Kaitlyn Farrington Welcome Home Ceremony @ Warm Springs Lodge – 2:30pm, followed by a street party at Apples

Please join us in celebrating local athlete Kaitlyn Farrington. Kaitlyn’s recent gold medal win at the Winter Games has the entire state buzzing with excitement! Live music will start at Warm Springs at 2:30pm and the ceremony will follow.  After the ceremony, there will be a street party in front of Apples Bar and Grill with live music from Old Death Whisper.


Special Olympics @ The Sun Valley Nordic Center and Dollar Mountain. Events to take place all day.

Please join us in cheering on athletes at the Special Olympics. Events to take place at The Sun Valley Nordic Center and Dollar Mountain. For additional information please call the Nordic Center at 208-622-2251.

Mid-Winter Photo Challenge

On February 20, come out to Whiskey Jacques to check out the best photos from this current winter season. $10 dollar cover gets you in, doors open at 6:00pm and the show starts at 7:00pm.

Meet Sun Valley’s Summer Olympic Stars

This picture of Mr. & Mrs. Parry Thomas with Brentina, America's first World Champion and 2004 Olympic Bronze medal winner, graces the Sun Valley Lodge's Hallway of Stars. Brentina lives with the Thomas' at their River Grove Farm in Hailey.

There’s a little event going on right now in my hometown of London, England. In fact it’s about to kick off in a big way. Today, at 2 p.m. MT, the Games of the XXX Olympiad begins with what I am sure will be a spectacular opening ceremony (for us sequestered in the U.S. you can catch it tonight on channel 7 at 6:30 p.m.).

For obvious reasons, the winter Olympics is Sun Valley’s natural territory. However there is one local athlete whose claim to summer Olympic fame has landed her a prime spot in Sun Valley Lodge’s Hallway of Stars, where she stands shoulder to shoulder with Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Brentina, a Hanoverian dressage horse, is only the second animal ever to be bestowed with such an honor, the first were the Budweiser Clydesdales.

Brentina is the Wood River Valley’s hometown hero. Ridden by local athlete Debbie MacDonald to two Olympics (Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008) and one bronze medal, she is one of the most succesful  U.S. horses in history. Following surgery in early 2009, Brentina bowed out gracefully at the Las Vegas 2009 World Cup, and now lives a peaceful retirement at River Grove Farm in Hailey with owners Parry and Peggy Thomas. However, her stablemate Wizard may give Sun Valley residents the chance to cheer again this summer as he and his rider Adrienne Lyle prepare to take London by storm in the individual dressage competition. The competition begins Thursday and Friday (August 2 and 3) and concludes Tuesday and Thursday (August 7 and 9). Be sure to follow Adrienne and Wizard’s adventures in London here at her new blog.

For a sneak peek at the action you’ll see in the coming two weeks check out this video of Lyle and Wizard’s performance at the Grand Prix Freestyle in Devon, England last year:

Video not displaying? Click here.

I know I’ll be cheering our hometown duo on as they prance and dance their way into international hearts, and who knows, after a stop on the podium, maybe a spot on the Hallway of Stars will be in their futures too.

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun

Sun Valley rocks, rolls and rides


Local rider and blogger (runjunkie.net) Hank Dart posted this picture of his Galena Grinder ride on Lockerz.com

The second annual Ride Sun Valley Mountain Bike Festival rode hard and fast into Central Idaho this weekend. Day 1, Saturday, featured the grueling Galena Grinder. One of the longest running gut-wrenchers in the country, the race has been a showcase of the area’s great mountain biking for over twenty years. A 45 mile cross-country marathon, the Galena Grinder Whit Henry Memorial was the official kick off to the festival, which runs through Sunday, July 8, culimating in the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships.

For those who couldn’t be here to join in Saturday’s fun VisitSunValley turned around this amazing video of highlights from the day, almost as good as being there:

And here’ another great video with the skinny on Sunday’s Super Duper D: Super Duper Downhill 7.1.2012 from Visit Sun Valley on Vimeo.

