Rev Up for the Rev Tour

Freeskiers and snowboarders brought some major amplitude to Dollar's slopes at this week's Rev Tour stop (photo courtesy Cody Haskell)

Freeskiers and snowboarders brought some major amplitude to Dollar's slopes at this week's Rev Tour stop (photo courtesy Cody Haskell)

This week, Sun Valley’s Dollar Mountain hosted the high-flying 2014 Pop-Tarts U.S. Revolution Tour, otherwise known as the Rev Tour. Sun Valley was the final stop for the tour and brought energy and mad skills to Dollar’s amazing terrain park and 22-foot superpipe.

“We’re excited to host the Rev Tour for the second consecutive year and watch this sport’s promising young athletes perform at this world-class venue,” said Jack Sibbach, Sun Valley Resort Director of Marketing. Dollar Mountain’s Olympic-size halfpipe and Olympic-size jumps with more than 73 terrain features gave the athletes a lot to play on.

Athletes flew on Dollar's Terrain Park (photo courtesy Cody Haskell)

Athletes flew on Dollar's Terrain Park (photo courtesy Cody Haskell)

The Rev Tour featured events in halfpipe and slopestyle for both freeskiing and snowboarding. Since The Rev Tour stop is a 4-star TTR (Ticket to Ride) event for snowboarding as well as an AFP (Association of Freeskiing Professionals) bronze and FIS (International Ski Federation) NorAm event for freeskiing, it brought top athletes to Sun Valley. The competition was fierce.

Some of the country's up-and-coming snowsports athletes brought style and skills to Sun Valley this week (photo Cody Haskell)

Some of the country's up-and-coming snowsports athletes brought style and skills to Sun Valley this week (photo Cody Haskell)

Tuesday was devoted to halfpipe skiing and Wednesday to slopestyle skiing. Sun Valley native Ben Verge, coach of the US Freeskiing Team that just earned two gold medals at the Sochi Olympics, was among the spectators on Dollar scouting new and up-and-coming talent. Who knows which of the athletes soaring around Dollar this week might next represent Team USA. Thursday was all about halfpipe snowboarding and the Tour concluded Friday with slopestyle snowboarding.

Sun Valley is the birthplace of freeskiing, with early pioneers like Bobbie Burns and Penelope Street, using every available seam, dip, contour and cat track to redefine the sport. From the 1970s on, skiers and snowboarders continued to evolve freestyle in Sun Valley. The competitors at the Rev Tour are taking the sport to the next level, though, setting the bar, literally, higher and higher.

Sun Valley's 73 terrain features and 22-foot superpipe provided plenty of opportunities to play (photo Cody Haskell)

Sun Valley's 73 terrain features and 22-foot superpipe provided plenty of opportunities to play (photo Cody Haskell)

According to the U.S. Snowboarding website, “The U.S. Revolution Tour has proved to be a progressive venue for today’s top junior riders to take the competitive stage in halfpipe, slopestyle, and snowboardcross. The tour is designed to serve as a stepping-stone for athletes making the transition from competing at the grassroots level to the elite level. The series pre-qualifies a portion of its field and then opens registration to any athlete, but is focused towards riders 13-19 years old. Top winners may earn an invite to be part of the U.S. Grand Prix, Junior Worlds, the U.S. Open, USASA Nationals, and participate in Project Gold camps.”

Congratulations to all the athletes and these podium winners. Pictured are snowboard halfpipe champions, Maddie Mastro, Hailey Langland and Kirby Kelly (photo U.S. Revolution Tour)

Congratulations to all the athletes and these podium winners. Pictured are snowboard halfpipe champions, Maddie Mastro, Hailey Langland and Kirby Kelly (photo U.S. Revolution Tour)

It is amazing to see these up-and-coming athletes on our slopes. Congratulations to all of them and thank you for coming to Sun Valley to share your skills and some major amplitude.

–RES

New jet service is cause for celebration

Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) servicing the Sun Valley Resort area has become party central this winter. On Monday, the champagne flowed, cake and ribbons were cut and a water arch cascaded on the runway as Sun Valley welcomed the first Delta regional jet to the tarmac at 12:31 p.m.

On Monday, Sun Valley cheered new Delta regional jet service from Salt Lake City

On Monday, Sun Valley cheered new Delta regional jet service from Salt Lake City

The flight that originated in Salt Lake City, Utah, touched down amid cheers. Why is everyone so excited? According to Friedman Memorial Airport manager Rick Baird in a prepared statement, “We believe this new jet aircraft, along with very competitive new fares and enhanced cooperative marketing with Delta Air Lines, will encourage more people to fly SUN. We are doing everything we can, including significant airport improvements and air service enhancements, to make flying into and out of Sun Valley the best choice for air travelers,”

Passengers on this inaugural flight were welcomed with goody bags, cake and champagne

Passengers on this inaugural flight were welcomed with goody bags, cake and champagne

Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines will operate the new flights that use 65-seat, two-class Bombardier CRJ-700s aircraft. New on this route are the nine First Class seats, eight Economy Comfort seats, 48 economy seats as well as on-board Wi-Fi. My guess is everyone will wish that the flight lasted longer than the approximate one hour in the air.

