Friday, December 21, 2012

Ski parade dedicated to longtime local skiers

Resort honors Andy and Alice Schernthanner


Courtesy photo. Alice and Andy Schernthanner gear up for a day on the slopes at Sun Valley.

Sun Valley Co. will dedicate this year’s Christmas Eve torchlight parade to Andy and Alice Schernthanner, two longtime local residents involved with skiing in Sun Valley for more than 100 collective years. Alice passed away in July and Andy, her husband of 50 years, died earlier this month. This is the first year that the torchlight parade will be a dedicated event.

The torchlight parade is a highlight of Sun Valley Resort’s annual Christmas Eve celebrations. At dusk, after the annual “Nutcracker on Ice” show at the resort’s outdoor ice rink, scores of mountain staff ski down Dollar Mountain while holding torches, creating a unique light show visible from miles away—unless it’s snowing.

Andy, a native Austrian, had heard of Sun Valley before he left his homeland of Austria and came to the area in 1957. He had started a ski school in his hometown Rauris, but a friend took over the responsibility when the burgeoning U.S. ski industry kept him in this country. After 40 years of instructing for the Sun Valley Ski School, he earned himself a lifetime ski pass and retired from teaching.  

 Alice first came to the valley to visit Andy, whom she met at Sugarloaf, Maine, a ski resort where he taught prior to moving to Idaho. She said that alighting from the train in Shoshone with no visible snow or mountains, she was worried that she had come to the wrong state. She moved here permanently in 1962 when the two got married.

Alice initially worked for Sun Valley in the Continental restaurant, but took a long sabbatical to raise her family. The couple had six children and Alice spent many years volunteering with ski programs before she began work again for Sun Valley Co., this time with the ski school, eventually becoming a supervisor at Dollar Mountain. She spent decades teaching children to enjoy snow sports.   

 People can watch the torchlight parade from throughout Sun Valley on Monday, Dec. 24, at approximately 5:30 p.m.

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