Photos: Josh Wells, Mark Oliver, Tal Roberts, Tim Carter The text came in late at night, intel from reliable sources that the Sun Valley Ski Patrol would be dropping the ropes on the Mayday Bowls. These are Baldy’s ungroomed in-bounds gems which had beckoned with their untracked spines and counters since the storm had abated. The line up at the Challenger base represented nearly every ripping skier and snowboarder in the area, some ski-lebrities past and present, and the unaware tourist who was about to get their socks knocked off. Approaching the summit, the chair became quiet, anticipation cooling the conversation when Tim said, “Remember to take a moment to enjoy the moment boys.” And we pushed off.
Like ants streaming into the nest, riders poured off the lifts and into the bowls yelping and hooting as they carved perfect turns blasting powder vapors into the crisp morning air.
Within a few hours Willy Wonka’s Powder Factory had churned out most of its treats for the day. The working class returned to their tasks with a certain gleam in their eye, while the more fortunate (mostly those stoked visitors I would assume!) remained to farm every last turn on the mountain.
Towards the end of the day many familiar faces from the morning rolled in to Ketchum Town Square for the official start of the Christmas Holidays with the annual tree lighting ceremony. With the kids singing carols, Santa arriving on a firetruck, and enough hot cocoa and sugar cookies served to power the valley on hyperactive energy, the community cheer and delight of Christmas time filled the air.
Catching up with old friends and seeing new little faces reminded me of how lucky we are to have places like this in our lives. To be able to live in or visit Sun Valley should reaffirm one’s perspective that life is indeed good.
Once my daughter wrapped up her wish list with Santa (motorbike with gear, leopard gecko, and a smart phone for her sister so she do Instagram?) we made our way over to the open house at Sun Valley’s 5B Garage.
5B Garage is kind of like a mix co-op and lair for skiers, boarders, mountain bikers and dirt bikers. A membership gets you access to the tuning benches and tools and a reasonable fee for grinding or other more involved service makes this a place to come, work on your gear and swill some beers with your friends. Owner Caleb Boulkol, has also started a new enterprise in the newly expanded space, Big Wood Skis. More on that later.
With a full day of living the dream under my belt, I drove home with a smile on my face and powder dreams of an epic winter in my heart.