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Skiing & Snowboarding

Rotarun Ski Area

Located 12 miles south of Ketchum, the home of Bald Mountain, is the town of Hailey and the home of the area’s lesser known ski mountain: Rotarun. Known as “the little mountain with a big  heart”, this 475-foot ski hill located three miles east of Hailey out Croy Canyon has been a draw to the local community since it opened in 1948. With free night skiing, new snow making capabilities and terrain for Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) programs, this mountain is still making a big impact, showing how small ski hills like these are truly the soul of winter towns. Rotarun a ski hill where the essence of the sport is alive and well thanks to minimal barriers to entry and a welcoming demeanor. We highly recommend checking it out for yourself. History This small mountain has a storied history over the more than 70 years it’s been in existence. Starting after World War II, locals would boot pack up and ski down; shortly thereafter in 1948, Olympian Ann Winn started using the small mountain to teach kids how to ski, the first of many people to do so over the years. The mountain received its first “lift” in …

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Backcountry, What We're Made Of

What We’re Made Of: The Sawtooth Avalanche Center

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center is an incredible community resource, serving all who live and recreate in the Wood River Valley. Offering forecasts, weather, snow observations, accident reports, education and events, Sawtooth Avalanche is so much more than simply an avalanche organization. Serving those working, recreating and traveling in the Sawtooth National Forest, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center begins daily avalanche forecasts in the fall after enough snow has accumulated and continues until about mid-April. These forecasts encompass a wide area of wilderness—2 million acres—and are broken into zones as well as a list of common backcountry locations. Those zones are Galena Summit and eastern mountains, Soldier and Wood River Valley mountains, Sawtooth and western Smoky Mountains, and Banner Summit.  Sawtooth Avalanche’s forecast area doubled in late 2019 after receiving a grant from Idaho’s Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund Covering an area this big for a relatively small organization is no easy task which is why Sawtooth Avalanche depends so much on help from the community. The public is encouraged to submit avalanche, snowpack, or weather observations through the sight (though they are not screened, edited or checked for accuracy by Sawtooth Avalanche). Nevertheless, these observations are crucial to ensuring safety in such …

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24hrs in Sun Valley, Backcountry

24hrs in Sun Valley – February – Paddy McIlvoy

In this monthly series, we check in with some of our favorite locals to find out how they would spend a perfect 24 hours in Sun Valley. February is the time of year when a Sun Valley winter really hits its stride. Not only are snowstorms filling the mountains and turning the streets of Ketchum into a snow globe, but the longer days mean there are more hours to explore the outdoors. No one knows how to better pack a day full of winter adventures in Sun Valley than Paddy McIlovy, Managing Partner of Backwoods Mountain Sports in Ketchum. Backwoods is “an outdoor shop run by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts,” and it’s a great spot to check in on daily conditions, buy or rent gear, and get stoked for a day in the backcountry. We caught up with Paddy to see how he would spend a perfect February day in Sun Valley. Here’s what he said. What would you eat for breakfast? A muffin, straight out of the oven, from the kitchen at Galena Lodge. They are just so good. Ok, so a muffin first thing, then what? Oh no, the muffin isn’t the first thing. It’s a reward! Before breakfast, I’d …

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Uncategorized, Winter

Epic Pass Road Trip: Sun Valley, Snowbasin, and Park City

We’re less than 100 days from winter opening day at Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain, and our feet are already itching to slide into our boots, click into our skis and boards, and carve some turns.  Sun Valley (and its sister resort in Snowbasin) have officially joined the dozens of ski resorts around the world that are part of the Epic Pass family. The Epic Pass offers unlimited or limited, unrestricted riding at over 40 mountains for $939*. Here at Sun Valley, the Epic Pass is good for seven days of skiing or snowboarding with no blackout dates (after seven days, use your Epic Pass for 50% off lift tickets for the rest of the season!). There are other Epic Pass options. For all the details head here. With our freshly minted Epic Passes in hand, we’re all-in for an Idaho-Utah Epic Pass road trip. Are you game? Here’s how you do it. *As of August 2019. Price subject to change. Day 1: Fly to Sun Valley Flying into Sun Valley is a breeze, with daily nonstop flights from San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Rent a car at the airport (we recommend an SUV with plenty of room for …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Unique Winter Experiences in Sun Valley

