Friday, November 23, 2012

Kids and snow: Winterís perfect match

Youngsters can learn to ski, skate or glide

Express Staff Writer

A pair of young skiers glide down a skier-cross course at Dollar Mountain. Photo by Mountain Express

Kids lucky enough to live in the Wood River Valley, as well as those here for only a short stay, can take advantage of numerous offerings geared toward up-and-coming winter athletes. Everyone from sledders to shredders will find what they are looking for.

New exciting features on Bald Mountain will thrill experienced skiers and snowboarders, adventure trails will charm the youngsters, and discounted clinics will help beginners get the hang of it for cheap.


Snowsports at Sun Valley

For 35 years, Sun Valley Resort has offered Blaine County students substantial discounts on instruction clinics. The clinics are now called Spuds programs and are open to any student from anywhere.

The resort offers a fun, safe, and supportive environment where students can begin to reach their full potential, beginning with the “magic carpet” moving-sidewalk lift at Dollar Mountain to get some easy elevation.

For children of all levels, the Sun Valley SnowSports School offers three sessions of Spuds Camps on both Baldy and Dollar mountains on three consecutive weekends, from Jan. 5 through March 2. The cost is $135, with a $40 charge for lift tickets for each three-weekend session.

The four-week long Little Spuds program is designed to introduce children 3 through 5 years old to skiing. Sessions are Tuesdays and Wednesdays 1-3 p.m. The only requirements for children are that they must be potty-trained and want to learn. Little Spuds begins Dec. 4 and runs through Feb 26. The cost is $165, lift ticket included.

Sun Valley’s SnowSports School also offers Children’s Camp Group Lessons for skiers ages 4-12 and for snowboarders ages 6-12. Lessons are offered in a camp setting daily beginning at 9:45 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. The day includes four hours of on-snow instruction along with supervised breaks and lunch. Camps are offered on both Dollar and Bald mountains, depending on a child's age and ability. 

For a good old-fashioned adrenaline surge, kids can take to the inner-tube ride on Lower River Run on Baldy, or get enchanted at the adventure trails scattered around Bald Mountain. These trails are swathes through the woods fitted with natural history lessons and other surprises. 

For the more daring kids, Dollar Mountain will feature an expanded 22-foot-tall super pipe, (now Olympic standard size), 76 rails, two cross courses and three terrain parks.

Sun Valley also will offer a free-ride non-competitive training course for skiers and snowboarders ages 6 through high school, beginning Dec 1. 

The resort also offers a Teen Adventure Program for 13-18 year old skiers and snowboarders of intermediate to advanced skill, during Christmas season and Presidents’ Week in February. Helmets are recommended.

Also new on Baldy, and geared toward the younger skier/boarder, (but not exclusively) is the “So You Want To Be A Ski Patroller?” program. 

Safety is the message here and the experience is presented in two sessions: “Early Up-Open The Mountain,” or “End of the Day—Sweep The Mountain” session. Participants will spend two hours in the trenches, experiencing the life of a ski patroller.  Two ski patrol enthusiasts will be selected each week through a drawing.

For a complete list of special rates and packages for the upcoming Sun Valley season, call (800) 786-8259.


Blaine County Recreation District

The county’s Recreation District offers youth Nordic skiing for grades 2-5 after school this winter at the Croy Canyon trail system across the Big Wood River east of Hailey on Bullion Street. A program of instruction and games is limited to the first 30 participants.

The youth Nordic program begins Jan. 16 at a time to be announced at the BCRD Fitworks-Studio on the Community Campus on Fox Acres Road in Hailey. The program begins with a mandatory introduction class, with parents in attendance. Skiing days are Wednesdays, Jan. 23 through Feb. 20, at 3-4:30 p.m. at the Croy trailhead near Lion’s Park.

Optional kids ski events include the Papoose Club’s Croy Cup kids’ race, time and date to be announced. The cost will be $85 for six weeks of instruction. Fee does not include rental skis and equipment is not provided. Limited partial scholarships may be available for the program fee. Locked storage in a yurt will be available for skis and poles.

A dedicated school bus will transport children from school to Croy Nordic. Parents are responsible for picking up children promptly at the end of class, at Croy Nordic trailhead. Transportation begins Wednesday, Jan 23. For details, registration and questions, contact Janelle Conners at 578-5453.



Sun Valley’s “Skate with Us” program kicks off Jan. 11 and runs through March 8, with classes tailored to children ages 4 years and up, from first time beginners to semi-advanced beginners. All classes are taught based on U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills fundamental programs. 

Additional competitive classes Jan. 14 through March 16 are designed for skaters interested beyond the basic skills classes. Skaters must have completed the 1-6 curriculum and have worked on skills required for Free Skate One. Call 622-8020 for more information.

For south valley junior skaters and hockey players, Hailey Ice Inc. will provide an ice rink in the newly remodeled Hailey rodeo arena this winter. The season will begin mid- to late-December, weather permitting.

Five-week clinics will begin the week of Jan. 7 for students in grades K-5, including “learn-to-skate” programs, boys and girls hockey, and figure skating. Check the website, for more information.

Tony Evans:  HYPERLINK ""


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