Shot of the Week: Boulder Mountain Tour

Don’t miss all the incredible Nordic ski action going on as part of this weekend’s Boulder Mountain Tour!

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.



Sun Valley Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Don’t miss the 2012 Sun Valley Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Ski and Heritage Museum (KSVHS)on Wednesday, February 1st at 4:00 pm. The celebration includes live music, drinks, and a brief presentation and speech by each athlete.

This year’s class includes Alpine Committee selections: Dick Durrance, Warren Miller, Janette Burr Johnson, Pete Patterson and Michel Rudigoz. The Nordic Committee has selected Bill & Annie Vanderbilt, N’tala Skinner, Charley French, Hans Muehlegger and Jenny Busdon






Lift Line: NordicTown USA Comes Alive!

Th Sun Valley Nordic Fest kicks off this weekend!

The Sun Valley Nordic Festival kicks off this weekend!

By Katie Matteson

And we’re off!

We all know the great alpine skiing around here, the numerous skiing prodigies raised around here and the world-renown competitions hosted here. But for those not so, well, gravity-inclined, there’s a pretty big Nordic skiing scene around here as well … But really, who are we kidding?? The Olympic Norwegian Nordic Teamtrained here, we host one of the biggest Nordic events of the season, the Boulder Mountain Tour  and our local racers are some of the best in the world. So the Nordic scene here isn’t just big, it’s HUGE! So massive and impressive, in fact, that Sun Valley has recently earned the official title of "NordicTown USA!"

And one of the biggest highlights in NordicTown USA is the annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival. Starting this weekend here in Sun Valley, the event features a plethora of events like the Blaine County Recreation District’s (BCRD) Ski the Rails Day, a randonee race, training clinics with Fischer athlete Nicole DeYong, Alturas Lake Ski Day and aprs dinners, lectures, clinics, the downtown jam and Sprint Races. All culminating in the epic Boulder Mountain Tour. (A complete schedule is available here:

It’s bound to be a busy week of Nordic skiing and celebrating around the Valley, so here is write-up of the five events we won’t be missing during this year’s Sun Valley Nordic Festival!

 1. Skin It 2 Win It Randonee Race!

Saturday, January 28th, 10:00 AM

Dollar Mountain

This premiere Randonee Race will have teams of 1, 2 & 4 persons skinning from the base of Dollar Mountain to the summit where they will remove their skins and ski back to the start to hand off their baton to the next teammate. Racers will complete as many laps as possible in 5 hours. The distance is approx. 1.3 miles and 600 vertical feet.

This is a fund raising event for the Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center. Entry fee is $50/person and must be entered in advance. No registration day of race! Racers are encouraged to secure sponsors to cover entry fee and beyond. Hot drinks & food will be provided for racers. Awards will be same day at Dollar Lodge @ 4:30. Prizes will be awarded for fastest lap, most laps completed, best costume and most money sponsored.

Costumes are required!

Galena Lodge.

2.  Galena and the Trails Winter Benefit

Saturday, January 28th, 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Limelight Room, Sun Valley Inn, Sun Valley

Don’t miss the annual Galena & The Trails Winter Benefit this year on January 28th, the first day of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival. The Benefit is the annual celebration of our community trails and lodge supported by the BCRD. All support from the Benefit goes to the annual costs of maintaining the trails and lodge facilities. For a full list of live action packages for this year’s benefit, click here.

Don’t forget to buy your tickets now, they’re going fast!  Purchase tickets online at!


Highly-acclaimed Nordic ski coach Rick Kapala.

3. Nordic Lecture: Building a Bigger Engine

Monday, January 30th, 7:00 PM

The Community Library, Ketchum

Join Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Head Nordic Coach Rick Kapala for a presentation on how to improve your physical capacities for cross country skiing. They’ll cover training physiology, workout design and training monitoring as key elements in managing your training plan.

4. NordicTown USA Downtown Jam and Sprints

Thursday, February 2nd, 4:00 PM

Downtown Ketchum, at the intersection of 4th and 2nd.

Quickly becoming the "can’t miss" event of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival! World-class sprints with Olympic caliber athletes, kids races and accompanying music all in one! Get some dinner with Galena Lodge onsite, grab a warm drink and enjoy the bonfire and on site winter artwork after checking out the amazing sprint races!

