First Tracks

The lift at Lower River Run is running!

Ski racers hop on the lift at Lower River Run

It was music to my ears, a sight for sore eyes and every other applicable cliché when I pulled into the base of River Run just in time to see a ski racer swoosh to the end of the slope and jump onto a chairlift, ready for another go at it.  Now, Bald Mountain doesn’t open to the public (a.k.a. me) until Thursday, November 22, but it is open right now for an early-season ski camp.  There are racers skiing and training, right now, on the hill, as we speak. Oh! Joyous day!

The camp, organized by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) in cooperation with Sun Valley Resort, provides five days of training on Lower River Run to local racers and teams from all over the northwest.

“The kids love this camp,” said Ruben Macaya, Alpine Program Director for SVSEF.  “They get to ski the mountain first which is always exciting and Lower River Run is a really good place to train.”

As Ruben explained, the relatively gentle pitch on Lower River Run is perfect for teaching skills and drills.  As part of this camp, aimed at skiers ages 8 to 17, drills include one-ski skiing, balance building exercises, gate training and gate running.

“Early in the season you don’t want the kids building up too much speed,” Ruben laughed. “It takes more skill to slow down and do it right.”

The camp runs through Wednesday and many families who participate chose to stay in Sun Valley for Thanksgiving and ski the mountain when it opens to the public. After enjoying Turkey Day specials and packages, they will join hundreds of anxious locals and visitors alike who cannot wait to get in their first runs of the season.

By all accounts, the snow, a mixture of Nature-made and man-made, is good and Sun Valley will open Dollar and Baldy for its 77th winter season as planned.  There is great early-season pricing in effect so there’s really no excuse not to get in some turns.

Racers getting first tracks

First tracks!














Ski Patrol actually came over to politely ask if I was alright as I lingered at River Run, watching the chairs swoop up the skiers.  Shaken out of my reverie, I replied that yes, I was great. I was simply counting the days until I was on the chair myself.  He smiled.  Somehow, he didn’t think that was odd at all.



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You don’t need to ski to join in the celebration of Sun Valley’s 76th ski season celebration.

River Run Plaza will come alive with fun for everyone in the family from 10 am – 2 pm on Thanksgiving Day – Sun Valley’s traditional opening of the winter season.

A variety of booths will be set up featuring interesting aspects of Sun Valley’s mountain operations, including the world’s largest grooming machine, snowmaking operations and ski patrol which will feature a gondola evacuation demonstration at 11 am.

Autumnal food and specialty drinks will be available for purchase at River Run Day Lodge.

Sun Valley Resort’s Marketing Dept. also will be on hand with their  ski trade show booth complete with  its accompanying spinning wheel for prizes.

The Brass Ranch and Pete Lane’s  will be open for early Christmas shopping.

The entire event is free.

76th Winter Season Begins!

Opening Day on Bald Mountain & Dollar Mountain

Our 76th Winter Season Begins!