Over a hundred of the world’s best paragliding pilots will compete in Sun Valley this summer as part of the 2012 Paragliding World Cup. The Sun Valley event will be the 5th competition of the 2012 circuit season.
The skies over Sun Valley will be filled with colorful paragliding wings as pilots maneuver and race to check points and eventually a daily finish line. The summit of Bald Mountain, the top of the Sun Valley Resort, will be the starting point each day. The flying course and finish line/goal will change daily due to wind and weather conditions. Course lengths of anywhere from 25 to over a hundred miles is expected. Take the River Run gondola up the mountain to witness the action at the launch site as pilots take to the skies. Or better yet, contact Fly Sun Valley to reserve a tandem paragliding flight and join the competitors in the air!
Like many of us who are far less famous, Academy Award-winning actress Jodie Foster is a big fan of skiing in Sun Valley. She regularly brings her family to carve turns here–though she’s yet to visit in the summer (if she only knew what she was missing!)–and has professed quite a fondness for the area and local community.
Last month, Foster was kind enough to do a fundraiser for the local award-winning theatre group, the Company of Fools.
Here are some of the jewels that Jodie Foster shared about acting and life.
On her dreams when she was a child actress: "I didn’t think I would be an actor (it wasn’t a ‘real job’) … I wanted to be a writer."
On first meeting and working with actor Robert De Niro: "I thought he was sooo boring."
After working with De Niro on "Taxi Driver" and earning her first Academy Award nomination: "Now I get what this job is."
On work and career: "Anybody who does anything has a love/hate relationship with it. It can’t be too challenging and it can’t be too boring."
On children: "When kids get bored doing what they’re doing they just stop doing it. I think that’s great."
On driving through the Valley: I drive "slowly, very slowly."
On Sun Valley and it’s surroundings: "Can I just say I love Idaho. There’s just something so touching about this community. So I keep coming back … it’s just a special place."
Mother’s Day is nearly 100 years old. Declared an official national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, Mothers Day began in the United States after Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia began a campaign to set aside a day just for mothers. Her mother had died and Anna wanted all mothers to be remembered with a day of quiet reflection and family. But mother’s have been celebrated since the time of the ancient greeks, who used to honor Rhea, "Queen of heaven" and "mother of the gods" in the springtime with flowers, sweet honey cakes and fine drinks at dawn.
Perfect. It sounds like the beginning of the Mother’s Day tradition of breakfast in bed.
But if you really want to indulge mom this Mother’s Day, book the special Mother’s Day Package at Sun Valley Resort and give her a weekend to remember. This exceptional weekend package includes Saturday night’s lodging in the Sun Valley Lodge or Inn, Sunday Brunch for two and a one-hour massage. The Sunday Brunch is not to be missed and offers a lavish display of breakfast specialties including omelet and crepe stations, seafood, an array of gourmet salads and a symphony of desserts.
And don’t forget the pre- or post-massage soak in the Sun Valley Lodge heated outdoor pool–with poolside cocktail service and the expansive blue Idaho skies, it is a unique extravagance (and a local tradition)!
Looking for some other things for mom to do while she is enjoying her weekend indulgence in Sun Valley? Here are a few ideas to help make her day.
1) Let her be Sonja Henie for a Day
The beautiful Sun Valley Outdoor Ice Rink is an original Sun Valley Story and the location for the 1941 academy award nominated musical “Sun Valley Serenade” staring Sonja Henie, John Payne, Milton Berle, Glenn Miller and Lynn Bari. Let mom don white figure skates and twirl and dip around the outdoor rink to the sounds of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Follow it up with a cocktail on the Lodge terrace or in the historic Duchin Lounge. Or bring the whole family and let mom skate with the kids for her own personalized version of Disney on Ice.
2) Enjoy a Historical Tour and Picnic at Trail Creek
The Ketchum / Sun Valley Heritage and Ski Musuem features information and historical tours of the area, along with amazing exhibits with photos and memorabilia on everything from the early days of skiing in America to author Ernest Hemingway’s years in Idaho. Visit their Hemingway in Sun Valley [http://ksvhs.com/?page_id=403] page for more information on where to go to touch a little of the history related to the celebrated author and visit a few local institutions at the same time–the Sun Valley Lodge, Trail Creek Cabin, the Casino Club, the Ketchum Korral, etc. Visit the Hemingway Memorial and picnic alongside Trail Creek (grab provisions from the Sun Valley Deli).