Tim Snider and Sound Society are going to rock the Ketchum Downtown Jam and Nordic Town USA Sprint races! Tim has traveled to Europe, Cuba, Morocco, Spain, Indonesia, and much of Central America in his ongoing journey to study the world’s different styles of music. Blending American roots, world beat and Latin rhythms into an inspired sound that has been dubbed “World Rock,” the group creates a high-energy performance that gives its audiences an irresistible desire to dance. Some say it is just foot-stomping soul-stirring goodness!

Grab the kids, bundle up and get ready to watch the races, dance and then compete in the legendary World Snowshoe Dance Competition. Refreshments will be available for purchase and the bonfire will be going!

5.  2012 SWIX Boulder Mountain Tour

Saturday, February 4th, 10:00 AM

Senate Meadows (Start area)

One of America’s longest running and most respected cross-country ski races, the Boulder Mountain Tour (BMT) is the Wood River Valley’s winter treasure. Drawing a field from across the country, and across the spectrum of abilities, the BMT welcomes all. The race traverses the spectacular Boulder Mountains for 32 kilometers of breath-taking beauty and world-class competition. Some of the finest skiing to be found anywhere on the planet combined with warm hospitality and first-rate race organization.





Lift Line: Full Moon Nights

What to do when the moon lights up SunValley

By Mike McKenna

Each month, a full moon reigns over the sky, lighting up Sun Valley in a whole new way. To make the most of out these bright nights–including the nearly as bright waxing and waning days surrounding the full moon–here’s a rundown of some fun stuff to do in Sun Valley when the moonlight is aglow.


Full Moon Nordic & Moonlight Dinner 

Departing from the Sun Valley Club & Nordic Center and offering spectacular views of Sun Valley and the surrounding mountains, these cross country ski tours and moonlight dinners beginning at 6 pm. For more information about the skiing or the dinners, please call 208.622.2135.


Full Moon Dinners Galena Lodge

Take a moonlit ride up to Galena Lodge nor of Ketchum for a fabulous and unforgettable five-course meal. The dinners do not include any group excursions on the snow, but visitors are welcome to go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing under the moonlight before or after dinner. Reservations are required, so give them a call (208.726.4010) to assure your seat and hear the menu for the month.


Sleigh Rides

For a magical and memorable moonlit dinner for the whole family, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride to Trail Creek Cabin. Sleigh rides begin December 17, and run three times a night, Tuesdays through Saturdays, throughout the season. Bundle up, grab a hot toddy from the bar at the Inn and enjoy the ride. Due to the wild popularity of the sleigh ride dinners, reservations are required. PLease call 208.622.2135.


 Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Sledding, Ice Skating and Snowmobiling

If scheduling a full moon outing ahead of time is too much work, don’t be afraid to find a moonlit adventure of your own. There are plenty of reasons why USA Today named Sun Valley one of the Top 10 ski resorts in the world for non-alpine skiers.

 The Wood River Trail System offers 30 miles of free, groomed trails for snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Snowmobiliers can ride the 500 miles of groomed trails north of Ketchum, or head over Galena Summit to ride some of the 170 miles of trails in the Smiley Creek/Stanley area, or head a little southeast to the 200 miles of trails near Fairfield.

You could skate on the same surface Olympian champions like Sasha Cohen and Brian Boitano do at Sun Valley Lodge’s ice rink. Rentals are available and skating is open until 8 p.m. nightly. There are also "natural" rinks at Atkinson Park in Ketchum or Roberta McKercher Park in Hailey.


Tubing at Dollar Mountain

Rubber meets the snow in three 600-ft. lanes at Dollar Mountain’s Snow Tubing Park. Fun for the whole family, the tubing park is open daily. For more details, check here

Or, you could simply find a well-lit spot just outside your own neighborhood to go snowshoeing or sledding. If you do go on a trip of your own, please make sure you take all the proper safety precautions and always be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be returning.



Billy Goat Loppet

Billy Goat Loppet

January 21

Annual Billy Goat Loppet nordic race at Galena Lodge.  Call the Sun Valley Ski Club at 208-622-3033 for more information.

MOUNTAIN DIVAS: Pamper Yourself 101


Pampering for Moms on and off the Mountain

Taking a "time out" for yourself is essential for Mountain Divas!

