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!”


Dollar in all its Park & Pipe glory (courtesy of James Bourret Fine Art Photography/Mountain Images Gallery

Dollar in all its Park & Pipe glory (courtesy of James Bourret Fine Art Photography/Mountain Images Gallery

Big Lights, Big Air, Big Fun

It was a big show of big air at Dollar Thursday night

It was a big show of big air at Dollar Thursday night

Thursday night, you could smell the party on Dollar way before you could see it. Burgers sizzling by the dozen on outdoor grills enveloped Carol’s Dollar Lodge, right down to the parking lot, in a mouth-watering haze. But it was also hard to miss the sights and sounds of the “Big Air” contest going on beneath the lights on a cold, clear late winter’s night.

Two mammoth klieg lights flooded the awesome jumps beside the Half Dollar lift, spotlighting a “Big Air” contest featuring athletes from this week’s 35th Annual US Collegiate Ski & Snowboard National (USCSA) Championship. Midway through the five-day event, competitors turned up the adrenalin and embraced the opportunity to spend an evening with their fellow athletes.

USCSA athletes worked up appetites as big as the jumps during the week's events

USCSA athletes worked up appetites as big as the jumps during the week's events

The Big Air contest showcased freestyle skiers and snowboarders who qualified for the event by submitting a video to USCSA. Eight daredevils took to the jumps, wowing the crowd with eye-popping tricks and some seriously big air. Many athletes and their families hiked up the hill to catch the action from an in-your-face vantage point. The crowd was three deep from the crest of Half Dollar to the base of the Lodge.

Those not halfway up the hill, enjoyed the action from the outdoor barbecue outside the Lodge’s back doors. Having competed hard for three days, this gathering was the opportunity to gather and relax at a casual athlete reception. The more than 500 competitors from 65 teams visiting Sun Valley were all invited to the event and mixed and mingled with friends new and old. Food, from those succulent burgers to Sun Valley’s famous chocolate chip cookies, was plentiful and conversations were animated. Laughter rebounded from the slopes in every direction.

The athlete reception was a great chance to relax, mix and mingle

The athlete reception was a great chance to relax, mix and mingle

The USCSA Nationals wraps up on Saturday with a full schedule. The Dual Slalom Alpine race kicks into gear at 10:15 a.m. on Baldy’s Greyhawk run. For the many cross-country skiers racing for glory, the final 3 x 5 relays take place at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Snowboarders finish the competition on Greyhawk with a Giant Slalom race at 9:30 a.m. All disciplines will celebrate podiums and great results at the final awards ceremony at 4 p.m. on the Sun Valley Lodge Terrace.

According to Sun Valley Technical/Program Director and Race Department Manager Nick Maricich, the event is ending on a high note (no pun intended). “The Snowboard Giant Slalom will be a rare chance to see this Olympic event live,” he said. “On the Alpine side, the Dual Slalom should prove to be the most exciting Alpine event of the competition.”

A thoroughly unscientific survey of athletes, their families, Sun Valley Resort ambassadors and visitors Thursday night gave the entire week a huge thumbs up. Students said they enjoyed the large field of competitors and felt challenged, in a good way, by Sun Valley’s fast runs and big terrain features. Many also commented that the free-skiing and boarding was “epic.” The schedule permitted time for kids to just be kids and to play in the snow.

All eyes were on the big jumps and the big air

All eyes were on the big jumps and the big air

Nick said, “the athletes on the Alpine side said that the pre-race training was the best they have had all year and that the race venues were world class. The overall feeling was that the surface and pitch were amazing and they can’t wait to come back. I also heard great feedback on the  22-foot Halfpipe, the Terrain Park and the cross-country course. Sun Valley did it right!”

Go out on Saturday and support these athletes from as far away as Massachusetts, South Carolina, Illinois, California and British Columbia. The energy the college students, their coaches, families and friends brought to town and the slopes this week was palpable. We invite all USCSA competitors and their families to come back and see us again soon!

As Nick said, “Sun Valley is ecstatic to have top college athletes here and we feel that events such as these are important to our future. Any time we can introduce Sun Valley to some of the brightest young athletes in the country, we know we have invested in what comes next.”

Athletes relax at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge, a brief respite in a week of strong competition

Athletes relax at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge, a brief respite in a week of strong competition

Next up? The Rev Tour. Stay tuned for more information about this amazing event that is coming to town. There’s no way around it — things are happening in Sun Valley!