The views are spectacular and the wrap-around terraces overlooking the 18-hole Sawtooth Putting Course (a great place for kids and new golfers to practice) and the Trail Creek Golf Course are perfect for sipping Bloody Marys outside when the weather is nice. And it is a short bike ride (or walk) from the lodge–with the Ernest Hemingway Memorial is just a short pedal along Trail Creek Road.
4) Indulge Her with some Retail Therapy
Don’t miss the village shopping–with 15 unique shops for every need, from specialty hand-dipped chocolates to jewelry, unique toys, gift items and designer fashions at the Brass Ranch (for the largest collection of European and American ski and sportswear, including Arc’teryx, Bogner, Canada Goose, Eider, JetSet, Kjus, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Rossignol, Toni Sailer and more) or Panache (with big designer names like Nanette Lapore, Brunello Cucinelli, Chan Luu, Elizabeth & James and Diane Von Furstenberg, who makes a personal appearance for their annual fashion show fundraiser every summer).
Looking for the latest cool finds, local shopping deals and steals, check out Sun Valley Magazine’s weekly SWAG blog to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
5) Pamper Her with a Spa Day
Book a bevy of services through the Sun Valley Spa and give mom a day of indulgence. Start with a hike in the morning (there are several within easy walking distance of the lodge) and then give her a head-to-toe makeover with a manicure / pedicure, followed by a facial and a 90-minute Sun Stone "Hot Stone Therapy" massage or herbal body wrap. Heaven!
So spoil mom this year in all the ways she deserves and enjoy everything Sun Valley has to offer.
When you get right down to it, it’s actually easier to make it as a professional golfer than it is as a professional golf course architect.
Don Knott is one of those lucky few people with the talent and tenacity to make the cut as a professional golf course architect. But he hasn’t simply made the cut.
Don has become one of the most highly respected golf course architects of all time. If there were a Master’s Tournament for golf course designers, Don–-who designed Sun Valley’s White Clouds course and redesigned Trail Creek–would get a lifetime exemption.
Don Knott designs his golf courses to fit within the natural landscape
"Golf is still golf"
Don didn’t always have a love affair with golf. A collegiate All-American swimmer at UC Berkeley, the Northern California native didn’t pick up the game until graduate school.
He started playing Berkeley’s course simply because he loved the outdoors and had a passion for landscape design. Don quickly got hooked on the game and could often be seen riding his motorcycle to the local college course, carrying his clubs on his back.
Knott landed an internship with the legendary Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects (RTJ2) in Palo Alto, California. He quickly made his mark in the company and was hired on, eventually becoming RTJ2′s Lead Project Architect and Senior Vice President of Design, spending the next 26 years helping the firm to construct golf courses all over the world.
"The game is pretty traditional. It’s been 18 holes for a long time," Don explains. "Golf is still golf. People still hit the ball the same way as they always have. The key to all great courses isn’t how much money they cost to build, it’s that they fit into the natural landscape. A good golf course design makes it look like you haven’t moved any dirt to make it, at least that’s the goal."
"It’s hard to build a bad course on a great location," Don explains. "But there has to be magic to the location if it’s going to be a truly special course. There’s a reason Pebble Beach is so famous.
"Of course, you have to have nice views. But there should also be a wee bit of mystery and intrigue," Don explains. "The origins of the game are not based on scoring. The origins of golf are that it’s an obstacle course through nature. You hit the ball and then you go see what your fate is."
"Idaho is just spectacular"
"I still love the game and play when I can," says Don, who left RTJ2 in 1999 to found the Knott & Linn Golf Design Group with fellow golf course designer, Gary Linn.
The breathtaking view from the White Clouds course, Hole #4
Based in Mountain View, California, they are busy building courses across the globe, but one of Don’s favorite places to swing the sticks is still Idaho.