10 quick fixes to help you relax and recharge

By Laurie Sammis

Let’s face it, if you are a Mountain Diva, you are a busy girl! It’s a festive time of year and the Holidays only raise the bar, thus lowering the amount of R&R for yourself.

And it doesn’t matter what keeps you busy: whether it’s the constant social circuit (a glass of champagne here…a bikini martini or a hot toddy there) or the steady schedule of family fun and kids activities that you are working to coordinate during this busy time (ice skating, ski lessons, tubing at Dollar). But if you feel like an air traffic controller that has just landed 18 jumbo jets on conflicting flight patterns (at night and in a snow storm), it’s time for a course in pampering yourself 101.

Read on, darling diva, as the following 10 quick fixes are geared towards helping you find your inner goddess once again.




1. Pamper Your Body

Every diva knows that the quickest way to complete bliss is through a relaxing and rejuvenating body treatment. Lucky for us, the Sun Valley Salon and Day Spa offers a wide array of options: everything from acupuncture and herbal body wraps to "hot stone therapy" and traditional massage. Just remember that there are hundreds of different techniques, so be sure to be specific on your needs (and aches or injuries) so that your treatment can be tailored to your specific needs–whether it’s a more relaxing in-room massage treatment (you don’t even have to get up and look presentable) or an invigorating sports massage or shiatsu treatment to help those quads recover from multiple days on Baldy. Can’t decide, call 208.622.2160 to get a recommendation on the perfect spa package (they can build in facials or salon services as well) or view the full brochure of spa services here.

2. Drench Your Skin

No time for a full massage or spa package, book a Petite Facial and enjoy 30 minutes of quiet time that includes a thorough cleanse and exfoliation, along with a moisturizing mask to rehydrate and refresh the complexion. You’ll look as good as new in no time! Of course, feel free to splurge with the Spa Prestige Ogenage Facial (for 80 minutes of heaven and a totally renewed, revitalized, and dare we say reconstructed complexion that works days after the facial). You can also enhance any of the standard facials–like the Aqualift Anti-Wrinkle Facial or Ultra Moisturizing Facial or the Classic–with a marine eye-lift or specialty concentrate treatment. Call 208.622.2160 to book your facial.


Poolside cocktail service at the Lodge pool

3. A Soak in the Lodge Pool

What could possibly be better than a following up your massage or facial (or full spa package) with a relaxing soak in the Sun Valley Lodge pool …? We can answer with complete confidence: Nothing can compete. There is simply no better way to finish off your massage than with a glass of champagne or a bartender’s margarita delivered poolside while you lounge in an outdoor pool that is heated to a soothing 100-102° (make sure you drink your water first so that all that pampering from your massage doesn’t go to waste). Come to think of it, this is the perfect way to end any aprs ski day, no matter where you have been (on the slopes of Baldy, exploring the backcountry with Sun Valley Heli Ski or wandering the Nordic trail system).

The bench seat extends around the entire perimeter and watching your drinks arrive via poolside cocktail service through the steam is a rare luxury. And don’t forget the Inn Pool, which offers breathtaking views of Baldy.

4. Pamper Your Toes

Short on time, book a manicure / pedicure and treat your hands and feet. The Sun Valley Salon and Day Spa even offers a reflexology add-on (30 minutes) to help add to the experience. Looking for a little extra sparkle, zip down to Chic Nail Boutique in Hailey for the Glitter Toes, a treatment that melds real glitter to any color for that added holiday glam.

5. Indulge in Sunday Brunch

Plan a decadent Sunday brunch at the elegant Lodge Dining Room on the second floor of the Sun Valley Lodge and indulge in what many consider to be the Northwest’s finest Sunday Brunch. A lavish display of breakfast specialties including omelet and crepe stations, seafood, an array of gourmet salads and a symphony of desserts await, along with the accompaniment of pianist Leana Leach. Open every Sunday for Brunch from 10 am to 2 pm. Sorry, no reservations for the Sunday Brunch.

6. Lunch at Your Leisure

Lunch at the Roundhouse

Enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Sun Valley Club, surrounded by huge glass walls overlooking the Nordic trails meandering along Trail Creek Golf Course. The sliders are to-die for and the lunch menu has something for everybody. Looking for something a little more quaint, then don’t miss a European breakfast or indulgent lunch at Cristina’s Restaurant (of Cristina’s Cookbook series fame). This quaint little cottage in Ketchum beckons with old-world charm and offers a menu of delicious treats that changes daily.