The big news on Saturday, according to Shannon Boffeli at MTBracenews.com, was the presence of California-based team Sho-Air at The Grinder. “Several of the Sho-Air riders chose the marathon event as part of their national championship preparation,” he wrote in his detailed review of the day’s riding and results. “The men’s race included Sho-Air teammates Brendon Davids and Eric Bostrom as well as other national-level big hitters like Jason Siegle (SDG) and Drew Edsall (Kenda/Felt).” Team Sho-Air posted some great pictures of the day on their Facebook page and USA Cycling also posted this review of the day’s race.

Team Sho-Air turned up from California to sweep the Grinder and posted this picture on Facebook

Grinder winner Pua Mata (of Team Sho-Air) broadcast her thoughts on twitter:
@moniquepua Just finished the Galena Grinder and was able to take the win! It was definitely a grinder…but such gorgeous country and great race! 

While Sun Valley locals haven’t been the quickest to jump on the social media bandwagon, there are some forward-thinking ladies and gentleman who are broadcasting the fun to the twitter-sphere and facebook-verse and the Festival picked up a fair amount of activity this weekend. Sun Valley’s unofficial social media maven and current Master’s XC mountain biking world champion, Rebecca Rusch (@TheQueenOfPain), kept her followers up with the details on The Grinder and Sunday’s Super Duper D on Baldy:

“Galena Grinder XC by rebarusch at Garmin Connect – Details:http://bit.ly/MmeLJ1  Our local XC race in Idaho. Hard and fun.”
“EPIC weekend planned with Galena Grinder and Super Duper D. Full suspension, Reverb and fat tires. FATE has the weekend off”
“Sun Valley Super Duper D by rebarusch at Garmin Connect – Details: http://bit.ly/MmeANV  Tall socks, Reverb seat post and baggies! So FUN”
“Smooth is fast! That’s my mantra for today’s super duper D in sun valley.”

We also got a glimpse of the Queen on her way up the mountain:

Pro mountain bike racer Yuri Hauswald tweeted "Hanging w/ @thequeenofpain on the Christmas Lift, on our way to ‪#sunvalley‬ Super Duper D." pic.twitter.com/9SZIDNyq

Facebook was busy after the day’s energies were expended, with competitors such as Matt McCourtney, Drew Edsall and Michael Shaw taking the site to dish on their day. See their posts and other tweets on this Storify I whipped up.

The Festival is well underway and there’s a slew of events and activities to keep competitors and spectators busy this week. The Sun Family will be diving in too. This evening we’ll check out the Idaho Pump Track State Championships at the Ketchum Bike Park. Mr. Sun might try his brand-spanking-second-hand mountain bike out at some Local Stoker Rides (starting tomorrow), and we’ll all head up for the Fat Tire Criterium Tuesday evening. I’m pondering signing Little Sun up for the Kids Race on July 6 (that is if I can teach him how to ride a bike with pedals by then). But the Sun Valley Shakedown on July 7 sounds like more my single-speed (and keeps me on two feet rather than two wheels).

For a complete rundown on everything happening visit Ride Sun Valley.

Happy trails!

Mrs. Sun

Lift Line: Dollar Dayz Pond Skim

A Wet, Wild and Wacky End-of-Season Ritual in Sun Valley

By Laurie Sammis

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!

Sorry you missed it? Live vicariously–that’s what the rest of us did. Check out more Pond Skimming videos online, including the Making of the Pond from start to finish!









Lift Line: Janss Pro-Am Events on Warm Springs

Costumes and GS Races draw professional skiers to the slopes of Baldy

By Laurie Sammis

The 2011 "Cougars" team pose with their fellas for a team photo, including: Karen Holzman, Jane Renolds, Bedford Nabors, Kim Taylor, Samantha Busby and Langley McNeal.