This new service adds approximately 4000 additional Delta seats into Sun Valley from Salt Lake City, one of the nation’s biggest hubs. There are three round-trip flights four to five times per week during peak season between February 14 and March 31, three round-trip flights daily during the summer season from May 22 to September 1 and two round-trip flights daily during the spring and fall.

Flights can be booked at www.delta.com.

Air service into Sun Valley is also provided by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines making it easier than ever to get here.

Visitors arriving on Monday can expect some great skiing and riding from USA Today's #2 Ski Destination in America

Visitors arriving on Monday can expect some great skiing and riding from USA Today's #2 Ski Destination in North America

And no matter how you get here, it’s worth the trip. While Mother Nature is wreaking havoc on the east coast and being stingy with snow in the west, in Sun Valley, the skiing and riding are terrific. Last week, the resort opened the only 22-foot superpipe in the Pacific Northwest, adding terrain and thrills to those ready to drop in.

With the best and largest computerized snowmaking system in North America, it’s super on our slopes right now. Both the quality and amount of snow being made are getting a consistent thumbs up. 552 snowmaking guns have been hard at work covering 645 acres of groomable terrain, enabling 14 lifts and 56 runs to be up and running across Baldy and Dollar. The word on the hill is that the skiing is really good, just be sure to bring the sunscreen.

Welcome to Sun Valley!

Welcome to Sun Valley!

“We’re seeing a lot of smiling faces and it’s been very rewarding to hear the guest comments,” said Jack Sibbach, Sun Valley’s spokesperson. “We have to give credit to the mountain department. To have worked as hard as they have to get as much of the mountain open as they have is really impressive.”

Find out for yourself why USA Today recently named Sun Valley the No. 2 Ski Destination in the North America. An expert panel of ski and snowboard enthusiasts and travel writers selected what they felt represented the “Top 10” ski destinations in the country. The choices were then put to a vote by the public with Sun Valley emerging as the second best behind the region of South Lake Tahoe in a very tight race.

The 22-foot superpipe on Dollar is again open for the season. Feel free to drop in

The 22-foot superpipe on Dollar is again open for the season. Feel free to drop in!

It has been a great year for Sun Valley as we were also named a Top 10 Travel Destination in North American by the Lonely Planet travel media group, the 4th Best Ski Resort in North America by SKI Magazine, and one of the Top 8 Ski Towns in North America by Powder Magazine.

And there are still months of winter ahead to enjoy this award-winning place! Hop a regional jet, reserve your room and come enjoy everything that makes Sun Valley so special.

–RES

The Rev Tour goes Local

Langely McNeal -- standout Ski Cross racer and fantastic local girl -- came home for the Rev Tour

Langely McNeal -- standout Ski Cross racer and fantastic local girl -- came home for the Rev Tour

When Ski Cross racer Langely McNeal looks up at Dollar, she sees a lot of things. She sees the mountain where she learned to ski 25 years ago when she took her first turns with father, Whiz, one of the longstanding members of Sun Valley Ski Patrol.  She also sees the future in Sun Valley’s amazing Terrain Park and Pipe. “So many amazing freestyle skiers and boarders have come out of Sun Valley before all this was here,” she smiled, gesturing to the playground that Dollar has become. “The kids that get to grow up on Dollar these days are so fortunate. Sun Valley has built a world-class training facility for Halfpipe and Slope. I would love to see more development with Ski Cross. The potential is unreal and I think Sun Valley could be the ultimate training Mecca.”

The view most of Langely's competitors have of her on the course

The view most of Langely's competitors have of her on the course

Langely, though a pre-Terrain Park child, hasn’t done too badly herself. She is back in town this week as part of the Revolution Tour and won the women’s Ski Cross competition on Monday.

“It’s a great course and it’s always so nice to be home,” Langely said. Currently training with the team at the International Snowboard Training Center in Silverthorne, Colorado, this X-Games alumna has her sights set on Sochi in 2014. Recently back from a trip to the very overcast home of next year’s Winter Olympic Games, she turned her face to the sun and exclaimed, “there really is no place else like Sun Valley. I am so excited to be here, so excited the Rev Tour is here. It gives me a great excuse to show off my hometown to my friends and teammates.”