And for that WOW factor, a gondola ride up the mountain for a full table lunch service  at the Roundhouse can not be beat–just don’t miss drinks or fondue at Averell’s before you sit down (and enjoy the incredible views of town and the surrounding Pioneer Mountains)! Plan ahead (and get there early) as parties are seated on a first-come, first served basis; although large parties of 8 or more may make reservations by calling 208.622.2800.


7. A Little Retail Therapy

Grab coffee at the Konditorei Coffee (don’t worry, nobody can spell it correctly, but it’s pronounced khan-di-tor-i) and then head out to the Sun Valley Village shops for some retail therapy.

More than 15 shops beckon in the Sun Valley Village

Over 15 unique shops offer everything from technical sportswear and footwear to the latest in designer styles, fine gifts, jewelry and home dcor. Designer lines include the latest from TSE, Juicy, Diane von Furstenberge, Velvet, Juicy, Kjus, Bogner, Toni Sailer, Ralph Lauren, Moncler, Arc’teryx, Lole, Nils, Patagonia, Burton and more. There is even a toy store for unique toys and gifts and Silver Creek Outfitters….so you can get something for everybody on your list.

For a more cultural experience, visit one of the amazing art galleries in town (the Sun Valley Gallery Association sponsors monthly gallery walk nights), featuring nationally and internationally recognized artists showing as part of a sophisticated and thriving arts scene–there is even the U.S. premiere of the Papunya Tula aboriginal artists from Australia this February at Harvey Art Projects in Ketchum.

8. Escape into the Solitude of Nature

Nordic and snowshoe trails offer beauty and solitude

Want to just get away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet of a high alpine landscape beneath a blanket of freshly fallen snow? Head north out Trail Creek to the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center, which is located in the glass-walled and river rock Sun Valley Club, nestled along the sprawling Trail Creek Golf Course. With over 40 km of trails groomed daily for skate and classic skiing, the trail system offers gently sloping terrain with challenging hills that offer incredible vistas without leaving you gasping for air. For a round up of other local snowshoe trails, from easy to insane, check out Sun Valley Magazine’s "Walking in a Winter Wonderland." Cap your afternoon adventure off with a hot toddy in the Sun Valley Club.


9. Dinner and a Movie

Treat yourself to a movie at the historic Opera House. Built in 1937 and located in the heart of Sun Valley Village, the Opera House is a charming 340-seat theatre that features the newest releases, along with regular showings of the classic "Sun Valley Serenade" (every afternoon at 4:30 and admittance is always free). Sun Valley restaurant guests can also enjoy a FREE movie after dining at the following Sun Valley restaurants: Bald Mountain Pizza, Trail Creek Cabin, The Ram and Gretchen’s. Movie passes will be available to each diner for a movie on the same evening. Please ask your server for more information. Ketchum’s Magic Lantern Cinema also offers current films nightly and matinees most days.

Comedy and live music are all part of the winter calendar

10.  Ladies Night Out

Looking for a little more excitement. Start with some aprs ski fun by checking out Sun Valley’s Calendar of Events to see who is playing at the base lodges–both River Run and Warm Springs. There is often entertainment in the Sun Valley Village as well, with details on times and performers online–the Duchin Lounge has the best live jazz in town and the Boiler Room offers a comedy series and special appearances, along with the farewell season of Forever Plaid this year! There is also live music most nights somewhere in town and Whiskey Jacques has a full calendar with a great lineup and most shows with only a $5 to $12 cover.


Just remember that if you stay out too late…you may have to begin at the top of the list with #1 and start all over again.

Nordic Diamondback Revenge

2nd annual Diamondback Revenge!

Arguably the most challenging race in the valley

10km or 5km of pure heart pumping bliss, skate or classic

Mass start @ 11am, Nordic Town Race Series Finale.

Awards and party following the completion of race.

Call to register:  622-2250

Entry fee:  10km – $18,  5km – $13   Includes souvenir and lunch.

Leif’s Race

Combined alpine and Nordic race, details TBA


Nordic Sweetheart Relays

A fun race for couples or the whole family.

6x1km freestyle (classic or skate technique, chariots and similar devices welcome).  Must kiss to tag off. Themed costumes encouraged. Entry fee $15 per team.

Please call to register so we know how much chocolate we need to get.  Start at 11:00 am