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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of November 20 - 26, 2002


Sun Valley to open early

Rocky Mountains abuzz following snows

Express Staff Writer

For the first time in recent memory, Sun Valley is planning to kick off the winter ski season before the resortís traditional Thanksgiving Day opening.

Hundreds of eager skiers and snowboarders made the hike up Warm Springs to get some early season turns in. On the way down the mountain, some enthusiasts, below, took to the air. Express photo by Willy Cook

Excellent early snows and cold temperatures combined to enable the resort to open lifts Nov. 26, two days earlier than planned. The mountain is topped with 21 inches of natural snow and snowmaking efforts are adding to the total.

The combined base at Bald Mountainís summit is 26 inches, Sun Valley reported.

"Our plans are to open at least Lower River Run, Lookout Express and Challenger," Sun Valley Co. General Manager Wally Huffman said.

The opening will include top-to-bottom access on both sides of Baldy, including skiing on Upper College, Roundhouse Lane, Mid and Lower River Run, Flying Squirrel, Lower Picabo Street and Lower Warm Springs.

River Run and Warm Springs day lodges are both scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Nov. 26.

Quarter Dollar Lift and Dollar Cabin on Dollar Mountain are scheduled to open Nov. 27 and remain open through Dec. 1. Dollar is scheduled to reopen Dec. 7.

Express photo by Willy Cook


Pomerelle Mountain Resort, south of Burley, was Idahoís first ski area to open this season. Area manager Jody Burrows said the Nov. 14 opening was slightly ahead of last year, but average for most seasons.

Last year, the mountain opened Nov. 23, compared with Nov. 10 in 2000.

"This is pretty typical. Mid-November is when we try to open. We have opened as early as Halloween before," Burrows said. "We donít want to miss Thanksgiving. Itís a big weekend for us."

Pomerelle boasts a 17-inch base, Burrows said.

Across the eastern Idaho border at Alta, Wyo., Grand Targhee Ski and Summer Resort was opened Nov. 16 for a season sweetener, and is scheduled to reopen for full operation Friday. Targhee reports 40 inches on its upper mountain.

Meanwhile, Colorado ski resorts are wallowing in unprecedented early fluff.

With lifts ferrying skiers a month ahead of usual, the stateís ski resorts are relishing a quick start to a season they hope could bring Colorado back to its heydays of nearly 12 million annual skiers.

"Itís a beautiful thing," Vail Resorts chief operating officer Bill Jensen told the Denver Post. "We have the fuel to create the buzz and create the excitement in all our markets across the globe. The earlier the snow falls, the easier it is to do that."

Vail opened Nov. 22 with nearly 2,000 acres available to skiers, including almost the entire front side of its mountain and Sun Up and Sun Down bowls on the back side.



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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.