It’s so easy to fall in love with Sun Valley in the winter. The stoke starts to build right before the opening day of Bald Mountain in November, and lasts right through the final chair ride in the spring. While it’s tempting to think of ski town life as one endless loop of ski runs, followed by après drinks, and back to the ski runs with brief stops for sleep and food, locals know that even in the winter it’s good to mix up the routine. Whether you’re in town for a month or weekend, check out these unique winter experiences that showcase some of the magic of a Sun Valley winter.   Test Your Aim with Get Your Shoot On Idaho Firearm sports may seem like a far cry from the ski slopes, but here in Sun Valley, they are closer than you think. For a memorable experience book a shoot with Jeff Kreyssig, owner of Get Your Shoot On Idaho. Jeff is a National Rifle Association certified instructor and range safety officer who offers shooting packages for individuals, families, and groups at the Hurtig Shooting Center in Hailey. Whether you’re interested in firing a cowboy-action Colt Cattleman or an AK-47, Jeff’s thoughtful …

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Local Beta for Planning Your Ski Trip to Sun Valley

If powdery slopes and mountain living is just what the doctor ordered, look no further than a trip to Sun Valley. With luxurious accommodations, perfect grooming, plentiful après activities, and unique off-mountain experiences, Sun Valley has everything you need to make it a weekend to remember.

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Sun Valley Resort Partnership With the Epic Pass

What the EPIC pass means for skiing and snowboarding at Sun Valley Resort

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Rentals, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Guide to Renting Ski, Snowboard, Nordic and Snowshoe Equipment in Sun Valley

Whether you’re new to town and didn’t bring your own gear or a local just looking to try a new sport, there exist a myriad of rental options in the Wood River Valley for skis, snowboards, Nordic, and snowshoes as well as a host of shops waiting to tune, deliver, and help you learn more about all your gear! Check out our guide below for all your winter rental needs. Ski Rental Gear Sturtevant’s With locations in Ketchum, Hailey, Sun Valley and at the base of Warm Springs, Sturtevant’s is perhaps the easiest venue to find for ski gear rental. They offer rentals and demos and event season leases on their skis and snowboards. Ski rental options include their Adult Sport package for beginner to intermediate skiers, Adult Performance Demo package, a line-up of best-selling, all-mountain retail models, Adult Premium Demo for testing Sturtevant’s entire selection of skis, Junior Sport package for first-time skiers up to advanced junior skiers, and Junior Race and Twin Tip package for advanced and expert juniors. All types of rental reservations are available online through their online rental program. Formula Sports Located on Main Street and 5th, Formula Sports is a great stop to rent or buy skis. …

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

What We’re Made Of: Sun Valley Guides Owner – Zach Crist

A Local Legend Some folks are legendary in Sun Valley and some folks are lifers. Zach Crist is both. A Ketchum native, Crist has been through all iterations skiing has to offer—riding professionally, being featured in Warren Miller movies, coaching, owning a backcountry guide company—all while still living in the place he wouldn’t dream of not calling home. Now married to Emilie DuPont and father to four kids (ages 1, 3, 8, and 12), Crist has settled into his newest role as the owner of Sun Valley Guides and couldn’t be happier. Crist is evidence that you might think you’ve done all this town has to offer, but there’s always a new angle to enjoy the culture of Sun Valley, Idaho.      The Educational Years Though he was technically born in California, Crist is an Idahoan through and through. He moved to Ketchum with his parents and siblings Danielle and Reggie (also a former professional skier) when he was 6 years old. With his experience on skis since he was 2, Crist ended up joining the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and was eventually picked for the U.S. Ski Team, joining his brother Reggie on the World Cup Tour. After …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

15 Things You Must Do in Sun Valley This Winter

Sun Valley, ID is America’s ORIGINAL MOUNTAIN PLAYGROUND with near limitless opportunities. We’ve narrowed down the list down to highlight our top 15 things you must do in Sun Valley this winter. Whether you are up for a grand adventure outdoors, or prefer a mellower pace around town, there’s bound to be something to match your cadence. Here are a few of our favorites–feel free to mix and match to create your ideal Sun Valley getaway.