Another Sun Valley local appearing in the Rev Tour is snowboarder, Chase Josey. Chase, a senior at Community School (where Langely’s mother, Beverly, has taught for more than two decades), exploded onto the international scene this past January in Copper Basin. There, he finished 8th in the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix with a score of 75.00. This was Chase’s first World Cup start. He, too, recently traveled to Sochi and hopes to go back next winter for the Olympics. For the Rev Tour, Chase competes on Thursday in Sun Valley’s fantastic 22-foot Superpipe with qualifying rounds beginning at 9:30 a.m. and finals dropping into the pipe at 3 p.m.

Another young talented Sun Valley snowboarder, Ryan Roemer made heats in Boarder Cross on Monday, but did not advance to the next round.

Local snowboarder Chase Josey previews what fans can expect to see in the Superpipe on Thursday

Local snowboarder Chase Josey previews what fans can expect to see in the Superpipe Thursday

Langely, Chase and Ryan are among the more than 500 athletes in town this week competing in the Rev Tour from as far away as Brazil and Japan. Events include Ski and Boarder Cross, Halfpipe and Slopestyle. According to the Rev Tour website, “In its ninth season, the U.S. Revolution Tour … is designed to serve as a stepping stone for athletes making the transition from competing at the grassroots level to the elite level. The series pre-qualifies a portion of its field and then opens registration to any athlete, but is focused towards riders 13-19 years old (Cross 15-19) and will award the top juniors an invite to be part of the U.S. Grand Prix, Junior Worlds, the U.S. Open, USASA Nationals, and participate in Project Gold camps. Competition formats may vary slightly at each stop, but athletes will always compete as an open class.”

For a look at the Cross Course from a rider’s vantage point, check out this POV video courtesy of Billy Pettengill of team ISTC from one of his training runs.  Billy placed second in Monday’s Rev Tour competition.

Watching Langely and Ryan fly through the rollers on the Cross Course and Chase work his magic in the Superpipe makes us all hold our collective breath and collectively cheer at the end of a successful run. Our homegrown elite athletes, among the best in the world, make us all really, really proud.

Langely was equally proud of her hometown. “It was cool to see Sun Valley step it up and take on the challenge of putting on an event like the Revolution Tour,” she said. “I think it shows that this place is more than capable of bringing many world class events and new business to town!”

–RES

Dollar in all its Park & Pipe glory (courtesy of James Bourret Fine Art Photography/Mountain Images Gallery http://jamesbourret.photoshelter.com/)

Dollar in all its Park & Pipe glory (courtesy of James Bourret Fine Art Photography/Mountain Images Gallery http://jamesbourret.photoshelter.com/)

This Pipe is Super

It's game on on Sunday when the superpipe opens

The 22-foot superpipe opens on Sunday. Game on!

The headline? Sun Valley’s new highly-anticipated Olympic-size 22-foot (deep) superpipe will open for business on Sunday, January 6. Taking shape on Dollar’s Old Bowl, this will be one of only three 22-foot pipes currently open in America. One more reason to be sure to include Sun Valley in your winter vacation plans.

The Zaugg “Pipe Monster”, the largest pipe groomer in existence, is busy at work, prepping the extreme feature. According to the Zaugg website, the machine was designed by aeronautical engineers to work much in the same way as an airplane wing. It is lightweight, flexible and able to withstand high stress — traits that might also be useful to those brave enough to jump in.  The combination of this monstrous machine and the know-how of Sun Valley’s Terrain Park experts, is creating a pipe that allows tricks people once thought impossible — like jumps 20 feet above the deck.  Epic.

Practice makes perfect in the Progression Park

Practice makes perfect in the Progression Park

According to Sun Valley’s Brian Callahan, guru of all things Terrain Park, now is the perfect time to get comfortable on the ever-evolving and growing jumps, rails, jibs, pipe and other features specifically built for Dollar. “The Progression Park is open and is a great place to get comfortable,” he said. For people like me who don’t know what a Progression Park is, as Brian explains it, it is a an “extra small terrain park with features appropriate to beginners. It’s the perfect place to learn how to unweight your skis or your board, to get air and really enjoy using all the surfaces.”

For those already comfortable catching air, the medium parks are also up and running on Dollar. These jumps and rails are X-Games and Slopestyle caliber, according to Brian, and offer endless possibilities for fun.

Little shredders at the top of the cross course in a season past

Past seasons on the cross course proved a huge hit with the kids. This year will be no different, just better and better.

And if that isn’t enough, the Family Cross Course is in its final stages and will be completed on Sunday. This track lets skiers and boarders bank curves, jump and tuck to the bottom, in direct competition with up to three others. It is a kid favorite, for sure.

Just in time for the amazing Revolution Tour, coming to Sun Valley in March, a huge snowmaking effort is underway, preparing the competition boarder cross course. Be sure to come to Dollar from March 17 to March 22 to watch the best of the best compete in Halfpipe, Snowboardcross, and Slopestyle. The course used by the Revolution athletes will be open to the public, but requires completion of a training session.

