North Valley Trails pass sales set
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
While Sun Valley Co. posted marginal skier
days this winter, the Blaine County Recreation District was setting records on
its famous network of cross country ski trails, the North Valley Trails.
"It was a fabulous season for us on the
North Valley Trails," said Blaine County Recreation District Executive Director
Mary Austin Crofts.
The Recreation District issued more than
4,000 season passes last winter, a record.
It also groomed trails for 170 days,
probably a record, too.
"We groomed late, and we groomed early,"
Austin Crofts said.
Also, the opening of Nordic trails in
Quigley Canyon east of Hailey proved a resounding success, with approximately
125 season passes sold specifically because of the new skiing opportunity in
"Everything that we tried, all our new
programs this year, were such a big hit," Austin Croft said.
Among those new hits was the North Valley
Galena Express bus, a daytime extension of the Peak Bus that transported skiers,
snowshoers or sightseers to and from Ketchum to Galena Lodge and points in
The service, which began running on
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of each week just before Christmas, added
Saturdays to the schedule early in February.
Nearly 1,000 people rode the bus over the
entire winter, averaging 22 people per day.
"We need to come up with a program to make
it continue," Austin Crofts said, adding that next year the service might be
Finally, beginning next year, the Nordic
ski season in Blaine County could grow, weather permitting.
Traditionally, the Recreation District has
groomed from Dec. 1 to April 1.
"Our season dates depend on snow
conditions. However, grooming will begin as early as mid-November and may run
until mid-April," according to a Recreation District grooming policy report.
"Early season grooming is justifiable. We
are all excited to ski as soon as possible. The demand is there," the report