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.
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.
LET IT SNOW!
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