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24hrs in Sun Valley, Winter

24hrs in Sun Valley – February – Rick Kapala – Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation

In this monthly series, we check in with one of our adventurous locals to find out how they would spend a perfect 24 hours in Sun Valley. Happy February! We hope you are out enjoying the spoils of this epic snowstorm that dumped 51” of powder on Bald Mountain and coated the entire Valley, from Bellevue to Galena Lodge, in a deep blanket of snow. We are sure that one person taking advantage of this winter wonderland is Rick Kapala, the Program Director for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s (SVSEF) Cross Country Ski Team. Rick has worked with SVSEF since 1987, coaching youth athletes to some of the highest levels of competitive snowsport.  SVSEF’s vision is to create the best junior snowsports development program in the nation. They offer coaching and skills development in cross country skiing (including their elite “XC Gold” team), alpine skiing, big mountain, Freeski, freestyle, and snowboarding. “We offer programming for close to 800 kids across different winter sports disciplines,” says Rick. “From little kids putting on skis for the first time to ski racers at the highest level, we help our teams develop skills and capacities for ski sports and for life.” As for us, …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Southern Idaho Skiing & Snowboarding Road Trip

The Powder Highway or the Powder Pilgrimage might be headline worthy ski road trips, but the little known Southern Idaho Ski Road Trip is a hidden gem. Idaho has 18 resorts of all sizes and snowpacks spread across its expansive mountain ranges but down south is the coveted loop. Circling the Snake River plain this road trip stops by the 6 best mountains that offer everything you could want in a ski road trip with easily accessible mountains paired with reasonably safe roads. These 6 resorts offer up everything that skiing has to offer all in one convinet loop. Bogus Basin Right outside of Boise is this non-profit mountain that offers up 2,600 acres and a vertical drop of 1,790ft serviced by 7 chairlifts and 4 magic carpets. Bogus Basin has been operating for 78 years and still holds some of that homegrown vibe, but still provides a modern experience with some of the best night skiing in the state and a newly installed mountain coaster. Soldier Mountain Many thousands of skiers drive by the town of Fairfield, Idaho on their way to Sun Valley without even knowing there is a great little ski hill tucked away in the mountains to …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Intermountain West Ski Road Trip

Have you been itching to get out and travel a little bit? Have you been watching the forecasts roll in and the snow pile up? Well this year is the perfect year for a road trip to explore the mountains of the intermountain West. Below we have put together an itinerary that explores Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Whether you’ve got the Epic Pass, Ikon Pass, or Day tickets we’ve got you covered. Utah Assuming you’ll fly into SLC and get a rental car for this road trip we will start in the city. If you’re on the Ikon Pass or planed ahead for day tickets then head up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird and Alta. If you’re on the EPIC pass or a Sun Valley/Snowbasin pass holder head north out of the city to Snowbasin. If you’re really here to ski then plan ahead with your passes and ski all three! Ikon Pass: Snowbird and Alta Snowbird Odds are that you’ll be up earlier than a kid on Christmas with the anticipation of your first day of riding. Swing down to Baked & Brewed in the Snowbird center to ease the nerves with a quick breakfast and reviving cup of joe. After a …

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Summer, Uncategorized, Winter

Locals Guide to Driving & Parking around Sun Valley

Chief Deputy for the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department, Will Fruehling, has been patrolling the streets of the Wood River Valley for over 20 years. Since starting his career as a patrol officer for the Ketchum Police Department in 1995, Fruehling has been a patrol deputy, a Sergeant, Investigator for the Idaho Department of Corrections, and was appointed to his current position in 2017 by Sheriff Harkins. As a local and a police officer, Fruehling has seen plenty of visitors come and go over the years and through the seasons. So we asked him some tips on driving and parking, what his driving pet peeves are, and Fruehling settles the Miscellany II debate between left-lane drivers and right-lane once and for all. What tips do you have for visitors who haven’t driven in snow before? Will: “Obviously, the first thing is for people to slow down when the road’s covered in snow or when the road is slick. You see these people who wiz by and then you see them right in front of you at the next stoplight in town and you’re like, they made it at the same time that I did, but they went too fast for these …

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Bucket List, Rentals, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Complete Guide to Cross-Country Skiing Sun Valley

Each winter, at the first hint of snow, local Nordic skiers pull out their gear and anxiously await the inaugural groom of the season. From the first pass of the snowcat in early winter until the trails disappear in spring’s warmth, stoke runs high. These long-time skiers know what many others are about to find out—that cross-country skiing is a great way to explore the mountains, clear the mind, and, especially this year, socially distance. While the pandemic may be partially responsible for this year’s meteoric rise in the sport’s popularity, cross-country skiing’s roots run deep in Sun Valley. Over 200 kilometers of Nordic ski trails wind through the Sun Valley area from Hailey in the south to Galena Lodge, tucked in the Boulder Mountains north of Ketchum. Our world-class trails are not only a destination for skiers from around the globe but are also the United States’ only designated cross-country skiing Olympic and Paralympic training site. Exploring Sun Valley’s Nordic scene for the first time can get a little overwhelming, but we’re here to help. In this guide, we give you the 411 on everything from where to ski to who can help you get the right gear. See …

