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Arts & Culture, Winter

Dudes in Dresses and Flying Porta Potties… Groover’ing it at the Sawtooth Winterfest

Waking up to several inches of new and long-awaited powder is pretty exciting. But despite the fresh snow in Sun Valley on Saturday, we headed north to enjoy the Annual Stanley-Sawtooth Winterfest. Anytime you get to take part in a community event that brings a small town together for a day of costume, creative racing and street dancing, you are a lucky visitor. A little overcast, but nonetheless, the Sawtooth Mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop. Wait til' you see this on a bluebird day!   (above) Our neighboring town of Stanley, Idaho, sits 61 miles north of Sun Valley and is located near the headwaters of the Salmon River. Population: 62 lucky people. The annual Stanley "Drag" Race—an all out sprint from the Kasino Club to the Rod and Gun Whitewater Saloon. I'm pretty sure the lady on the far right ran the whole thing blind.   Seeing locals dressed in drag racing down Ace of Diamonds Street on snowshoes is a sight to behold.  And as if that weren't enough, the locals then challenged themselves to an equally ridiculous three-legged race. Three-legged race. Even the guys in dresses and flip flops wore them all day. Even crazier is that Stanley …

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Fly Fishing, Winter

Winter, Waders & The Renaissance Women of Sun Valley

In the town that Hemingway made famous for his purely manly pursuits, some of it has apparently worn off on those that appreciate his connection to nature but don’t necessarily need to smell like the animals he stalked.  After all, a true western woman can shoot a duck, clean a trout, rip a powder lap and beat you in a game of five card stud in a single day.

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Spring, Winter

Put on the Skis and Saddle up! Ski what? Ski Joring!

We live in ski towns… but long before any town in this area ever saw a two planker, they were undoubtedly cowboy towns. Mining, sheep herding, farming and ranching ruled, and it wasn’t until the thirties nearly fifty years after Idaho became a state that the first skiers began running to the hills here. (Above) Course builder, and local Chase Gouley holds onto his rings and makes his way to the finish in front of a crowd of hundreds.  It really was the horse and cowboy that built this area, hauling ore in and out over the mountain passes to smelters, driving sheep and cattle to the plains, and eventually helping build the rail road lines that hauled those herds south. Conversely in the end bringing herds of folks north looking to enjoy winter with skis strapped to their feet.   (Above) Brittney Snyder and Michael Porter make their way to the start to compete in the Local Novice division.  Since the introduction of skiing in the 30′s they have both coexisted here, and carried on relatively autonomous of one another, but every once and again you will glance out of your car and catch a cowboy walking by a skier… …

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

A Day in the Life: The Sun Valley Nordic Festival

Photos: Ray Gadd Nordic Town USA If there was a word to describe Sun Valley, it would have to be a compound word.  Something like skiuntilipartymysoxoff might be a start. Most people think of the area in relationship to its alpine history and celebrity sheen, however that is but part of the equation. The blurry truth is most people here love it all andcan’t get enough of it in. It’s not because we don’t have a Burger King that everyone here looks like they skipped a meal, it’s because there is so much to do.  One of these outlets for hyperactive kids and adults is cross country skiing.  Sun Valley is known as Nordic Town USA with over 200 km of Type-A personality groomed trails and the kind of weather that led man to invent Nordic skiing. The claim is an understatement. The Sun Valley Nordic Festival with the crisp air, perfectly shaped tracks, and heavily breathing humans is a big part of winter in Sun Valley     The Sun Valley Nordic Festival Each winter these hypoxic lungs with legs gather to celebrate their community, cramming more Nordic activity into a week than Ringling Brothers packs into the main tent …

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Innovation

A Tale of Two Seasons: Club Ride and Mountain Approach: The Next Generation of Sun Valley Innovators

  The MTN Approach set up Club Ride, Sun Valley' latest rec tech   Necessity is the mother of invention.  Throughout the history of Sun Valley, the offspring of necessity has been a game changing innovation.  It's a brainchild that keeps the creator up at night, hanging it out both financially and emotionally striving to make it work, banking on the belief that their idea will catch on.  Driven by the fear of returning to the dish-line at a local restaurant or other menial job needed to fund life in the mountains, the innovator drives harder.  For a small town, Sun Valley has spawned more cool ideas per capita than most large cities. The latest emerging players in this story found inspiration out on the trails and in the mountains wishing the tools of their trade were better.   Hunkered down at the kitchen table each conceived, developed, and produced over a few short years problem solving niche products which may be as commonplace in the near future as their predecessors' ski goggles and poles. Cory feeds an early prototype into the band saw. Fortunately he was already missing three fingers when this project began.   One of these brands …

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Sun Valley’s Lifestyle Coach, Ambassador of Stoke

It was 1998.  He awoke to his beard on fire, his mangy head of hair smelling like a dog had been roasting in the oven.  Running for the door he was greeted by an oppressive Appalachian mist hanging in the air as he exited into the yard. The ER mirror reflected a soot blackened face.  His life had changed, and he would never return to finish his degree at Ohio State.

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Living the Dream

The saying, "my life is your vacation" gets thrown around a lot in ski towns far & wide. Many of us here in the Sun Valley area take that saying to heart on a daily basis. Whether you're here ski bumming it up or a working professional, the outdoor access right here makes it possible to live the dream. From November through April we're fortunate enough to have a winter wonderland playground right out the backdoor. Take your pick from meandering snowshoe paths, corduroy cross country and downhill trails, topped off with four mountain ranges offering up some epic backcountry riding.

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Banks, Chili, Snowboards -The Money Shot – Sun Valley’s own Banked Slalom

Most great stories start out with “it was a cold day” which is precisely where this one begins.  “It was so cold that….” typically comes next, but while it was cold enough to freeze the roots of your molars, it was not cold enough to deter a cadre of 80 plus snowboarders from lining up at the “Dollar Mountain Money Shot”, Sun Valley’s banked slalom race and qualifier for the hallowed Baker Banked Slalom. I sought to justify a balmy -10f as reason to go shoot photos (great light, lots of icy breath, crystals suspended in air) but honestly believed it might keep the riders home snuggled in bed. I was wrong.

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

The Sun Valley Safety Meeting

The most electric mornings in a ski town are those which are pronounced by the percussive thumps followed with rattling windows of snow control bombs being set off on the mountain above.  It's the orchestra of a powder morning conducted by the ski patrol; an early morning ritual which to witness in person is a bit like a coveted backstage pass to one of the most amazing sunrises on earth. In the pitch dark we load into the gondola and make our way to witness first hand what goes into making Baldy safe for the public on a powder day.

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Winter

5 Free in 5B… in Awesome Vintage Gear

Dear Young Folk of Sun Valley, Can’t afford a daily lift ticket (or has the corporate pass already been snagged)? Feeling confused about what to do on a beautiful Saturday? Even if hitting the slopes or the backcountry tracks isn’t an option, there is always something fun to do in Sun Valley. To prove our point, we gathered some of our craziest friends for an afternoon and evening of free fun around town. Five activities . . . 5 Free in 5B. Our first stop was to the legendary Gold Mine—the world’s greatest thrift store—where you can often find a brand new Spyder jacket or perfectly decent food processor for pocket change (Sun Valley pocket change, at least). Grazing the racks for wacky finds is fun whether you need them or not, and fashion showing to your finds to friends is simply a bonus, and free until you find that 15 dollar Bogner. Look at all this goodness… Cheap. Always free to look!   The Gold Mine is located at 331 N. Walnut Avenue in Ketchum (Right off Sun Valley Road). You can find just about anything here – for cheap. It's profits go to benefit the Ketchum Community Library, …