Photograph by Tal Roberts Photography
Photograph by Tal Roberts Photography
How to stay sane when skiing with everyone’s aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, friends and grandparents.
This is the time of the year when everyone’s favorite mountain, Baldy, gets packed! Lines are long, slopes are filled, it is hard to find a seat on the deck at Warm Springs Lodge and, suddenly, your friends’ red and blue jackets start looking just like everyone else’s red and blue jackets.
So just how are you supposed to find your friends in a sea of skiers, snowboarders, revelers, families, ski lessons and groups of ski-teamers? Not everyone has bright colored jackets like me (I swear, my favorite pink and green jacket can be spotted on Baldy miles away!), no one really uses walkie-talkies anyone (though if you did, we think it’s awesome!), and sometimes it is just too cold to take your gloves off and dig through your pockets for your cell phone.
So we have complied a few tips on just how to stay together on the mountain, the best places to meet on the mountain, and a few safety tips for skiing or boarding in groups.
1. Plan ahead. Knowing when and where you are going to meet your group is the first step towards success. Be specific in your planning. Instead of saying, "Meet you at the top around eleven," try something more specific (and less mainstream) like: "Meet you at the top of Seattle Ridge at 11:15."
2. Watch the clock. There are several clocks strategically placed in every lift line. Watch for the big blue signs with maps on them, the clocks are on there too. There are also clocks at the top of the mountain and the top of Seattle Ridge. Being on time will help your group meet up easier!
3. Stand BELOW the slow sign. If you and your fam gets split up on a run, or if you decide to meet halfway down, the best place to wait for the slower part of the crew is right BELOW one of the big, orange slow signs. Most skiers and riders work to avoid those signs anyway, so you will be out of their way and it also provides you a little protection, just in case.
4. Move away from the lift! If you are meeting friends at the top of the mountain, whatever you do, DO NOT stand right where you got off. Many other skiers and riders will be getting off the lift before your friends get there, and if you are standing right in the way, it is a recipe for a disaster (or at least one or two pile-ups).
5. The best place to meet: Warm Springs Side: The Warm Springs Bridge (located right at the end of the Challenger lift line, just past Warm Springs Lodge). An old stand-by for groups of skiers and riders to meet up, the Warm Springs Bridge is almost a tradition of its own. Locals and tourists alike can be heard on a Friday night at Grumpy’s saying"Meet you on the Bridge at nine tomorrow." Just be sure not to confuse it with the River Run Bridge!
6. The best place to meet: River Run Side: The fire pit. River Run Lodge is huge and there are plenty of places to meet your group from the bear statue to the fireplace inside to the first ski rack, but our favorite place to meet, and warm up some chilly fingers, is the fire pit. Located right near the bottom of the gondola, you are sure not to miss this one and you can warm up and meet new friends while you wait.
7. If Meeting up enroute, stand BELOW the slow sign. If you and your fam (or larger group) gets split up on a run, or if you decide to meet halfway down, the best place to wait for the slower part of the crew is right BELOW one of the big orange slow signs. Most skiers and riders work to avoid those signs anyway, so you will be out of their way and it also provides you a little protection, just in case.
8. Move to the side of the slope! There are some long runs and some long cat tracks on Baldy, so if you and your crew get split up on Lower College or at the end of Hershey Highway and you are going to wait for them to catch up, be sure to move to the side of the run. Standing in the middle of any run can be dangerous for you and other skiers!
9. The best place to meet: Seattle Ridge. If your 13 year-old cousin doesn’t want to watch the Broncos game with you inside the Seattle Ridge Lodge while you wait for the rest of the family, the best place to meet on Seattle Ridge is outside the Lodge on the Lower Level. This not only keeps you out of the way of the lift and other skiers, but it provides easy access to the bathrooms and water, without going up or down any stairs!
10. The best place to meet: Top of the mountain. Lots of groups get together at the top and with the Lookout Lodge, three lifts and one cat track all converging in one area, it can get pretty hectic. Tell your friends to meet you by the big blue sign (the one with a map and a clock), or even a little lower, down by the Ski Patrol Shack. But try to stay out of the way of the snowboarder’s Strap-Up area.