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Locals Guide to Skiing & Snowboarding

Learning to ski or snowboard like a local is about so much more than committing a map of Baldy to memory or buying a full season’s pass. Like any other resort, there are many nuances to hitting the slopes in Sun Valley that are sure to make you stick out like a sore thumb if you don’t know or—god forbid—choose to ignore them. And though there are a plethora of professional skiers and snowboarders in Sun Valley, many of whom grew up here, we reached out to homegrown snowboarder Charles Gordon Knight, known by many aliases but most often referred to as C Gordon, C, and Gordo. A Sun Valley Resort ambassador and new D team snowboard coach for the Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF), Knight also works at the Boardbin, has been on the mountain for 28 seasons (since he was 2 years old), had three perfect seasons, and received six 100-day pins. And he’s not shy about explaining how to avoid being a jerry. What’s your routine on a regular ski day? C Gordon: “I’ll have days on the mountain where I’m jibbing all over the place and hitting jumps, really trying to work on stuff, and then I’ll …

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Dining, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

What to Expect in Sun Valley this Winter

As with everything this year there are some changes, but as always Sun Valley has adapted to still provide the magic that we all love. Below are some of the changes you can expect this winter in Sun Valley. On Mountain No reservation system or visitation limits for Sun Valley Season Pass holders or Epic Pass holders on Bald Mountain or Dollar Mountain this 20/21 winter season. If necessary, the Resort manage peak day access for both Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain through day-ticket restrictions. This year they encourage all guests to pre-purchase their lift tickets online.   On-Mountain Lodges and Dining To accommodate for physical distancing and in accordance with State and County ordinances, indoor seating has been reduced in all lodges and they will add to our outdoor dining options. The Resort has simplified menus, instituted reservation systems in some venues, and will offer grab and go options to assure appropriate distancing is maintained in our lodges. SnowSports Lessons and Guest Services It will be a good year to arrive at the mountain prepared to ski, and to plan ahead. If you wish to store items at the base areas, the Resort will offer secure and sanitized bag check …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Why Sun Valley Should Be A Stop on Your Next Ski Trip

As if SKI Magazine ranking Sun Valley as the #1 resort wasn’t enough reason to make an addition to the top of your ski bucket list, well here is a few more. Sun Valley is chock full of activities on and off mountain to make your visit one to remember and maybe even a yearly tradition. Cross-country ski the US Olympic training grounds. Sun Valley is home to a Nordic Olympic Training Site for its ideal trails, training facilities and perfect conditions. There are over 125 miles of endorphin-inducing, visually stimulating cross-country terrain in the Wood River Valley. A US Olympic training site since 2012, the Sun Valley XC trail system may be home to the elite, but its groomed landscape provides sweet tracks for any skill level. Take time out for a drink and a bite to eat at Galena Lodge, no matter how good your crossover turns look. Tailgate in the same parking lot as ski-film icon Warren Miller. Ten years after the installation of the first ski lift, a young buck by the name of Warren Miller parted ways with the US Navy, packed his 8mm film camera, and hauled a teardrop trailer to the mountains of Idaho …

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Backcountry, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Guide to Getting Ready for Winter

Whether you are an Idaho winter veteran, a new transplant, or a planning a road trip, winters in Idaho bring with them a seasonal preparation. Just like our other animal friends, preparing for winter is something that is in our minds all year around and although building a nest is not on our lists there are more things to pass the time between raking leaves and ripping turns. Since we don’t hibernate here in Sun Valley, here is a whole list of stuff to not only reduce your season opener stress, but to also set you up for a successful and safe season of shredding pow! Avalanche Knowledge Take and avalanche course Brush up on skills with these videos Get the gear Freshen up your beacon batteries Do a beacon search in your backyard under the leaves. Test your probe and shovel deployment times Deploy your air bag and top of your air tank or fresh batteries Go through your gear Tune your skis or get them tuned here Shake the rats nest out of your boots and try them on to remind yourself of the plentiful comfort. Then wear them around the house while digging for your other gear …

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24hrs in Sun Valley, Winter

24hrs in Sun Valley – December – Scott Savage – Sawtooth Avalanche Center

In this monthly series, we check in with one of our adventurous locals to find out how they would spend a perfect 24 hours in Sun Valley. Ready or not…winter is here! From the first snowflakes in early November to opening day on Bald Mountain, we have been enjoying every second of this early season. Scott Savage, the Director of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, is someone who loves winter more than most. A lifelong skier and a snow geek, Scott and the team of Avalanche Specialists provide avalanche safety information for people recreating, working, or traveling in the Sawtooth National Forest. “The Sawtooth Avalanche Center exists to help people make good decisions, have fun, and stay safe in the mountains,” says Scott. Don’t think that your winter recreation takes you into avalanche territory? It might. Though the Sun Valley area has plenty of room to explore, some of the most popular recreation areas are exposed to avalanche danger. But before you hole up and miss the chance to enjoy winter fun under a summer sun, take heart: Scott says making safe decisions is simply a matter of understanding the risks and knowing how to handle them.  First, he says, check the …