expo and Gondola Ganza

It’s almost here. Snow is falling. Lifts are moving. Skis around town are coming out of garages and getting a fresh tune. The snow guns are running full force. The 2009/2010 ski season is literally, just around the corner. And with the completion of the new gondola, Sun Valley decided it was time to celebrate.

Today was the Sun Valley Winter Expo and Gondola ‘Ganza at the base of River Run, and it was the perfect way to open the season. A traditional ribbon cutting ceremony kicked off the day and included speeches by mountain manager, Peter Stearns, the president of lift company Doppelmayr, the mayors of both Sun Valley and Ketchum, and Sun Valley owner, Carol Holding. The excitement was palpable, as thousands of people drank beer and free hot cocoa in the mile-long line to get a free ride on the new gondola, River Run Express #2.

Read more…

Gondola grand opening video

In case you missed it, we have the video for you – check out video footage from Roundhouse Express gondola grand opening at River Run on November 21st!

Great weather for making snow!

Last night was good and cold, and the snowmakers have been making good progress on Bald and Dollar mountains.  The forecasts show continued cold temperatures throughout this weekend and all next week – and we’ll be taking advantage of every minute of it.

Winter Expo and Gondola ‘Ganza on November 21st

Roundhouse Gondola - Fall 2009

Join us for the 2009-2010 Winter Expo and Gondola ‘Ganza on Saturday, November 21st from 11am – 2pm, featuring the Roundhouse Gondola Grand Opening

FREE GONDOLA RIDES!

Ribbon Cutting at 11am

Prizes and raffles, “A Taste of the Mountain”, Mini SPT Jib Park, Mountain Department and Ski Patrol Demonstrations, Free Refreshments,

and much more!

Bring Your Friends & Family!

Detailed program: Read more…

Roundhouse Gondola Test Run Video

Gondola Construction Webcam

Our webcams are now monitoring North America’s largest gondola construction project on Bald Mountain.

Opening for Sun Valley’s 74th ski season (2009-10), the Roundhouse Gondola will travel from River Run Plaza to the Roundhouse Restaurant.

The Doppelmayr CTEC Detachable-Grip, Eight-Passenger Gondola will carry 1800 passengers per hour, traveling 2,000 vertical feet in eight minutes. 56 eight-passenger cabins will service skiers, snowboarders and foot passengers.

To keep an eye on construction progress check out our mountain cams page.

River Run Base Webcam

Lower Gondola Terminal – River Run station. Picture updating continuously.

Gondola-Roundhouse Terminal

Upper Gondola Terminal – Roundhouse station. Picture From October 1, 2009.