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For the week of Nov 28 - Dec 4, 2001


Sun Valley sets Friday opener for Baldy

River Run opens first, Warm Springs follows on Saturday

"There were quite a few people" here over the Thanksgiving holiday. "We, of course, lost some people, because of the mountain not being open, but the people who came seemed to have a good time."

Jack Sibbach, Sun Valley Resort spokesman

Express Staff Writer

Wax your skis and snowboards. Sun Valley Co.’s Bald Mountain, with help from 11 inches of snow over the weekend and falling temperatures, is scheduled to open Friday.

The Lower River Run Lift and River Run Day Lodge restaurant will open Friday, and the Challenger Lift, which services the Warm Springs side of the mountain, will open Saturday for top-to-bottom runs on Upper College, Flying Squirrel, Lower Picabo Street and Lower Warm Springs.

The River Run and Lookout Express lifts, which service Baldy’s summit from River Run, will also be open Saturday to whisk skiers to the mountain’s summit and down again. However, unless Mother Nature provides a significant snowfall before the scheduled opening, the only ski run that will open on the River Run side of the mountain will be Lower River Run.

Fortunately, meteorologists are forecasting more snow Wednesday night and Thursday that could complement the existing 22-inch base at the mountain’s summit.

Warm Springs Day Lodge and Lookout Restaurant on top of Baldy will open Saturday. Lookout will offer very limited food service on Saturday.

"This is our plan as of today," according to a Sun Valley press release. "As always with weather and snow conditions, this is subject to change."

For some antsy snow lovers, however, the anticipated Nov. 30 opening wasn’t soon enough.

Skiers and snowboarders flocked to the Warm Springs side of Baldy to hike and ski Sunday after Mother Nature plopped almost a foot of fluff on the mountain’s 9,000-foot summit Saturday night. Local youths sailed off enormous kickers on Lower Warm Springs as skiers and riders cut snaking rills through the fresh snow.

Due to unseasonably warm weather throughout the autumn months, and an earlier Thanksgiving holiday than usual, Sun Valley failed to meet its traditional Thanksgiving-day opening of Baldy.

The fall of 1997 was the last time the resort couldn’t meet the traditional opening date.

Despite the absence of skiing, Sun Valley spokesman Jack Sibbach said guests who came to Sun Valley for the holiday weekend appeared to have a good time.

"There were quite a few people," he said. "We, of course, lost some people, because of the mountain not being open, but the people who came seemed to have a good time."

Sun Valley offered free ice skating rentals and free bowling, opened the Sun Valley Gun Club and gave hay rides around Sun Valley Village.

"We worked really hard to make sure people had a great time while they were here, so they’ll consider us to come back," Sibbach said.

As for snowmaking efforts, Sibbach said as long as temperatures stay cold, "we’re pumping it out whenever possible."

Pomerelle was the first Idaho ski hill to open as it cranked up its lifts on Friday. The Burley-area resort is located in a prime storm zone and reported 21 inches at the top.

Brundage Mountain near McCall reported 23 inches Friday and Bogus Basin above Boise had 14 inches. Resort officials are waiting for more snow to open.

Grand Targhee, near Driggs, kicked off its winter ski season on Tuesday with 16 inches of snow at the base.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.