Let the Healing Begin

A group of firefighters enjoys the well wishes of the community at the picnic Sunday night

A group of firefighters enjoyed the well wishes of the community at the picnic Sunday night

For those of us who hold the Wood River Valley in a special place in their hearts, there really aren’t enough superlatives to describe how we feel about the firefighters who worked so hard to protect this one-of-a-kind place earlier this month.

According to Vicki Minor, Director of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, the affinity and admiration we hold for the heroes of the Beaver Creek Fire is reciprocated. Following Sunday night’s barbecue and concert at the River Run Plaza to honor and thank the firefighters, Minor received feedback unlike any she has ever heard.

“A lot of emotional healing started for our people at the base of Bald Mountain this weekend,” Minor said during a phone interview from her headquarters in Boise. “For this community to turn around after such a stressful experience and give tribute to our wildland firefighters … it was like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. I don’t know if you know what your tribe up there did for our tribe.”

More than 2,000 brave firefighters battled the blaze that threatened the Wood River Valleytwo weeks ago

More than 2,000 brave firefighters battled the blaze that threatened the Wood River Valley

For the men and women whose job it is to walk toward scenes like this one out Greenhorn Gulch, the tribute they received from the community was met with heartfelt appreciation

For the men and women whose job it is to walk toward scenes like this one out Greenhorn Gulch, the tribute they received from the community was met with heartfelt appreciation

Minor explained it’s been a particularly deadly and tragic wildland firefighting season, with 32 valiant firefighters lost. “I deal with death and tragedy and this was a very healing experience,” she said, “we’ve never been treated so well.”

Sunday evening’s events invited all firefighters and their families to enjoy a full western barbecue, drinks and entertainment, courtesy of Sun Valley. “The food was amazing. The crowd was amazing. It was a night to remember,” Minor said. “No one could believe Sun Valley and community there were doing all of this for them.”

To thank firefighters Sunday night, the food was plentiful, delicious and free

To thank firefighters Sunday night, the food was plentiful, delicious and free

According to Minor, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation is also amazed by the monetary support of the Wood River Valley. “The money hasn’t stopped rolling in,” she said. “The generosity of this community is unparalleled.” Monies raised at the special presentation of Sun Valley On Ice Saturday night, at the barbecue Sunday night, as well as contributions coming directly to the Boise office totaled more than $30,000 as of Monday afternoon. As we spoke, Minor exclaimed, “I just opened another $2,500 check from Sun Valley.”

Many contributions were not large, but were no less meaningful to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. During the ice show Saturday night, for instance, many children put a handful of small bills into the collection jar, one explaining that is was tooth fairy money he wanted to give to the heroes.

A double rainbow greeted the firefighters at River Run -- things were definitely looking up

A double rainbow greeted the firefighters at River Run -- things were definitely looking up

Every donation, no matter how large or small, counts. “This money will help so many firefighters and their families in an immediate, tangible way,” Minor said.

One big check delivered on Sunday evening came from Cox Communications. In addition to donating $5,000 to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, Minor said Cox also provided an invaluable service to the fire teams at the height of the crisis. Within 24-hours of the creation of the Incident Command Post, the local team of the communications company moved in to provide wireline Internet connections. This served not only to allow incident managers to get out incredibly timely information about the fire, it also served another critical purpose.

“In this very scary fire season, families quickly get worried when they don’t hear from their firefighter,” Minor explained. “What Cox did in this case was give the more than 2,000 firefighters at the camp the ability to easily call home which was invaluable.”

Guy Cherp of Cox Communications (right) presents a check to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, one of many given over the course of the weekend

Guy Cherp of Cox Communications (right) presents a check to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, one of many donations made over the course of the weekend

Guy Cherp, Vice President of Operations at Cox, who presented the check Sunday night said, “Cox was honored to provide a means for firefighters to communicate with loved ones.” He continued, “It was impressive to work with the great people fighting the fire, which includes our Wood River Valley firefighters. Cox is deeply grateful and appreciative of the firefighters putting their life on the line to protect our community and we were so moved by their heroic efforts that we wanted to support them.”

“The fire season isn’t over yet,” Minor said, “but Sun Valley’s response to our people made the rest of the journey for these people so much better. We saw a whole community come together to take care of each other and to take care of us. This was medicine for the firefighters’ souls.”