"Jug Mountain Ranch in McCall is one of my favorite spots, and the 360 view you get at the courses in Sun Valley makes it a really special place," says Knott, who travels to the Wood River Valley each Summer to play in the Danny Thompson Memorial.
"The whole mountain scene in Idaho is just spectacular," Don declares, professing the type of admiration for the Gem State that golfers all over the world have for his work.
There may be more than 28 million golfers in America alone, but there’s only one Don Knott, and players all over the country–and especially in Idaho–are certainly happy he made the cut as a golf course architect.
A new local marvels at his first end of the season party at Sun Valley
By Alec Barfield
I notice the costumes first. (Man, people in this town love to dress up.) Some are better than others, but everyone tries … it is the last day on Baldy after all. At one end of the spectrum are the Halloween get ups. A batch of the good ones: a human parrot and a mystery bird, Pooh Bear and Eyeore, a woman attached to an inflatable horse and some businessmen. Then there are the one-pieces, those throwback neon wonders that we all should own–if not strictly to use on the ski season’s last hurrah. Finally, a quirky mess of accessories paints the rest of the crowd. Put on a wig and sunglasses and you’ve got a party. Put on some denim jorts (jean shorts), which just skied past me, and you’ve got an even bigger party. Today, all functionality is unquestionably displaced by the best on-mountain party of the year.
Skiing is still the priority, but not necessarily the ability to do it well. In terms of attire, the louder the better. In terms of skiing, don’t crash too hard.
The SunFest party (Sun Valley’s official tagging of Sunday’s ultimately unaccountable nonsense) is the skier’s warble of skiing and drinking, which every so often gets put on repeat. Today that winning combination won’t stop until the lifts shut down. To be clear, drinking and skiing has its risks. But that’s another conversation and for this day, it seems to be another day’s worry. It’s the last day of the year, the weather is sunny and warm, the snow is nice enough to handle tiny ski blades and decades-old snowboards; no one seems to be thinking twice about the beer. Or the mimosas.
Baldy’s last day witnesses the entire cross section of pass-holders. Regardless of whether you lumber up the mountain less than five days a year or crunch out more than 100, the season’s final opportunity is always a ski.
This was a town-wide celebration. One that was fatefully sunny, just warm enough to ski in almost anything. There were beers and birds, and some bad skiing. It happens once a year and it’s viscerally awesome. It is a day to celebrate the season. And celebrate we did. As my grandpa would say, “You done good, Sun Valley!”
[To check out more of Nils Ribi's great photos from the final day or to read the full story please click here.]
I arrive at the bottom of the mountain last weekend in a hot pink one piece, ski boots and leather chaps … only to find that I am a tad underdressed. It is the 15th Annual Janss Pro-Am Classic on Baldy and the costumes and props are over the top.
The first person I see is Langely McNeal dressed as a Twister board game and moving in a sea of red, yellow, green and blue dots. Langely is standing next to her teammate, who is decked out in striped thigh-highs beneath a colorful minidress (bare-legged on a ski hill, as far as I can tell) and a blue wig with a lollipop hat, in what I can only imagine as the Candyland game.
Their team theme is "Vintage Games"–to match the "Vintage" theme for this years 2012 Stifel Nicolaus Weisel Janss Pro-Am. Langely is joined by the rest of her teammates, which include Monopoly, Barrel of Monkeys, Mr. Potatohead and Operation. Brilliant. They end up sweeping the costume contest award at the end of the weekend, followed in close second by the 10th Mountain Division, and the Gender Benders, with Honeymooners and Tinseltown as Honorable Mentions (be sure to check out the photo galleries below).
The Janss Pro-Am is probably one of the most spirited and lively annual fundraisers in the Valley. It features three nights of hosted parties and revelry sandwiched between two days of dual Giant Slalom racing on lower Warm Springs–in costume and with an announcer to heckle you (if you take yourself too seriously)–all to benefit the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) and its training programs for youth skiers, boarders and Nordic athletes.
(Click here to read the full recap or to check out more photos from this year’s Janss Pro Am.)
