Claiming Our Run

I claim Sunnyside as my run

I claim Sunnyside as my run

Every day, the first email I open is the Sun Valley Ski Report. I scan the information, noting groomed runs, the temperature on top (any inversion?) and any new snow. For the past few weeks, I have also noticed an invitation at the top of each report, an invitation to “Claim My Run.”

I finally focused on this over the weekend.  Claim My Run? I re-read the latest email.

“Win a brand new GoPro HERO 3 Black Edition. Just “claim” your run on Baldy or Dollar by posting original, creative POV video on our video mountain map.

We’ll judge the entries based on number of views and awesomeness of the video. You only have until the end of February – may the best video win!”

Going ...

Going ...

Compelling! There was a prize! For doing what I love! How had I missed this? So on Sunday, I met my eight-year-old son and enthusiastically asked him to come claim a run with me. We actually “have” a run: Sunnyside. Two years ago, when he was only six, we were skiing from the bottom of College over to Olympic when he spied Sunnyside, falling steeply under the old lift off of the cat track. “Do you want to do this?” I asked a little skeptically. Sunnyside was full of big, big bumps covered with some new powder and he was a little, little guy. “Yes!” he responded. “It will be my first black diamond!”

Off we went, over the steep lip and into the run. I am not exaggerating when I say it took about 20 minutes to ski Sunnyside that first time. There was a lot of time out for laughter, and even more for picking up equipment, ejected over the slope during some epic falls (his and mine). On Sunnyside, Matthew learned the term, “yard sale!” Thus, this old-school expert run on Baldy became ours.

This weekend, though, after 4 ½ hours of training with the Development Team of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Matthew was not all that enthusiastic about skiing Sunnyside with his mother. He was tired. But he is a sweet guy so he agreed to come keep me company. Armed with a helmet cam that he received as a gift a few years ago, I was ready to Claim Our Run.  We rode the lift to the top with Matthew filling me in on all the big fun he had on ski team. It snowed about six inches on Saturday, so the kids found every pocket of powder on the mountain.

Going ...

Going ...

We skied down College, Matthew first. I followed. He was skiing like a local kid – nice finished turns, totally relaxed.  (for the record, I want a re-do and I want to grow up in Sun Valley). At the top of Sunnyside, I barely had the chance to push the record button on the camera, before Matthew tipped over the edge into the bumps. Down he went, completely nonplussed. This time, he was down the run in a matter of minutes with me chasing him down – badly.

Imagine my disappointment when I got home to upload the video just to find the camera either hadn’t been on, or had a dead battery, or  … ?  Technically speaking, I had blown it!

But even without the video, it was great to be reminded to Claim My Run.  Everyone on the mountain has a favorite run — one that holds great memories, or that they always seem to ski really, really well. While Sunnyside may not be the run I feel the best on, it is definitely one of my favorites because it was Matthew’s first black diamond. Another favorite is Cozy, because my daughters ski it straight down, without turning. Watching their control, speed and freedom will forever be one way that I think of them.

You still have a few more days to Claim Your Run. Get out there, make sure your camera works, and share what makes you happy with the world.  Who knows, you might even win a new helmet cam, just for doing what you love to do anyway.




Room from the Resort: A Lodge Apartment


Welcome to the second installment of Mrs. Sun’s Rooms from the Resort series. Each week I’ll take a peek inside one of the rooms on offer here at Sun Valley Resort, and provide you with a traveller’s-eye-view; meaning totally spontaneous, no pre-prep or fancy lighting, just exactly what you’ll see as you open your door to your Sun Valley vacation.

This week we’re going inside a Lodge Apartment. Lodge apartments are condominiums situated next door to the Lodge, so have all the amenities of a Lodge room. The main advantage is space, and lots of it, making it perfect for families or groups of friends vacationing together. I especially like the available outdoor space of the ground-floor apartments, ideal for just pulling up on your bikes after a leisurely mountain bike ride through the White Clouds Trails. So come on in and take a look:

Video not displaying? Click here
Lodge Apartments run from $249-$549 a night for a one bedroom suite ($339-$659 for two bedrooms, $429-$769 for three), prices vary according to season and day of the week. The individual room (with no suite) is also available from $149-$229. For more details call 1.800.786.8259, or click Reservations

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun

Room from the Resort: A Lodge Balcony Room

The reason for a Lodge Balcony room: the best view of Baldy in town!

It may be just me, but one of my favorite moments of a vacation is when you open the door to your hotel room. It’s a moment of blessed relief that you’ve finally arrived, tempered by trepidation at what might be behind that door. The disappointment of a terrible room can completely destroy all the hopes and dreams you had for your vacation (not that that ever happens here!).

But in today’s age of the smart-phone and TripAdvisor, the traveler has a lot more recourse to find out what’s behind that door before they actually arrive, so I convinced Sun Valley to let me inside some of its rooms and provide you with a traveler’s-eye-view of the resort. The result will be a new Valley Sun blog series, Rooms from the Resort, featuring holiday-style snaps and quick hit videos from a selection of the abodes available to guests here. The content will be totally spontaneous, no staging or pre-prep just the god’s honest truth of what you’ll see when you open that door to your Sun Valley vacation. (And for the curious locals around here who’ve never stayed at the hotel in their hometown, such as myself, this is your chance for a free peek).