–RES

Sun Valley Salutes Firefighters and Looks Forward to Labor Day

The simple sign at the base of River Run said it all Sunday night

The simple sign at the base of River Run said it all Sunday night

The intermittent heavy rain that fell this weekend offered more than a hint of the poetic following the raging wildfires that threatened the Wood River Valley just a week ago. As the moisture swept through in waves during Saturday night’s Sun Valley On Ice show that benefited the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, and again on Sunday, during a huge picnic and concert at River Run honoring the 2,000-plus heroes who fought the behemoth Beaver Creek Fire, there was no question there was change in the air. With her thunderous announcements in the evening sky, Mother Nature proclaimed that Sun Valley had turned a corner – that it’s time, again, to look ahead.

Visitors and locals mingled with fire professionals at the base of River Run, looking forward to enjoying the rest of the summer

Visitors and locals mingled with fire professionals at the base of River Run and looked forward to enjoying the rest of the summer

Sunday evening’s party at the base of Baldy’s River Run drew firefighters from all over the state and country who were part of the Great Basin National Incident Management Team #1. It also drew our local heroes from the Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey and Wood River Fire Departments. To say thank you, Sun Valley distributed 565 tickets to firefighters and their families, providing a full western barbecue and beverages, all for free.

A little rain couldn't keep the crowd away from the party at River Run where locals and visitors were able to thank firefighters in person

A little rain couldn't keep the crowd away from the party at River Run

In the light drizzle, the firefighters, still in uniform, looked relaxed and happy, enjoying live music from local bands Up a Creek and Old Death Whisper. They shook hands with appreciative locals and visitors alike and by all accounts, greatly enjoyed the party thrown in their honor.

“We thought we’d have the picnic to bring the entire community together to thank the firefighters,” said Jack Sibbach, Head of Sun Valley Marketing. “This fire affected the entire Wood River Valley and this was a great opportunity for everyone to gather in one place and say thank you. It’s also the time for all of us to now look forward to the rest of the summer and the fall.”

At the storied Sun Valley ice show Saturday night, the fire’s Incident Commander Beth Lund also expressed her appreciation for the huge turnout, the support for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and for the Valley that so clearly valued her team’s efforts. She reiterated how dangerous a job it is to fight these fires and how organizations like the Wildland Firefighter Foundation provide critical help to families who suffer a loss or an injury amid the unpredictable flames.

Admission to Saturday's Sun Valley On Ice was free, but donations were accepted on behalf of the Wildland Firefighters Foundation

Admission to Saturday's Sun Valley On Ice was free, but donations were accepted on behalf of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation

The cast of Sun Valley On Ice then emerged under the lights wearing fire hats and skated from the heart, honoring the events of the past weeks. The show was provided free to guests with a suggested donation to the firefighters.

Sun Valley truly has turned a corner; skies are clear, the sun is shining. Those short-lived evening rain showers washed away any remaining ash and soot and changed the entire feeling up and down the Wood River Valley.

Starting Wednesday, jump on the gondola and head up to Roundhouse for lunch with a pretty spectacular view

Starting Wednesday, jump on the gondola and head up to Roundhouse for lunch with a pretty spectacular view

Now it’s time to end the summer on a high note. Bald Mountain reopens to foot, bike and gondola traffic on Wednesday, August 28.  The gondola will run daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and the deck at Roundhouse Restaurant will offer a daily barbecue. There is no more scenic place to eat. Beginning Friday, the famous taco bar at Lookout also makes and end-of-summer, back-by-popular demand appearance.

Sun Valley has extended its sale on winter passes through September 15. Don’t miss this opportunity to save up to $350 on what promises to be an amazing snow season. This year, there are seven passes from which to choose, including a new Young Adult Pass, as well as a new installment payment plan for select products. Come by the River Run Ticketing Office, buy a $15 ticket for the gondola and check out what’s new for the coming season!  While you’re at River Run Plaza, be sure to also pop into Brass Ranch and check out the sale in progress.

