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24hrs in Sun Valley

24hrs in Sun Valley – January – Peter Stearns – Sun Valley Resort

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 New Year! While some may be saying “good riddance” to 2020, we’re looking ahead with hope and mindfulness for the coming year. We’re so lucky to have incredible outdoor winter recreation in Sun Valley, and that’s due in no small part to the opportunities at Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain, Sun Valley Resort’s two ski areas. For this month’s 24 Hours Sun Valley, we tracked down Peter Stearns, Director of Mountain Operations at Sun Valley, to hear about his typical day in January and learn more about this unique winter season.  Welcome, Peter! Can you tell us a bit more about your role at Sun Valley Resort? As the Director of Mountain Operations, my ultimate responsibility is the management of Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. I work with a fantastic team, most of whom have been doing this kind of work for quite a long time.  You’ve been working at Sun Valley for quite a few years, is that right? I’ve been with Sun Valley for 40 years this past June. Wow, that’s impressive! …

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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 Bald Mountain

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. Who is Bald Mountain For? C Gordon: “This mountain isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s steep, down the fall-line, and is chocked full of rippers. It’s the kind of mountain where you can put …

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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 …

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Eating Local: Tips on finding locally-grown meals in Sun Valley

Idaho may be best known for potatoes, but the Gem State culinary scene offers a lot more than just a single vegetable. In fact, it’s easy to enjoy healthy and delicious locally-grown food for every meal of the day around here. The Snake River Plain, just to the south of Sun Valley, has become one of America’s true breadbaskets. From ranchers running sheep and cattle through the foothills to farmers growing everything from asparagus to zucchini, eating local is a part of life in Sun Valley. Numerous local restaurants offer meals sourced from farms and ranches within 150 miles. To help you make the most out of eating local, we asked Amy Mattias for some advice. A self-described “locavore,” Amy is the program director for the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience, which features many of these regional farms and ranches in its Locally Grown Guide. Amy has worked with numerous farm- and ranch-to-table producers in the region for the last seven years. “I’m a devotee to local food systems,” Amy said. “And there are a lot of local places to enjoy Idaho’s bounty.” Coffee, Breakfast & Morning Treats The hardest part about finding a cup of tasty, locally-roasted coffee in Sun …

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24hrs in Sun Valley, Fall

24hrs in Sun Valley – November – Dev Khalsa – Photographer

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. A chill is in the air, and the snow guns blasting on Bald Mountain in preparation for opening day prove that it’s properly almost-winter in Sun Valley. Though we’re only weeks away from pulling out skis and boards, there is still plenty of fall left to enjoy this November. Don’t take it from me, though. Dev Khalsa, owner and photographer at Dev Khalsa Photography, has a secret love of this in-between month. “Summer is super crazy with work, and then suddenly there’s Daylight Savings, which means less light each day, which means that I get more time to relax,” she says. “It’s a time to be cozy with my family and enjoy the leaves that are still around. I love that transition and wouldn’t have it any other way.” Locals and visitors alike seek out Dev for her natural, candid, documentary style of wedding and portrait photography. How has this year differed from years in the past? “This year’s weddings totally changed,” Dev says. “Some of them moved to next year, but others became these really small, …

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Sun Valley: Endless Options for Every Idaho Road Trip

After spending the last three summers backpacking in the Sawtooth Range, I was keen to explore the trails and dispersed camping in Sun Valley, which tend to fly under the radar. While I usually set my schedule in stone, this year I’ve been modifying it weekly as I adjust to the new normal with road tripping. With a wealth of options (plus a commitment to the safety of tourists and locals alike), Sun Valley has something for every traveler, budget and schedule — even those subject to change. Without further ado, here are some ideas and suggestions for an amazing Idaho fall road trip to Sun Valley. Where to Hike From the jagged peaks in the background to the catchy phrase painted on the roof, it’s easy to see why Pioneer Cabin is one of the more popular hikes in Sun Valley. With four different routes to the cabin, overcrowding on the trail is not an issue, thus making it a very appealing day hike. Hikers can access the cabin via the Pioneer Cabin Trail (8 miles roundtrip, 2,570 feet of gain), Long Gulch (9 miles roundtrip, 3,000 feet of gain), Johnstone Creek (12 miles roundtrip, 3,000 feet of gain) and …