It may look like it … but it’s not all fun and games, parties, costumes and hilarity at the Stifel Nicolaus Weisel Janss Pro-Am events and giant slalom races on Baldy’s Lower Warm Springs this Friday and Saturday. In fact, the Janss Pro-Am is one of the most important fundraisers for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF), a valley organization which provides year-round ski and snowboard training and competition opportunities for athletes from the Wood River Valley and beyond.

And they do a good job of it too! Over the past 45 years, the SVSEF has helped launch many athletes onto the world stage. Past alumni include Christin Cooper, Picabo Street, Reggie and Zach Crist, Lynsey Dyer, Morgan Arritola, Jake Adicoff, Tanner Farrow, Kaitlyn Farrington and Langely McNeal, among many others.

And the program keeps growing with the likes of current SVSEF Snowboarder Chase Josey, who recently claimed the top American male spot in the halfpipe at the World Junior Championships in Spain, or SVSEF Gold Team member Shane Cordeau who took Bronze with a podium finish at the U.S. National Freestyle Championships at Stratton Mountain, Vermont, or Tai Barrymore was recently named to the U.S. Freestyle Pro Halfpipe Team.

And while the development, grooming, nurturing and elevation of all that raw talent is certainly the focus of the SVSEF, some of the serious business of those achievements will be temporarily put on the back burner by each of the thirty-two teams of six (which include one pro racer from the ranks of Olympic, World Cup and Pro Tour athletes, and one junior pro SVSEF athlete, combined with four "citizen" skiers/riders of all ski levels) for the next two days in favor of everybody having a good time and letting their how down in celebration of skiing and riding.

Each team dresses in costume in honor of the race theme and in the spirit of the event’s namesake–former owner of Sun Valley Resort, Olympian, SVSEF supporter, and ski and costume party enthusiast: Bill Janss.

The costumes are always creative, entertaining, and wide open to interpretation of the "Vintage" theme, with many details being acquired only after serious consultation with the staff of the Ketchum Sun Valley Ski & Heritage Museum to ensure authenticity. The race format is a dual slalom that is entertaining for both racers and spectators (for a sneak peek, check out the photo gallery from last year)–and you may even see a few wine bottles racing down the slopes, right alongside a team of Austrian ski instructors or 80′s one pieces.

It makes for great spectating!! So look out for the costumed racers of the Janss Pro-Am this Friday and Saturday–you’re likely to see somebody you know.


Handicap races start today (Friday, April 6, 2012) in full costume at 10:30 AM and continue throughout the afternoon on Lower Warm Springs.

Saturday (April 7, 2012) races begin at 10:30 AM, then break for lunch and are followed by the Race Finals–the four top teams competing in a round robin format to determine the winner–after lunch.

Sun Valley Resort’s Limelight Room also hosts the Awards Celebration Dinner and Vintage Party on Saturday night, April 7, 2012.


All the money raised by the Stifel Nicolaus Weisel Janss Pro Am goes to help support the 500 youth skiers and snowboarders on the SVSEF’s teams. For more information on the Pro Am or the SVSEF, visit www.svsef.org.


Lift Line: Spring Skiing Tips

A warm spring day on Warm Springs.

By Katie Matteson

Spring has sprung and conditions, weather, outfits and the mountain are all vastly different than they were in December. So to help you make the most out of the last couple weeks of the season, here are some Spring Skiing Tips from local experts.

As Executive Director of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Don Wiseman has seen his fair share of ski conditions but as a former Sun Valley ski instructor, founder of Sun Summit Ski and Cycle, and Sun Valley local for over 25 years, he has a wealth of knowledge about skis, snow, gear and good ol’ Bald Mountain.

1.) Be prepared for all conditions. Conditions can vary greatly during the spring. It could be icy and hard at the top, and creamy at the bottom of the mountain.

2.) The type of ski that is ideal for spring skiing depends on where and even when you are skiing. If you are headed to the Bowls or Plaza or down into the Ridge South Slopes, a good, fatter, all-mountain ski will work. But if you are staying on-piste, on the groomers, a sharp, fast pair of GS skis will work too.

