Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Perch’s Snowmaker set for Baker Creek start

Thin snow base for annual race

     Snow cover is “extremely thin,” and trails are barely skiable on portions of the North Valley Trails in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, according to Bob Rosso, owner and operator of The Elephant’s Perch in Ketchum.

     But Rosso said every effort will be made to stage the annual Baker Creek Snowmaker cross-country ski race sponsored by the Perch on Saturday, Jan. 4. Even the smallest dose of snowfall will help set up this year’s course, he said.

     The Snowmaker is scheduled to start Saturday at 10 a.m. from Baker Creek 15 miles north of Ketchum along S.H. 75, preceded from 8:30-9:30 a.m. by day-of-race registration at that location.

     “It will be interval start, classic technique only and one skier at a time. The distances make it more like a prologue race, short and fast, still very challenging” said Rosso.

     Courses will proceed from Baker Creek to Prairie Creek, with the long course measuring around 8 kilometers and the short course about 5.5k, Rosso said. A shuttle bus will take skiers from the Prairie Creek finish line back to Baker Creek.

     There will be no racer parking at Prairie Creek, he said.

     It is sponsored by the Perch with the cooperation of the Blaine County Recreation District (BCRD) and Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

     The Baker Creek location is being used as the starting site for a second straight year to avoid parking problems and maximize citizen use at the Prairie Creek trail system three-and-a-half miles up the road toward Galena Lodge.

     Entry fee is $10 per person, or free for juniors and ski teamers. Participants should have a trail pass. All money from entry fees will go to BCRD, Rosso said. There will be prize drawings after a shuttle bus brings skiers back to the Baker Creek parking area.

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