The centerpiece of the Big Hitch Wagon Days Parade is something you have to see to believe

The centerpiece of the Big Hitch Wagon Days Parade is something you have to see to believe

For Labor Day weekend, it’s on! Festivities begin in earnest on Friday and run all the way through the Monday holiday. Highlights include: an antique car show and auction, Rebecca Rusch’s Private Idaho bike tour, pancake breakfasts in Ketchum, the final ice show of the season featuring crowd favorite Johnny Weir, rodeos, antique and art shows, an Art Gallery walk, a western shoot-out, and of course, the Big Hitch Parade. Be sure to be in Sun Valley during one of the best Labor Day celebrations in the nation.

And it’s not over after Labor Day! September in Sun Valley is a spectacular month during which to golf, hike, bike, fly fish … you name it. This year, it is also a spectacular month for music. Tickets are on sale now for Reckless Kelly, playing September 6 at the Sun Valley Pavilion and Clint Black who will entertain under the sail on September 12.

Again, we thank the amazing firefighters for giving us the gift of enjoying this upcoming Labor Day celebration and the renewed opportunity to truly appreciate the beauty and splendor of our one-of-a-kind valley.

Rest up now. It’s about to get busy!

–RES

Brandi Carlile in Concert!

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    The Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents Brandi Carlile at the River Run Plaza.

    As Brandi Carlile fans well know, her concerts are near legendary in their perfect communion between performer and audience. Whether she is rocking out with her full band or standing quietly at the edge of the stage singing a cappela, Carlile brings a riveting intensity to her shows. Known for her clear and powerful vocals and her signature mix of rock, folk, and alt-country, Brandi Carlile continues to wow audiences from major festivals to Benaroya Hall in Seattle where she has played with the Seattle Symphony.

     

     

Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band

August 14 @ River Run

7pm

 

  • The Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band.
  • $30 members / $40 nonmembers • Early entry tickets $70 members / $80 nonmembers
    Josh Ritter is a singer-songwriter and guitarist with six albums (and a novel) under his belt and fans who love to sing along with his heartfelt folk-rock anthems. His Americana style first took hold in a big way in Ireland and the UK. A talented singer-songwriter, in 2006 Ritter was named one of the 100 Greatest Living Songwriters byPaste Magazine.

River Run Rocks

A huge group turned out for Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real Saturday afternoon at River Run

A huge group turned out for Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real Saturday afternoon at River Run

It’s spring break and Sun Valley is ready to party!

Sun Valley Resort set in motion the feel good vibe of spring in the mountains on Saturday afternoon, when a crowd estimated at over 1,000 people gathered at the base of River Run to enjoy the sounds of Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. The afternoon was sunny and warm and concert goers peeled down to t-shirts and ski pants as they enjoyed a cold beer and hot music.

In true Sun Valley style, with the first chords from Lukas Nelson’s guitar, people rushed the dance floor and didn’t sit down again during the entire hour-and-a-half long concert.  The stage, set up just outside of Brass Ranch, offered a large area for dancing and standing and seating room stretched from the bridge to the base of the lifts.  Also in true Sun Valley style, the event drew everyone in town — from 20-somethings to kids in strollers, from retirees to Ketchum’s ubiquitous four-legged friends.

Everyone came out to relax and to enjoy the band’s signature sound. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real stopped in Sun Valley during a tour that next leads to Utah, California and Hawaii. But judging by the number of fans they have in Idaho, hopefully they will return. The four-person band is known for their high-energy performances. Though Lukas is music royalty (his father is Willie Nelson), the 25-year-old lead singer and guitar player has earned his own huge fan base with original music that is less a little bit country, and more a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.

Lukas Nelson rocks River Run

Lukas Nelson rocks River Run

Saturday’s concert was the first of four free concerts celebrating spring on the mountain. The Rock ‘n The Sun Spring Concert Series will continue on March 23 with Paranoid Social Club at River Run, on April 6, The Bernie Worrell Orchestra, also at River Run and on April 13, the day before Baldy is set to close for the season with Diego’s Umbrella  at Warm Springs. Concerts run from 4:30 – 6 p.m. This is the first time Sun Valley has ever offered a free après ski concert series of this magnitude with a large outdoor stage and full concert sound system.

