Friday, December 14, 2012

Sun Valley to open Seattle Ridge

Roundhouse set to open Saturday

Express Staff Writer

The Seattle Ridge chairlift and day lodge, as well as the Cold Springs chairlift, were all scheduled to be opened on Bald Mountain today.

SunValley Resort spokesman Jack Sibbach said the Roundhouse restaurant is scheduled to open Saturday. The historic restaurant, perched on Bald Mountain at 7,700 feet and accessible directly via the Roundhouse Express gondola, will open with a “modern bistro flare,” said John Murcko, Sun Valley’s Co.’s recently hired director of culinary operations.

Sibbach said he went skiing Sunday and the bowls in particular were “exceptional.”

“I went up for two hours in the afternoon,” he said. “It was fantastic.”

The bowls opened Dec. 6, which Sibbach said is the earliest they have opened in recent memory. He said the early opening was due to the mountain’s receiving more snowfall than normal this early in the year. However, the excess snow created some problems as well. On Dec. 2, a sizeable avalanche slid down Lookout Bowl. Ski patrol Assistant Director Mike Davis said the slide was a natural release.

 “It was fairly big,” he said. “It ran the full length of the bowl, into Broadway run.”

Sun Valley Ski Patrol Snow Safety Director Rich Bingham said last week that the patrol had been out conducting explosive stability tests in the bowls to determine when they would be safe to open to the public. 

“Everything is stable in the bowls,” Sibbach said Thursday. “We wouldn’t have them open if they weren’t safe.”

 Sibbach said he saw a lot of “smiley faces” on the mountain on Sunday and that people seem to be enjoying the on-mountain dining this year, which was extensively revamped by Murcko this season.

“I heard a lot of people on Sunday saying they were really enjoying the new taco bar on Lookout,” he said. “That’s the only lodge I stopped in.”

Sibbach said resort staff is receiving “wonderful feedback” for on-mountain dining from the resort’s guests.

As of press deadline Thursday, a resort report on Bald Mountain conditions said the hill had 50 inches of snow on top and 11 inches at the base.

“Go out, be safe and enjoy it.” Sibbach said.

Brennan Rego:

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