Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Soldier opens for the winter

Fairfield ski mountain offers specials


By MICHAEL AMES
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Fairfield's Soldier Mountain Resort opened its slopes for the season on Thursday, Dec. 30 and with the weekend's generous snows the resort is a "powder hound's heaven," according to manager Larry Davenport.

After a good storm, Soldier will get far less tracked than Sun Valley's Bald Mountain. Fewer skiers mean more snow and snow that lasts.

Dan Gilmore, of Ketchum, traveled to Fairfield on New Year's Day and was treated to Soldier's "powder shots all day." With the entire mountain now open, there should be plenty of powder days or even weeks to come.

Soldier Mountain is open every Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for kids age 7-17, and $20 for seniors age 60-69. Skiers under 7 and over 70 ski free.

"We get quite a few skiers over 70 from the Wood River Valley when they realize they ski for free," says Davenport.

This season, Soldier introduces a 2 for 1 Thursday lift pass. If you purchase a lift ticket on Thursday and return to ski either Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the second ticket will be issued free of charge.

Soldier features a quality ski school described as "extremely wonderful," by Wood River Valley resident Jennifer Goff.

Goff and her two daughters, Daisey, 9, and Lilli, 7, drove to Soldier for a day of New Year's skiing on Saturday and had a splendid day on the slopes with both girls learning how to ski within two hours. The mountain also features a rental shop.

In addition to its groomed beginner and intermediate runs and its expert terrain, Soldier offers snowcat skiing on a diverse area of terrain measuring 1,500 acres for $250 including lunch and the use of an avalanche beacon. According to Davenport, a day in the cat can provide upwards of 20,000 vertical feet in a day.

Lift serviced skiing—with two chairlifts and a handle tow—covers 1,200 acres of skiing.

Soldier Mountain is located in Fairfield, north of U.S. 20. Call the snow report at 764-2526.




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