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


(Red) Bullish on Sun Valley

Filmmakers on the move on Dollar

Filmmakers work on getting the right shot on Dollar

What do you get when you combine some of the world’s premiere Red Bull-sponsored freestyle athletes, huge features on Dollar Mountain and a top-notch film crew out of Los Angeles? You get the scene at the base of Dollar this weekend. The amazing guys from SPT, the team that works with Sun Valley’s Brian Callahan to create our ever-evolving terrain park, are the subject of an action-packed, high-flying reality television show that is scheduled to air in April. Sun Valley will be featured in the first episode of this series, spotlighting SPT and produced by National Geographic.

Preparations are full speed ahead, readying for the arrival of the Red Bull athletes. Midweek, SPT was building two rail pads into an airbag (yes, just like it sounds – a huge airbag that the athletes land in). Snow making is going full bore toward the top of Dollar, creating a 65 to 80-foot jump that will launch these guys into our thin mountain air.

SPT, which stands for Snow Park Technologies, is one of the most-sought after consulting teams in the world, creating special projects on snow. Frank Wells of SPT is one of the guys who make the magic happen — designing and building awesome (in the true sense of the world) terrain parks and half pipes, competition courses and staging on-snow productions and events. Though he has worked all over the world, Frank loves Sun Valley.

The morning meeting includes Frank Wells of SPT and Bryant Dunn of SV Ski Patrol

The morning meeting brings together Frank Wells of SPT, the production crew and Bryant Dunn of Sun Valley Ski Patrol

“Sun Valley is one of our favorite places to come and to work,” Frank said, sipping coffee outside Carol’s Dollar Lodge. By 9 a.m., he had been up and down Baldy, secured some footage of a spectacular Idaho sunrise and found time to get in a few turns. He said everyone loves coming to Sun Valley, staying at the Resort and swimming in the Lodge Pool — “the only hot tub you can dive into!” Amir, part of the film production team and a first-time visitor to Sun Valley agreed, “That pool is great.” He and his colleagues are also enjoying the night life on Main Street and are generally having a blast and working hard.

Back on Dollar, Frank and his team brought in some special fierce-looking Snow Cats for this effort, allowing for the creation of the exact features required by the project.  Everything is in place and in control, except that one variable no one can control – not even Frank: the weather. The great news is Sun Valley is expecting two to five FEET of snow to fall above 7000 feet by Monday morning. The challenging news for Frank & Co. is that we are expecting two to five FEET of snow to fall by Monday morning. But Frank, the filmmakers, and, for sure, the athletes, don’t mind a challenge. They are extreme freestylers after all. Let the action begin!


Red Bull athletes will fly from these epic jumps this weekend

Red Bull athletes will fly from these epic jumps this weekend



Getting ready to make movie magic

Getting ready to make movie magic

Shot of the Week: Flipping over for the Freestyle Spectacular

Don’t miss all the high flying action at this weekend’s Sun Valley Freestyle Spectacular! Friday’s events include the Slopestyle Competition, with  Saturday and Sunday featuring some of  the nation’s best in  mogul and double mogul competitions. For more info call 208.726.4129. Conor Davis photo courtesy of SVSEF.

SHOT OF THE WEEK: Jeremy Black in the Pipe at Dollar

Photograph by Tal Roberts Photography

Jeremy Black hitting the pipe at Dollar Mountain

SHOT OF THE WEEK: Pat Lee on Dollar

Photograph by Tal Roberts Photography

Pat Lee hitting the rails on Dollar Mountain











Cross Course is newest addition to Dollar Mountain Terrain Park

Sun Valley Cross Course photo by Mark Oliver

Sun Valley’s first world class Cross Course has opened on Dollar Mountain’s Half Dollar Face. The Sun Valley Cross Course, one of only a handful in the country, features rollers, jumps and berms all linked together for an exhilarating ride for skiers, boarders and telemarkers. This new Terrain Park feature is sure to challenge all ages and all levels of skiers and riders.

"Dollar Mountain now has more than 40 Terrain Park features including 15 progression park features, 10 medium features and 19 large features quickly making claim as one of the best parks in the Northwest," Brian Callahan, Sun Valley’s Terrain Park Manager said. Use of all the Terrain Park features are included in the cost of a lift ticket.

The Sun Valley SnowSports School is also offering a new clinic for skiers and boarders who want to take their Terrain Park skills to the next level:
The 360′ Freestyle Camps on January 15 & 16, Feb. 26 & 27 and March 26 & 27. Call (208) 622-2289 for SnowSports School information.

Sun Valley Resort – Level 1 EYETR!P Teaser

Thanks to the guys at Level 1 for the sick edit from EYETR!P highlighting Sun Valley!

Check out the video, grab a copy of EYETR!P and come out and see us this winter.

It’s only going to get better…

Sun Valley/Level 1 Shoot Promo from Level 1 on Vimeo.

You Can Hear Them From Here!

The guns are running around the clock at Dollar.

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!