My favorite run on Baldy is Warm Springs, top to bottom. Okay, so I live at the base. Bias established. But how can I deny Warm Springs the title? What’s not to like about being able to walk home after a day on the hill? No cars, no bus, no fuss. I love Warm Springs because the run, in its proximity to where I live, is a reminder of why I moved here. Live in the mountain’s shadow, watch the snowcats at night, ski it in the morning and go home.
That’s not to say Warm Springs gets my vote simply because it drains homeward. No, Warm Springs is still a solid 3,000 foot descent with some of Sun Valley’s best snow. North-facing, that’s just how it goes.
Technically, I’m speaking about Warm Springs the run. Warm Springs can also, however, be a connector, a faithful linker to the gems tightly sandwiched beneath the lowest ridge: Greyhawk, Hemingway and Cozy. So cozy. Often stitched with race gates, that trio undoubtedly sees the mountain’s fastest skiers.
Warm Springs base photo by Katie Matteson.
“Take it over to Hemingway,” patrol told me long ago, trying to get my friends and I off of College.
Well, I did.
… But not all the way. I ski Hemingway fast, but I ski Warm Springs the fastest. Even if it’s not as steep, Warm Springs is open and normally uncrowded. Let ‘em run, I say. The base is watching. Seriously, they are. The lodge’s long windows give a fantastic view of Lower Warm Springs, which becomes a show in and of itself, with skiers fast and slow meandering toward the bridge.
My second favorite run on Baldy? The trees off Fire Trail — and for entirely different reasons: Woods, silence, powder. Yet my answers are just that, my own. Anyone who spends time on Baldy, depending on their priorities, will tell you that this or that is best. They’re right because we’re all right. At Sun Valley there’s hardly anywhere to go wrong and you may as well ski the groomers, the bowls and the trees with the same lofty expectations.
Don’t miss the FINAL show of Forever Plaid! This finger snapping, toe tapping, fun for the whole family musical comedy is playing for a final time. Don’t miss your last chance to see one of Sun Valley‘s classic acts.
When: Friday, March 30th, 7:30 PM.Where: The Boiler Room, Sun Valley Village.Info: Their final show is $10, and tickets are available at the door.
The Roundhouse season is ending!: Your last chance for fondue this winter!
The ski season isn’t over for another couple weeks but the last weekend for fondue, beer and the best view around is this weekend! The last night for dinner at the Roundhouse is Saturday, March 31st and the last day for Roundhouse lunch is Sunday, April 1st.
When: This weekend!Where: The Roundhouse, Bald Mountain.Info: Call 208-622-4111 for reservations or visit www.sunvalley.com.
A Wood River Bicycle Coalition Fundraiser with 5B CrossFit and the Ketchum Fire Department!
Get your row on and join us for the Ketchum Row Down, a fundraiser for the Wood River Bicycle Coalition! The Wood River Bicycle Coalition, Ketchum Professional Fire Fighters and Ketchum Volunteer Fire Fighters are hosting this exciting event. This is event is sponsored by 5BCrossFit of Sun Valley and Hailey. There will be five different rowing events, including a 500-meter fun row for the kids! After the rowing heats, some competitors will compete in a CrossFit mystery Workout of the Day (WOD) and the athlete with the fastest combined time and the fastest row of their heat wins!
The Wood River Bicycle Coalition has set a fundraising goal of $2,000. The funds will start the process of extending the trail from the end of Corral Creek Trail to the trailhead of the Pioneer Cabin Trail. This addition is long overdue and promises to be a Valley Favorite when complete.
When: Saturday, March 31st. 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.Where: Ketchum Town Square.Info: More info can be found at 5bcrossfit.com.
For more fun stuff happening in and around Sun Valley this week, check out The Cheat Sheet.
Sun Valley isn’t considered a world-class ski resort just because the skiing and boarding is so good. The real reason Sun Valley has long been considered one of the best ski resorts on the planet is because the resort, and it’s surrounding community, offers so much else to do.
With Spring Break in full swing and Sun Valley teeming with families, here’s a rundown of the Top 10 Fun Things for Families to do in Sun Valley during the winter.
1) Go Tubing!