Here we go with our first room, A Sun Valley Lodge Balcony Room:

Background: This Lodge Balcony room is in the Sun Valley Lodge, the original hotel at the resort, and runs $339 a night for weekdays, $359 weekends. There are seven Lodge Balcony rooms that feature either a king bed or two queen beds in a medium size room with French doors leading to a balcony. The 148 room Lodge was built in 1936, and boasts the Duchin Lounge, Gretchen’s Restaurant, the ice-rink, a glass enclosed outdoor pool and the resort’s spa among its on-site amenities. Call 1-800-786-8259 or click here for more details.

If you’ve stayed at the Resort and have pictures or videos of your own in-room experiences, I’d love to see them – upload them here and then post a comment below. I’ll feature the most creative in a future Room from the Resort blog post and award my personal favorite with a prize.

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun

Echoes of St. Andrews in Sun Valley


Since arriving in Sun Valley almost nine years ago, I’ve discovered one of my favorite sights is that of deep dark clouds rolling into the valley on a quest to obscure our normally brilliant blue skies. The drama they bring as they cuddle up to the mountain tops is breathtaking, as are the storms that generally follow. And really, one does get somewhat bored of 330 days of pure, unadulterated sun.

One Sunday in June, as such a storm threatened, Mr. Sun and I trussed up Little Sun (4) and Baby Sun (1) in their finest golfing gear and headed to Sun Valley for a round at the Sawtooths Putting Course. For those not in the loop, according to Forbes magazine Sun Valley happens to have the finest golf offerings of all the North American ski resorts. Larry Olmsted spelled it all out in his article last week, Hollywood’s A-List Ski Resort Is Now A Top Golf Resort.

Little Sun: Champion of the putt-putt course

While 45 holes is a dream to many, the 18 of the putting course was far more our style for a first family golfing day. On the advice of Dominick Conti at the Golf Shop we kitted the children out in collared shirts (“so they will feel part of the golfing experience”) and hit the greens.

As the clouds gathered, threatening but not yet ready to give up their cargo, the scenery was stunning, more than making up for my complete lack of interest in golf. The tykes however, were in heaven. And as most parents discover sooner rather than later, anything that makes your offspring happy makes you happy. (Apart from SpongeBob SquarePants—if I could get my hands on that darn pineapple under the sea…).

Baby Sun gets ready for a run at the balls

After a spring in Florida with his grandpa, Little Sun has ample golfing experience. Tucking his scoring pencil behind his ear (a trick the trusty Dominick had showed him), he strode up to the first of the 18 holes and knocked it out in 3 strokes. Well, as he pointed out grumpily, that would have been the case if Baby Sun’s incurable delight at seeing a little white ball shoot across the grass hadn’t been followed by the irresistible urge to chase it. We eventually curbed this desire by putting a ball in each of her pudgy hands.

Modeled on the famous Himalayas Putting Course at the historic home of golf, St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, the Sawtooths is a lot of fun for serious golfers but it is absolutely perfect for a family day out. Offering downhill, sidehill and uphill putts as you weave around the 52,000 square foot course, we all felt like “proper” golfers—without actually getting in the way of the proper golfers.

It's time to get into the club!

After an hour of decent physical exertion, lots of laughs and just one tantrum, we headed for the luxury of the patio seating outside the splendid Sun Valley Club. Here Big Sun and I enjoyed a much-needed frosty beverage while the tykes wolfed down some toasty grilled cheese sandwiches. Pure perfection.

Here are some quick clips of the Sun family in action

Little Sun shows his golfing prowess

Baby Sun hits her first golf ball

Happy trails!

Mrs. Sun

Sawtooth Putting Course Details: Adults $5, Children $3 Phone: 208.622.2251, Email:

Roundhouse Restaurant open for dinner this winter

Baldy’s first restaurant situated on the River Run side of Bald Mountain about mid-way up is serviced by Sun Valley’s Roundhouse Gondola. Regardless of when you choose to wine or dine, this trip is sure to become one of your most memorable Sun Valley dining adventures. Foot traffic only tickets available at the River Run ticket office.

The Roundhouse will open November 25 for a First Tracks Continental Breakfast at 8:30am, gourmet lunch and aprs ski wine, beer and light bar fare at Averell’s until 4:30pm daily.

Evening dining at the historic Roundhouse will make its debut for Sun Valley’s 75th winter season.
This new Sun Valley tradition will begin December 10 offering an upscale, casual dining experience, Thursday through Saturdays from 6 to 9pm.
Complimentary Roundhouse Gondola evening transportation will be reserved for dinner guests only.
Dinner reservations are now being accepted for the winter season. Call now.
Call (208) 622-2012 for dinner reservations

Location: Bald Mountain
Breakfast & Lunch Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm Daily (reservations not taken)
Dinner Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights from 6-9pm Call (208) 622-2012 for dinner reservations

Mountain Update – January 21, 2010

Check out today’s fresh footage from Baldy’s slopes!

Mountain Update – January 13

Mark Oliver’s Terrain Park Video “Its Always Sunny in Sun Valley”

Check out local snowboarding / photography / video phenom, Mark Oliver’s awesome terrain park video featuring local athletes who didn’t have their own park before Saturday like Colter Brehmer, Tai Barrymore, Pat Lee, Chase Josey, and Mal Prior.

Its Always Sunny in Sun
Valley Episode 1
from Mark
on Vimeo.

Ski Patrol Mountain Update – Dec 9

Sun Valley in Warren Miller’s “Dynasty”

Here are two short excerpts shot in Sun Valley and surrounding areas from latest ski movie, “Dynasty”.