If you have been on Baldy in the past few weeks, chances are you have noticed pods of skiers, often sporting matching parkas and matching smiles, plotting their next run, enjoying a hearty lunch on Seattle Ridge, mincing the moguls or cruising the groomers. In the past two weeks alone, 16 ski clubs have traveled to Sun Valley to enjoy a week’s worth of terrific skiing and boarding, socializing, specials at the Resort, and soaking up that Sun Valley sun and atmosphere in every possible way.
Almost every Saturday during the season, enthusiasts arrive in Sun Valley from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oregon, California, South Carolina, Virginia, even Hawaii (maybe that’s where all the chic ski fashion this season featuring Mauna Kea comes from..) to enjoy a seamless, made-to-order ski vacation.
According to the Resort’s Bert Witsil, Sun Valley welcomes numerous different clubs each year, many of which are repeat visitors. “We have our wonderful Ancient Skiers and Mount Hood Gang that came every winter without fail,” he explained, “then we host up to as many as 50 to 60 other clubs, from all over the nation that know about our great snow, fantastic grooming, and friendly, casual atmosphere and want to experience it for themselves.”
Ski Clubs have a rich tradition in America. They exist is almost every big city and many smaller communities, providing members with numerous opportunities throughout the season to experience fantastic hassle-free vacations where they can leave the planning to someone else and concentrate on what matters most: the skiing and enjoying!
From the moment the charter bus arrives at the Sun Valley Lodge and ski club members check in, receiving their keys, schedules and lift tickets, enjoyment and recreation await. A typical week in Sun Valley includes a kick off party at the Inn Lobby Lounge, a free tour of Bald Mountain to make sure everyone knows their way around the hill, a Taste of Sun Valley Welcome Party, a free Nastar Race, and much, much more.
“This is a great way to get a great experience in Sun Valley,” Bert said. “There is a lot of skiing, a lot of socializing and a lot of great deals.”
For instance, at the Sunday night Taste of Sun Valley party, guests mix and mingle, enjoying entertainment, drinks and delicious food. Here, participants receive a commemorative Ski Week pin, sign up for their free Thursday Nastar Race, and enjoy a great raffle. This is also where guests get a secret password for a private sale in the Village shops. Never has there been a better excuse to replace those tired ski pants or stock up on some necessities.
On Tuesday, Sun Valley organizes a Pub Crawl in Ketchum that begins at the Inn and finishes up at downtown’s storied Whiskey Jacques. On Wednesday, the Wood River YMCA offers free day passes to ski club members to recover from a lot of vertical, or maybe even just the pub crawl. Reinvigorated, Thursday offers the Nastar Race and awards party where swag and beer celebrate great results and even make those that were less than epic seem somehow unimportant! Friday it’s all about free skiing and then unfortunately, like all good things, this, too, must come to an end Saturday morning.
Thank you to all the local Ski Clubs who put Sun Valley on their schedule. It is great to have guests on the hill from all over the country and we are all glad you are here! Remember to drink plenty of water, check in with the “Yellow Jackets” on the hill with any questions and to take a moment, or two or three, to appreciate our beautiful views, blue skies and unsurpassed experience. Welcome!