Idaho is a landlocked state but what few realize is that it’s connected via one of the longest river systems in the US to the Pacific Ocean. For millennia, a certain species of traveler, the steelhead trout, has migrated through this river corridor, the Salmon, from the mountains of central Idaho to the ocean and back again. And a mere hour drive from Sun Valley lies the headwaters of the Salmon River, the origin of the steelhead run. Set amidst the awe-inspiring Sawtooth Mountains, these freestone waters play host to spawning spring steelhead.
Searching for Sun Valley
It may just be the single most indelible moment in all of Ketchum, Idaho’s sports history,” it was said of Team USA’s improbable silver shovel run at the 2014 Idaho Pond Hockey Classic . “One that sent an entire town into a frenzy.” American Pond Hockey came of age on January 18th 2014 on a pond in Ketchum, Idaho when an unlikely mishmash of hometown heroes and heroines, after a brutal first round loss, ran nearly 10 hours and six rounds straight into night and into the finals – and ultimately into our hearts. Why are we talking about the silver shovel winners and not the gold? Well, that is the spirit of pond hockey.
As snowboarders we live for events like the Baldy Banked Slalom that remind each and every one of us where the soul of snowboarding lives and where it always has. This event is an ode to the roots of snowboarding, reaffirmation of its disregard for the mainstream, but most of all one of the best days of the entire season getting together and shredding an awesome, wild course with our best friends.
Regardless of old man winter’s fickle temperament and unpredictable generosity, you can always count on the good folks at Sawtooth Mountain Guides to sniff out the stashes and pave the skin track to the goods. When slopes on Baldy rattle your teeth, soft powder conditions can often be found in the vast backcountry surrounding Sun Valley.
In keeping with the time honored tradition of mixing up turkeys and stem christies with a side of gratuitous method grabs, Sun Valley dropped the ropes on both Baldy and Dollar once again commencing its 78th season of keeping it real on Thanksgiving Day. Free ran the pent up beast of the ski season let loose throughout the hallowed pines of Sun Valley region. With cold temps and a little cooperation from Mother Nature supplemented by the world's largest automated snow God, all 3,400 vertical feet of frosted white monolith greeted thousands of skiers to the start of winter 2013-14.
It started like most great ideas. After a series of stiff beers from Europe served at a local house of ill repute, some local emissaries lit on the idea of providing an economic impact study on the business that surounds mountain biking, more specifically bike park mountain biking. The arms race for summertime recreation has been heating up over the past few years with bike parks popping up like opportunistic weeds all around the world. With changes in bike technology and the growing momentum of mountain biking we felt there was a case to be made. Only a couple of years after that study was delivered on the doorstep of Sun Valley Company a flurry of planning, applying for permits, and corralling contractors, precipitated. Cutting to the chase, Sun Valley broke ground this late summer on what will be one of the biggest bike parks in the country. Working on a five year build out plan Sun Valley has taken the bull (er rather shovel) by the horns and dived right in to building a facility that will further the area's reputation as a mountain bike mecca. And so we felt it only appropriate to take a day and …
Sun Valley had long been off the radar of the freeski and snowboard movement, the youth and creativity that once defined the original zip code to hang your ski bum shingle had all but evaporated. But then a rumble was felt and slowly the monolith of the past began to awaken. A park was constructed on Dollar Mountain and with that came photographers, athletes, film crews and the few locals who had been living the dream woke up to Christmas. Movements are created out of momentum, one significant event sets the dominos in motion. Which is what is happening in our valley today. We took a moment to sit down with local photographer, Tal Roberts to view this movement through his work as he captures the product of this momentum.
As the annual harvest moon sat poised to rise over the Pioneer Mountains and shine down on the Wood River Valley, foodies from all walks gathered in the Ketchum Town Square eager to taste their way around the town for the fourth annual Harvest Fest Restaurant Walk. Four hundred and fifty fortunate attendees filtered into the square between 4:00 and 5:00 pm where taste buds were promptly greeted with delightful up-and-coming Idaho wine tastings. As guests primed their palettes, strategies and routes for navigating the 20+ restaurants were drawn. With only two hours to sample, a certain level of planning was necessary in order to enjoy this culinary festival the fullest.
Ketchum and Sun Valley may be known for many outdoor opportunities like biking, hiking, skiing, camping and so on, but what many people do not know is that it is also a well known Skateboard destination.
Sun Valley is a mountain bike paradise with over 400 miles of singletrack spun like a spider web in all directions. However, what many don't realize is the abundance of jaw dropping scenic and leg crushing dirt roads that beg to be pedaled weaving through the region connecting remote corners with main arteries. Local endurance sadomasochist, 24 hour and Leadville suffer queen, Rebecca Rusch, hatched an idea to bring her legions to the valley and show them what a good time was. She called named it in the apropos style, Rebecca's Private Idaho , which sounds deceptively quaint. This quaint little tour is a 50 or 100 mile grind over hill and dale from Sun Valley and back again covering some spectacular country and just hard enough to make on find religion yet shy of questioning life. They charged out the gate like eager rabbits but the road would decide who hopped and who crawled home. In the Old World of cycling, another name for Europe, one of the most popular riding event formats is the Grand Fondo. This is a bit like a massive group ride that is timed but is more about the camaraderie than it is the result. Sure some …