The recipe for apres ski spring break style? Eat, drink, be merry

The recipe for apres ski spring break style? Eat, drink, be merry

Next up, Paranoid Social Club is an American Rock band formed in 2002 in Portland, Maine. The band’s debut album Axis II produced the hit “Wasted” which was featured as the theme for Broken Lizard’s cult classic film Beerfest, as well as being the soundtrack to every college party in America, according to the band’s website. Their next album featured the single “Two Girls” which was used in HBO’s series Entourage and Cathouse and gave birth to a house remix album produced by club DJs. I’m guessing Paranoid Social Club will bring the crowd to their feet again.

No explanation needed

No explanation needed

Expect big crowds this weekend for this party band. Find a seat or your spot on the dance floor and enjoy Spring Break Sun Valley style!

Thanks to Sun Valley Resort for making spring skiing even better.

–RES

 

 

Rock n The Sun Spring Concert Series

Rock ‘n The Sun Spring Concert Series 4:30-6:00 pm

This season for the first time ever we will offer
a free concert series on the last four Saturdays of the season,
with a larger outdoor stage and full concert sound system featuring:

March 16 – Lukas Nelson, the Promise of the Real (River Run)
March 23 – Paranoid Social Club(River Run)
April 6 – The Bernie Worrell Orchestra(River Run)
April 13 – DJ Dan(Warm Springs)

Entertainment schedule subject to change.

River Run Apres Ski – The Kris Lager Band

River Run Lodge

March 1–3

3pm–6pm

Rental 101

Everything is going perfectly. You have arrived in Sun Valley and are looking forward to a holiday week of amazing skiing or snowboarding. You checked into the Resort, unpacked your ski clothes and plan to be at the mountain bright and early to take advantage of bluebird skies, bright sunshine and terrific conditions. Now, all you need is some gear.

Step one: fill out the necessary online forms at Pete Lane's

Step one: fill out the necessary online forms at Pete Lane's

To help ensure you get onto the mountain as quickly as possible, here is a primer for renting equipment at the base of River Run. If you follow these basic steps, perfect turns and pristine slopes will be yours in record time.

Rentals and demos on the River Run side of Baldy are available at Pete Lane’s on the plaza. Pete Lane’s is in the same building as the Brass Ranch, toward the back (very convenient if shopping for beautiful ski clothes is also on the agenda).

At Pete Lane’s, locate one of the computer terminals against the back wall and go ahead and fill out the requested information.

The friendly and well-trained staff is here to help

The friendly and well-trained staff is here to help

Next, walk a few steps across the room to where Demo skis are displayed. There, friendly staff members will help you decide what kind of package you require, discuss different equipment options, current snow conditions and your ability level in order to get you on exactly the right set-up. Pete Lane’s offers a wide range of equipment, perfect for a true beginner or expert shredder; appropriate for a day on Sun Valley’s fabled groomed runs or a dip into the powder. At this counter, you may also buy lift tickets.

The always-critical boot fitting comes next. Again, the experts at Pete Lane’s will make sure you get a boot that is sized correctly and that is comfortable, because, as we all know, there is nothing sure to sour a day on the mountain more quickly than aching feet.

Step 3: Making sure the boot fits

Step 3: Making sure the boot fits

Last stop is the back room where your skis or snowboard await. Boots on your feet, skis and poles or snowboard in hand, the lift and gondola beckon, right outside the door.

And don’t forget, if you rent equipment from Pete Lane’s or if you are a Resort guest, there is complimentary ski storage at the base of River Run. Drop your equipment off before heading in to the River Run Lodge from an après ski beer and entertainment. It will be waiting for you the next morning.

Almost there. Grab your skis or your board and you're out the door!

Almost there. Grab your skis or your board and you're out the door!

Equipment rental is also available at Dollar Mountain and at the base of Warm Springs. The process is the same: computer first, forms next, boots, skis or snowboards and off you go. Don’t hesitate to ask a staff member if you have any questions – they are all knowledgeable and helpful.

Have a fantastic Presidents’ Day holiday or ski week and be sure to let us know how you liked the gear!

–RES

This amazing view awaits!

This amazing view awaits!

Early Season Race Camp – River Run

Early Season Race Camp – River Run

November 16 – 21

42nd Street & Lower River Run.

SVSEF team member and invited guests

Contact SVSEF at 208-726-4129 or visit svsef.org

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