Friday, February 1, 2008

Can you handle 48 Straight?

Sun Valley mountain culture to get another boost

Express Staff Writer

Half-pipe acrobatics stole the spotlight at last year?s Ski Tour. Photo by Willy Cook

The Ski Tour—sporting a new name and a beefed-up schedule of events—returns to Sun Valley from Friday, March 14, through Sunday, March 16.

48 Straight is the new official brand name born from the joining of the Jeep King of the Mountain Series and The Ski Tour. Kipp Nelson, co-founder of The Ski Tour, said 48 Straight signifies the work-hard, play-hard attitude of mountain culture taking place in a 48-hour weekend this March.

Combining Jeep's years of renowned professional race programs with The Ski Tour's multi-day music, culture and ski-event experience has this year produced what is called the "Loudest Show on Snow."

"What we gained is 14 years of experience and great relationships with Jeep and CBS," said Nelson. "They wanted the whole festival component, but the competition is still called Jeep."

48 Straight makes its third and final stop in Sun Valley and will include activities on and off the slopes. Snowboard-cross racing and snowboard halfpipe competitions will be added to the original skier-cross and skier halfpipe venues of The Ski Tour. This year's events also introduce women's competitions in all events. Similar to last year, there will be plenty of live music, street parties, fashion shows and film festivals. This year, there will be a "Green Your Scene" environmental series.

"You can actually do something (to help the environment) in a mountain town," Nelson said. "In cities it can take up to two years. We are going to have a checklist of small solutions and see in a year's time how we did. There are very conscious people living in Sun Valley. It is incredibly beautiful and inspiring with lots of cosmopolitan connections."

The first-time environmental series will be in conjunction with The Community Library, in Ketchum, and will include a host of speakers such as Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall and Firm Green founder Steve Hodge, as well as environmental activists and leaders Aimee Christensen, May Boeve, Auden Schendler, Nancy Taylor and others.

The series will be held at the library starting Tuesday, March 11, through Thursday, March 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each evening.

"48 Straight is an umbrella organization," Nelson said. "We want support for the environmental symposium and it's free. We want to try and do more every year."

Headline musical acts in Sun Valley will include Bassnectar, Micky & The Motorcars, Dirtie Blonde, DJ Bedz, Ky-Mani Marley, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Wayne Jobson "Native Wayne," Salem, Swollen Members, Mickey Avalon and Slightly Stoopid. In addition, there will be a rendition of the play "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea," performed by Company of Fools in the Roosevelt Tavern, as well as smaller live music acts throughout bars and venues in Ketchum all weekend long.

The top athletes of 48 Straight are competing for a share of $250,000 split among the eight events, as well as keys to new Jeeps. Athletes scheduled to compete are Shaun Palmer, Nate Holland, Daron Rahlves, Seth Wescott, Lindsey Jacobellis and Casey Puckett.

For more information and tickets for 48 Straight, visit

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