Snow tubing is quickly growing in popularity nationwide, and spending a mere hour on Sun Valley’s Tubing Hill at Dollar Mountain will show you why. It’s fun and easy to do for anyone ages from 4 to 84. To read more about it, check out, Snow Tubing Sun Valley.
2) Give Cross Country Skiing a Shot!
If you’ve never tried cross country, or Nordic, skiing it’s a lot easier and much more fun than you think. Officially known as "Nordic Town USA," there’s no better place to pick up the sport than here. There are all kinds of Learn to Ski classes and rental package option available at the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center located in the Sun Valley Club or or at Galena Lodge , 23 miles to the north of Ketchum.
3) Go Bowling!
The Sun Valley Bowling and Game Room at Sun Valley Lodge is a step back in time and fun for the whole family. Open daily from 4 to 10 pm, heck here for more details.
4) Take Ski Lesson!
Whether you’ve been skiing for decades or have never hit the slopes before, the world renowned ski school at Baldy and Dollar Mountains can help you have more fun on the slopes. And having the kids spend a day or two in lessons not only increases their confidence and fun factor levels, it gives parents a chance to make some runs on their own. Check here for more info or here for a fun story and tips about introducing kids to alpine sports.
5) Go Ice Skating!
Sun Valley has long been famous for its year-round ice shows. Spend some time skating on the same ice that hosted countless Olympians. For more info check here.
6) Catch a Movie!
Built in 1937, the Sun Valley Opera House offers first run movies and free daily showing of the classic film, "Sun Valley Serenade," at 4:30 pm. For a list of current films and show times check here. The Magic Lantern Cinema, at 100 East 2nd Avenue in Ketchum, also offers first run movies daily.
The history of the Wood River Valley is as long and deep as powder day on Baldy. The Ketchum–Sun Valley Ski & Heritage Museum at 180 East 1st Street offers fascinating exhibits on everything from the local mining and sheepherding history to Ernest Hemingway’s time in Idaho to the story of America’s original ski resort. For more info on exhibits and schedules, check out http://ksvhs.com/. Or check out the Ore Wagon Museum at 200 10th Street in Ketchum.
9) Go Fly Fishing!
Despite the snowy conditions, March is actually one of the best months to fly fish on the Big Wood River–and not just because guided rates are cheaper in winter. The Big Wood is great river for first-time fly fishers and there are no better guides on the planet than at Silver Creek Outfitters , offering shops in both the Sun Valley Village or downtown Ketchum. To read more about it, check out Winter on the Big Wood.
10) Do Nothing!
Lounge around at a ski lodge or your hotel room or a local coffee shop or at one of the area’s world-class restaurants and enjoy the views and ambience of life in the heart of Idaho.
Are you on college break enjoying Baldy’s steep runs but struggling with Ketchum and Sun Valley’s steep prices? There are plenty of ways save your wallet this winter ‘s break and still have a great time. Whether it’s with skiing, dining, or simply getting around town, keep an eye out for new deals and ways to save.
For skiers, don’t forget to inquire about the College Six Pack, which allows you to ski any six days throughout the winter for the price of just $259. Saving $43 a day, or the College Triple Play pass for just $139. Now these are tough to beat no matter where you are.
Save some gas money and utilize Mountain Rides. Sun Valley’s free public transportation system is a great option for getting around town and to and from the ski areas (Baldy and the terrain park on Dollar) without having to spend a dime. No matter where you’re staying there should be an easily accessible bus stop for one of the many free bus routes. Hop on board and save time, money and the environment.
If you find yourself dumbfounded by the food and drink prices in ski towns these days, at least one wallet saving option awaits right across the street from Warm Springs Lodge. No, it’s not a Ramen Noodle outlet store, it’s Irving’s Red Hots. You can grab a tasty, affordable hot dog and be back on the slopes in no time. Saving a little extra money for some aprs beers on the sun drenched deck at Warm Springs or for some of Sun Valley’s wonderful nightlife. If you’re looking for a cold beer and some grub after a long day of skiing, check out the happy hour specials at some of Sun Valley’s best restaurants (This article highlighting the Valley’s best Aprs Skiing options).
So if you’re on college break and trying to save a buck, be mindful of options like these and don’t let the high prices keep you from having a good time.