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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 Jan 29 - Feb 4, 2003

Features

Soldier Mountain
turns 55


By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer

With the only ski and snowboard terrain park in the region and a consistent blanket of snow covering its slopes, Soldier Mountain Ski Area near Fairfield is preparing to jump into the heart of its 55th winter with some exciting events.

Soldier Mountain Ski Area north of Fairfield might not have the size or clout of nearby Sun Valley, but it does have an increasingly popular terrain park, complete with several table-top jumps and rails.Express photo by Greg Stahl

 

The area will offer a special ski day Feb. 5 when all-day lift tickets will cost $10.

On Feb. 11 and Feb. 12, the Sun Valley Ski Club will host the annual Soldier Mountain Downhill, a USSA-sanctioned event.

A one-day downhill camp will precede the mandatory training day for the race. Sun Valley skiers Ken Corrock and Scott Curtis, both national skiing champs, will coach the camp.

On Feb. 15, the ski area will celebrate its 55th birthday with a torch light parade, a party with The Olde Time Fiddlers and a commemoration of the ski areaís original owner, Bob Frostensen.

But all the events take some of the focus away from whatís important at Soldier. Itís a small, funky ski area where big air and having fun seem more important than searching for the perfect turn.

"When I get on the chair and take a deep breath, I just think Iím happy to be here," said Soldier Mountain Manager Charlie Marolf. "Itís beautiful. Itís friendly. I think I get a big thrill from seeing people happy. By the time you get to the top, you feel like youíre on top."

On top at Soldier isnít much compared with other Western ski areas. Though itís on the side of a massive, nearly 4,000-vertical-foot mountain, its lifts cover only 1,400 vertical feet of terrain.

Because the ski area is open only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, a weekís worth of storms can really pile up. Add to that the resortís skier counts, which rarely top 400 a day, and Soldier is a haven for powder hounds.

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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.