Meredith Richardson, a Sun Valley snowboard instructor, wicked videographer who makes edits like this, has a few tips for the boarders.

1.) Wax on, wax on. Always have your board waxed unless you plan on hiking down the mountain, slush is not your friend.

The fun of onesies.

2.) During spring ugly is beautiful. This time of year it is crucial to find and wear the most ugly "onesie" imaginable. It is like a rite of passage on the mountain, honoring the trends that came before us.

Drew Daly is a five-year member of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol and perennial guide for Sawtooth Mountain Guides. He might have crashed a snowmobile during his first season on the Patrol, but this Vail native is nothing short of a mountaineering and skiing expert. Here are his tips for  April skiing in Idaho .

1.) Timing is everything. You can have some of the best skiing of the year in the spring, but if you don’t time it right it could be some of the worst. Check the weather forecast and wait for it to heat up a bit. But don’t wait too long or the isothermic snow could swallow you like quicksand.

2.) Be prepared for anything. You never know what you might encounter during a day of spring skiing. Pack your stylish fanny pack with an extra layer for those freak snowstorms. Throw in water and sunscreen for the classic Sun Valley “powder day.”

To read even more local experts’ spring skiing tips and wardrobe suggestions (hint: they all seem obsessed with "Onesies"), check out this story.

DIVAS: Catching up with Danielle Crist Carruth

Danielle Crist Carruth

Mom (of three), Sun Valley SnowSports School Ski Instructor, DIVAS Program Co-Founder

By Laurie Sammis

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 Alaskan heli ski guide, wife, mother of three, DIVAS Program co-founder (along with Nicky Biddle Elsbree)  and longtime Sun Valley SnowSports School ski instructor veteran Danielle Crist Carruth on Baldy last week. Here is what she had to say about life in the mountains.


Sun Valley SnowSports instructor and DIVAS co-founder Danielle Crist Carruth enjoying her last run of the day

First Run in the A.M.? On a powder day, a quick run down Plaza (Picabo’s Street) before they open the bowls is always in order.

Last Run of the Day? For me, the end of the day is made for poking around in all the little tree stashes that haven’t been found. And there are plenty of them…

Favorite Run on a Sunny Day? Sunny spring skiing is my favorite. Corn snow in the bowls is just tough to beat.

Best Run on Baldy? Any day you are spending a lot of time on the cold springs double chair is a good one in my book, as you really can’t beat the lower bowls when conditions are right.

Favorite Lunch Spot? I love the Club House (as it is affectionately called by locals; but marked on trail maps as Lookout Lodge, at the top of Baldy), and secretly hope they never rebuild it. This is followed closely by Fondue on the deck of Roundhouse on a sunny spring day.

First Memory on Skis? Squaw Valley. Wooden Hart skis. Girls in bikinis.  Picnic lunching in the granite cliffs on a sunny spring day with family friends.

Who First Got You on Skis? Same person who taught my brothers (former Olympians and X-Games competitors Reggie and Zach Crist) and all of our children: My dad Roger Crist, aka Poppa.

When did you learn to ski? I was 2 years old. It was "trial by fire" in my family. If you couldn’t keep up, you were left in the lodge with a coloring book for hours. Sometimes that was preferable!

Favorite Memory on Skis? Hard to pick just one, but my favorite days are the ones when you head up without a plan just because you know the skiing is going to be great and you run into just the right people in just the right places … and you are just part of all that great energy that surrounds an amazing day on Baldy.

Favorite Off-Mountain Activity? Nothing beats hanging out with my family, whether it’s on the mountain, in the living room, or road tripping to Moab or California.

Do you have a skiing or mountain obsession (something you couldn’t live without)? My neck gator. Or my buff in the springtime. I can’t ski without my neck garb. Really.