In fact, safety on all terrain park features is of the utmost importance to Brian and his team. Sun Valley Snowsports has instructors specifically trained to teach in the park and pipe and will offer special camps and lessons to familiarize users with what’s available on Dollar throughout the season. Call the Snowsports School at 208.622.2289 to sign up for a lesson or clinic to ensure the safest, most enjoyable day at the park ever. Then, let her rip.

Catch some air on Dollar

Come play in Dollar's Terrain Park

–RES

The Reopening of Whiskey Jacques and the Countdown to Christmas Continues!

Christmas is only a week away and things around town are definitely starting to pick up. The mountain is busier. Drinks at the Duchin Room and at Averell’s Bar are flowing in a traditional holiday style. Dollar’s new terrain park and tubing park are opening this Saturday. The SuperPipe on Lower Warm Springs is set to open Saturday as well. Snow guns are running all over the mountain in hopes to open more terrain as soon as possible. Christmas trees are decorated, candles are lit, and everyone is preparing to eat at least one piece of Grandma’s fruitcake.

But in downtown Ketchum there is another event locals and tourists have been hotly anticipating… the reopening of the legendary Whiskey Jacques. After a fire raised the building over a year ago construction crews have been working hard on the bar’s rebuild and everyone in town, of any age and any dancing ability, has been chomping at the bit to get their favorite bar back. A staple in the Sun Valley nightlife for over 25 years, Whiskey’s is a classic wild western saloon right on Main Street in the classic ski town of Ketchum. Whiskey Jacques is reopening with a bang this Friday, December 18. They will be showcasing local band, The Bobo’s, on Friday and more live music will continue throughout the winter with acts like the Gourds, Mickey and the Motorcars, and New Year’s Eve guests, Marmalade Hill.

Other things happening this week around town, new bar and restaurant, Sego, is opening on Washington Street (928-7878 for reservations), at Dollar’s new terrain park on Friday morning some of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Freestyle and Snowboard teams will be testing the new features, and the nexStage and Laughing Stock Theatres are presenting "A Christmas Carol" on Friday and Saturday nights (726-4857 for more info). Also happening is Sun Valley’s Christmas Tree Lighting Festival will take place in the Sun Valley Village on Saturday at 5:00 with performances by the Sun Valley Carolers and live music and drinks at the Boiler Room to follow.

So whether you are tearing it up on the slopes, strapping on your dancing shoes, or helping the community get ready for the Holidays, we’ll see you around town as the countdown to Christmas continues.

Terrain Park Opening Saturday!

Sun Valley’s killer new Snow Park Technologies-designed terrain park on Dollar Mountain is opening in a matter of days. Complete with a huge jump line down Old Bowl and 12 new rails, boxes, and jibs, this is one of the biggest things Sun Valley has ever seen.

The boxes and other features have been in the works for weeks now, with some of the most legit terrain park experts in the country coming to put them together, even installing them on Lower River Run for the beginning of the season. Painted with Sun Valley’s signature blue and sun emblem, boarders, park rats, skiers, and even telemarkers have been stoked to practice and hone their skills on Lower River Run since Opening Day. Snow Park Technologies cat driver, Corley Howard, one of the best cat drivers in the world has been around town for the past few weeks, helping Sun Valley and new park manager, Brian Callahan, get ready for the opening of the new park. Callahan has recently been brought over from terrain park central, Breckenridge, CO, and is amped for the terrain park to get open and for the word to get out. His goal, he says, for the next few years is to get Sun Valley on top in terms of terrain parks and features.

Starting this Saturday, December 19th, the entirety of Dollar’s new park, with ALL the rails, the HUGE jump line, and the rest of the features being added to the park’s arsenal will open. Head over there early to be first in line at the Hip or check out the skills of some of the Valley’s best athletes flying off the true tables and gap jumps around the new park.

Also opening Saturday is Baldy’s 18-foot Superpipe and Dollar’s revamped tubing park. Check out Snow Park Technologies’ website for more about what they are doing in the ski/snowboard industry (www.snowparktech.com). Here are some pics of the park in progress over the past weekend.

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Warm Springs Superpipe and Terrain Park are open!

We’ve opened our Superpipe for the season today! Come on over to catch big air, try some tricks or just goof around ;)
Our terrain park is open for the public, too. Check back for more video updates from the slopes!

Superpipe Opens This Weekend!

The awaited opening of the Sun Valley Superpipe on Baldy will happen this Friday or Saturday, February 6 or 7, 2009.
The ski and snowboard Superpipe is on the skiers left side of Lower Warm Springs, below Race Arena. The u-shaped terrain feature is about 425 feet in length with walls about 18 feet high, and meets competition Superpipe standards.
The Superpipe is open to the public and the Sun Valley SnowSports School also utilizes the terrain to heighten the skill level of their freestyle snowboard and skiing students.