Gifts aplenty

Early season snow was an early gift on Baldy

Early season powder blankets Baldy's Central Park

We have not yet officially reached the start of the 12 days of Christmas, but from my perspective, Sun Valley’s alpine skiers and sliders have already been given gifts aplenty. With apologies to the original scribe of the beloved holiday classic, my 12 Days of Christmas might go, thus far, something like this (feel free to hum along):

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On the first day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me: a snow-covered evergreen tree.

On the second day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me: two well-tuned skis and a snow-covered evergreen tree.

On the third day of Christmas Mother Nature gave to me: three groomed steeps, two well-tuned skis and a snow-covered evergreen tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas Mother Nature gave to me: four days of snowfall, three groomed steeps, two well-tuned skis and a snow-covered evergreen tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas Mother Nature gave to me: five pow-der runs! four days of snowfall, three groomed steeps, two well-tuned skis and a snow-covered evergreen tree.

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I will stop there, because the prevailing theme quickly runs to overkill, but in Sun Valley, in December, the skiing is stunningly good. This week, after a massive storm came through and dumped something like three feet of white, fluffy powder on the top of Baldy, I have skied runs that are normally reserved for much, much later in the season. I dropped down into Central Park off of College and splashed in the still fresh snow, three days after the big storm. The trail that sounds like “Stilhung” but is spelled in a way I can’t begin to fathom, beckoned alluringly from the top of International, offering still untouched powder past my knees. I tackled Rock Garden, Upper Holiday and Upper River Run, nearly three weeks BEFORE Christmas. (For our guests, all these runs involve some combination of steep pitches, trees, bumps or powder and are not always in great shape this early in the year).

Thursday saw first tracks in the bowls

Thursday saw first tracks in the bowls

Sun Valley Ski Patrol has been aggressive in opening terrain and on Thursday … wait for it … they dropped the rope on some of Baldy’s awesome bowls. Yes, people were skiing and riding the bowls on December 6, and making laps on the Mayday lift. For lack of a better word – epic!

Lift talk is, without fail, enthusiastic and filled with gratitude. On a weekday morning, those of us lucky enough to work the night shift or have the day off, giddily compare notes, conditions and look almost guilty at our good fortune. Our only complaint? Tired legs from all this early-season powder. Yes, it’s hard to be us.

Insert yourself here

Insert yourself here

The mountain’s base is in fantastic shape for the coming season and it promises be a very white and very jolly holiday in Sun Valley. In fact, I don’t think there is better skiing anywhere in the country right now. It’s that good.

I will take this recent snowfall over drummers drumming, maids a’ leaping, swans a’ swimming –even golden rings. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here, and that looks pretty darn amazing — especially when you’re looking down at it from 9000 feet.

–RES

 

 

 

 

 

Sun Valley Opens Thanksgiving Day

Sun Valley’s 76th Winter Season opens Thursday, November 24, offering skiing and riding top to bottom on both sides of Baldy. The Quarter Dollar high-speed quad and the Accelerator moving carpet also will be open on Dollar Mountain.

On Baldy, four high-speed quads will be in operation – #1, River Run, #5 Lookout Express, #3 Christmas, #10, Challenger and the Kinderspielplatz moving carpet. Lift service will allow access to the following runs – Upper College, Flying Squirrel, Lower Picabo, Lower Warm Springs, Roundhouse Lane, Roundhouse Slope, Lower Canyon, Mid and Lower River Run.

Both mountains will provide a terrain park experience starting the season with four medium park rails on Baldy’s Lower River Run and a progression park with nine rails on Dollar.

Full restaurant and bar service will be available at River Run Day Lodge and Warm Springs Day Lodge with Lookout Restaurant open for drinks and snacks through the weekend.
Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge also will provide full service through the weekend and then close until December 10 when Dollar Mountain operations will re-open for the season.

Brass Ranch, Pete Lane’s and Pete Lane’s new Boot Shop will be open 8-5 pm daily with Dollar Mountain’s Pete Lane’s open from 8-5 pm for the weekend. Custom boot fitters will be available to dial in your boots, an early season hot wax special will be offered and the kid’s season lease package will be available for purchase at Dollar and River Run.

Sun Valley’s Village Shops will observe Black Friday with special deals and extended hours Friday, November 25.

For updated Mountain Reports, please call 800-635-4150 or visit www.sunvalley.com.

More lifts and terrain will open as conditions permit.

March 9th conditions on Baldy