Why Sun Valley–what do you love about it? I love the people.  There are places with more snow and more gnarly terrain, but there is no place where you can get as much vertical in a day than here. And there is no place with better people to ski it with.

What is Your Passion?  I have to admit I’m pretty passionate about skiing. It sounds simple, but I get a lot of pleasure out of shredding great lines with good friends or helping someone else appreciate this sport as much as I do. I’m incredibly passionate about spending time with my family and friends. There are, of course, lots of ways to do that, but skiing tends to be a pretty good one … and probably my favorite.

What is your job on the mountain? I am a Sun Valley SnowSports School ski instructor. I have been doing this job, and loving it, since college (during Christmas break). So, forever.

What is the Best Part about your job? I love getting people fired up about skiing and the mountain lifestyle.  I think we are incredibly lucky to be able to live here and raise our kids here and play here with such quality people. If just a little of that great energy can rub off on someone else, then that’s not a bad way to make the world a better place.

Lift Line: The Boulder Mountain Tour

The Nordic Festival’s main event.

The Boulder Mountain Tour will be crowning new champs this weekend.

by Alec Barfield

Originally an alpine destination, Ketchum has developed a nordic reputation. With an extensive network of trails running through unmatched scenery and more than enough sunshine to merit the name, Sun Valley and its surrounidng area has become the ideal haven for both the casual and competitive cross-country skier. Yet our moniker of "Nordic Town USA" stems from more than just sunshine and backdrops not uncommon in the West. We’ve merited the title because of passionate individuals, like Boulder Mountain Tour founder Rob Kiesel, who are responsible for the races and programs that ignited this community’s love of the sport.

This year’s Boulder Mountain Tour (BMT) is dedicated to Kiesel, who passed away in October. As the founder of both the BMT and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation cross-country program, Kiesel was a major force for nordic skiing in this valley and he will be missed by many. Fortunately, his legacy shall continue strongly: over 800 people are registered for the 37th edition of a race on Saturday, February 4th. Launched in 1973, it is one of the country’s longest running nordic events, well-respected for its longevity, speed and extremely high level of competition.

Beginning at Senate Meadows, just east of Galena Lodge, and finishing at the Sawtooth National Recreation Headquarters, the Tour is a 32-kilometer long (19.8-miles) "jaunt" along the base of the Smoky and Boulder mountain ranges. The course crosses six different creeks, while following the larger Big Wood River down the valley. And with the recent snowfall, the setting and the course couldn’t be more breathtaking.

 For the non-elite, there are a couple of ways to enjoy Saturday. Obviously, spectating is welcome and expected. For those hoping to watch the Tour, buses will be traveling from Hemingway Elementary in Ketchum to both the start (from 7-9 am) and the finish (from 9-11 am), as there will be no public parking anywhere near Galena Lodge. In addition, registration is still open for the Half Boulder, which is an informal 15k (9.3 mile) race starting at Baker Creek that coincides with the BMT course and begins shortly after the pros cross the finish line. As of now, there are already 110 skiers signed up for the latter. Although limited parking will be available at Baker Creek, more buses will be running from Hemingway between 9 and 11 am.

So if you missed the excitement of Sun Valley Nordic Festival, be sure to check out its culminating event this Saturday, the Boulder Mountain Tour, as well as the Boulder Mountain demo day at the Sun Valley Nordic Center on Sunday. Because as much as I love skiing Baldy, this week belongs to "Nordic Town USA," a celebration of cross-country skiing and the people who brought it to Ketchum.

Official Schedule

Friday: Boulder Mountain Tour Expo (10 am – 8 pm) at the Ketchum YMCA for registration, souvenirs and sponsor booths.

Saturday: Boulder Mountain Tour (10 am) and Half Boulder (11:30 am) races and awards ceremony (6 pm) at a location TBD.

Sunday: Boulder Mountain Tour Demo (10 am), featuring equipment testing from sponsors.

NordicTown USA is in its glory with this weekend's Boulder Mountain Tour.