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Bucket List, Winter

The Pioneers of the Air – A Day With Fly Sun Valley

One way to get a spectacular view of Sun Valley and the surrounding mountains is to hike or ride the lifts to the top of Baldy. But an even better way, as we found out, is to run off the top of the mountain with another person strapped to your back as a big beautiful glider rises over your head and takes you soaring out over the valley.

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

The Future Strikes Back. Again! Sun Valley’s Kinder Cup Ski Race

Since most people still kicking today in Sun Valley can recall, the Kindercup has played a vital role in the ski and snowboard community.  Each March every little grom who has been ripping around the hill all winter gets geared up for the “Big Race”.  The valley comes out to enjoy a warm spring day and see what their little future Olympians are made of.  It’s that one time each season that the dads actually take a few minutes to sharpen the edges and smear some wax on the skis which have bounced around in the back of the truck like cordwood all winter. Moms nervously skitter about trying to talk their kid into putting on the race bib, hoping little Jonny has brought his A-game.

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Bucket List, Dining, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Crossing it up at Galena Lodge – Where Good Skiing meets Good Food

Twenty-three miles north of Sun Valley, tucked at the base of Galena Summit and nestled beneath the Boulder Mountains, sits a snow seeker’s manna. Constructed during the 1960s using vestiges of the property’s nineteenth-century mining colony, the Galena Lodge is a valley favorite for those wishing to escape “the big town” for a day of peace, beauty, and scrumptious food.

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Williams Peak Yurt

While the Sun Valley Resort is well-known for its immaculately groomed runs and glitzy Hollywood skiing history, a lesser-known aspect of the area is the limitless access to backcountry skiing in the surrounding mountain ranges. As forecasted, clouds built on Saturday evening. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the White Cloud Peaks before preparing for the “40% chance of a trace.” After Sun Valley’s establishment in 1936, the burgeoning ski-school quickly developed a “ski-touring” arm to offer guests access to this winter wonderland of ski-terrain.  Backcountry cabins were erected at the foot of the Pioneers Mountains (aka The Pio Cabin) and up Owl Creek in the Smoky Mountains to serve as base-camps for guided ski trips with resort guests.   Today, two guide-services maintain backcountry huts and Mongolian style yurts nestled deep in the local mountain ranges.  They offer both guided and non-guided groups a comfortable base camp from which to explore the backcountry ski terrain. The group breaks a fresh trail into the Marshall Lakes Basin, just an hour and a half from the yurt.   We recently enjoyed a long Presidents Day weekend at the Williams Peak Yurt in the Sawtooth Mountains. (operated by Sawtooth Mountain Guides)  We …

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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 over the …

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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.