11. Carry a map! Baldy can seem big and confusing, especially to a first-time visitor. So be sure to carry a mountain map with you at all times, that way if your group gets separated, at least you can figure out where you are and where you want to be! Also, the Sun Valley guest service folks (the friendly skiers and boarders in bright yellow jackets) are incredibly helpful; so don’t be afraid to ask. There are also some pretty sweet Smartphone apps with resort maps that can come in pretty handy!
Skiing and boarding is all about fun. Enjoying bluebird skis and hopefully some fresh powder with your family and friends. So be patient and kind to your fellow Baldy-lovers! A little karma goes a long way!
Photograph by Tal Roberts Photography
We’re giving away two 3 Day Lift Tickets for the upcoming 2011-2012 Winter Season. Like us on Facebook between now and September 1st for you chance to enter and win! If you’re already a fan just click on the sweepstakes tab and enter away! Good luck!
I was thinking about Warren Miller today. Ever since I was a kid, each year at his shows he would say, "…you’ll just be one year older when you do." Today, about 40 years later, I finally did take his advice and went skiing with the great folks at Sun Valley Heli-Guides. Why did I wait so long? What a great day!
The day began early with a great breakfast at the Sun Valley Lobby Lounge that could hardly be called ‘Continental. Eggs, fresh pasties, a selection of meats and fresh fruit were laid out in culinary splendor.
The guides for the day were Bozo Cardoza and Pat Deal – each long-time locals. The groups were pretty small with only four people per guide. I definitely felt like I was getting the personal attention that I was hoping for. Even after sucking some big air after a couple of head-over-heel tumbles, Pat was vary patient and encouraging for an old guy who had put off his dream for way too long. We skied the high peaks of the Boulder Range, topping out at 10,600 feet and dropping in for over 3,000 blissful and uninterrupted vertical. Knife-ridged summits fell away on both sides of the landing zones. Big lines and steeps. I had to ask myself the question, "Am I really going to ski that?" Oh yeah, and it was great! Skiing knee-deep, untracked snow one week after the last big dump was a real treat.
Afterwards, I told my wife, Jana, that it was one of the top five days of my life. She asked, "What were the other four?" Quickly, I explained that the birth of our two children, the day we got married and the day I met her. Luckily, that satisfied her curiosity or I might’ve spent the night on the couch.
I went back to re-living the day’s adventures both above and within the mountains surrounding Sun Valley. In short, Sun Valley Heli-Guides – a division of Epic Quest – know how to take care of people and put on a good show. After 35 years skiing here and relishing Warren Miller’s commentary, I finally put everything aside to take advantage of the experience of a lifetime. And so should all of us or, simply put, we’ll just be one year older when we do.
Quarter Dollar Lift will be running again on Dollar Mountain Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Terrain Park Manager Brian Callahan and his crew are installing five new rails, three jumps and three rollers in the Poverty Flats Terrain Park for all the jibbers. Should be a great time for everybody! Come on out and see us!
Yup… the snowguns are running again at Dollar Mountain, and its looking like we’ll be ready for Thanksgiving. The Snowmakers have been working around the clock here, and now we’re starting to see some real progress. Can’t wait!
The front side of Bald Mountain is now open. Seattle Ridge and the Bowls will open as soon as avalanche control work is concluded in these areas. Dollar Mountain is open as well. Don’t forget to be safe, ride with a buddy and HAVE FUN!!!
Kaitlyn Farrington, SVSEF athlete and Sun Valley local, competed over the weekend at the Wendy’s Invitational Superpipe Final in front of over 14,000 people. Farrington finished second overall in Snowbasin, though she seemed to be the crowd’s favorite as boos were heard when were lower-than-expected scores were announced. Although, Farrington was stoked on her second place finish and continues to have a killer season. Read the entire article here: http://www.allisports.com/news/elena-hight-takes-snowbasin-superpipe.