Mark Oliver does it again with the second installment of his video series, “It’s Always Sunny in Sun Valley”. This time featuring local riders like Wyatt and Yancy Caldwell, A.J. Ogden, Josh Keefer, and Olympian Graham Watanabe. Check it out here.
Snow Safety Assistant Bryant Dunn updates us on the latest mountain conditions.
We never thought that this day would come, but today was the limited opening and testing of the new terrain park on Dollar built buy SPT. Local athletes Tai Barrymore, Colter Brehmer, Mal Prior, Chase Josey, and Conor Davis met at 8:00 this morning to get to know/test the park and give some feedback. Everyone seemed super stoked just to even have a park, and to have one of this caliber was icing on the cake, lots of icing. So far, the park features include ten rails/boxes, smaller progressive jumps to learn on, and two big kickers. The kickers are about 45ft from the lip to the knuckle and the landings continue for about another 100+ft, making huge airs possible. The park will officially open to the public tomorrow so grab your gear and head over to Dollar!
It is snowing in Sun Valley! There is a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until Sunday and they are calling for three to five inches of new snow in the next 24 hours.
The inch of new snow that accumulated overnight on Friday made for some seriously happy skiers and boarders early Saturday morning. The soft layer of fresh snow over the machine-groomed terrain was pretty packed for most of the day, but the skiing was still good. With the opening of Ridge, Blue Grouse, and Lower College on Friday, the most snow and the most terrain of the season made for a day of soft snow, weekend-crowded slopes, and some fun turns. Lookout Express also opened to the delight of many, though plenty of cold skiers and boarders were still seen riding the Gondola to stay warm.
Ski team kids covered the mountain, amped to get the race season started. The Snow Sports School was also busy, with ski and snowboard lessons taking place all over the mountain. The mini Terrain Park on Lower River Run was packed with riders in bright jackets, tall T’s, and big pants. The lodges are busy, with kids racing to get the chocolate chip cookies in Warm Springs Lodge when the bell rings and friends crowding around the new River Run fire pit. ‘Tis the season for things to get busy and for the snow to keep falling!
There is a lot to be said for Christmas time in Sun Valley. Ketchum is busy. Restaurants are packed. Hotels are filled. There are late showings of movies at the theater. There is live music abound. New faces and old friends are everywhere. Family visits. It snows. Often it snows a lot. Like last Christmas, for example, when the ready-for-some-snow community woke up on Christmas Day to a good two feet of snow, the best Christmas present ever. Late December brings Christmas, snow, and New Years. There is plenty to do, and everything is bright and festive. The skiing is great.
As a local kid, I was brought into this world in a hospital down the road that has been turned into a dorm and raised on Baldy. Now, I have moved back to my cherished hometown and favorite mountain as an almost-adult. And it has been expectedly great. And the most unexpected treasure of returning to Sun Valley after an eight year absence? Skiing in November and early December. Skiing on weekdays. The skiing right now.
I haven’t skied Baldy outside of Christmastime in eight years. Eight years ago I was in high school. George W. Bush was soon to be sworn in. The Arizona Diamondbacks had just won the World Series. A postal stamp cost 34 cents. Wikipedia was just being introduced to the cyber-world.
So now, at 25, I have moved back to Sun Valley and discovered the best thing outside of 2 feet of snow on Christmas; skiing on a weekday in November. The slopes are empty. The snow is soft. Turns are wide and the sun is even shining. Friends are meeting at the top for some lunchtime turns and kids are hanging out on the pleasant Warm Springs deck.
The guns are running on trails that have yet to open and they are calling for snow this weekend. But this week, I’m going to go and enjoy the sun, snow, and skiing of Baldy on a weekday in November. I hope you can join us.