A lot has happened since the first issue of Sun Valley Magazine hit stands four decades ago. To celebrate our 40th Anniversary Winter issue, we take a look back at the iconic people and remarkable events that have not only graced the magazine’s pages, but have helped define Sun Valley and make it the incredible winter wonderland it is.
❶ Operation Snowbase
Operation Snowbase is launched. A $1 million, 40-acre snowbasing system, it ranks as one of the largest in the United States and guarantees skiers, paying $30 per day for lift tickets, snow on opening day. To ensure that happens, 20 carefully trained snowmakers worked three shifts over a 24-hour period—maintaining the hose connecting the pipeline to a gun (every 200 feet) where 100 pounds of compressed air breaks the water into molecules as snow.
❷ Airport News
Runway lights are installed at the airport, allowing Sun Valley Key Airlines, Hailey’s only airline, to land their 19-passenger Twin Otters as late as 10:30pm each night—a 33% schedule increase.
❸ Indoor Ice Rink
Ground is broken on the new indoor ice rink in Sun Valley (85 x 200 feet), directed by Herman Maricich. It opens in 1975.
❹ Lange Cup
The Lange Cup brings pro racers for slalom and giant slalom competitions, with local Terry Palmer beating brother Tyler, and a host of Europeans, to claim the slalom title.
❺ Ambassador Ladies
Sun Valley Ambassadors arrive—a group of lovely Sun Valley ladies stationed at connecting airports and on-mountain to welcome guests and assist them with their needs.
❻ Elkhorn Development
Development at Elkhorn at Sun Valley gets underway—a $10.5 million master-planned community covering 2,920 acres that includes shops, stores, a café, the Chart House Restaurant, Dollar ski lift access, tennis, a swimming pool and outdoor ice skating, along with 2, 3, and 4-bedroom condominium. Elkhorn’s 18-hole Robert Trent Jones golf course is open for limited play during the 1974 season.
❼ Harriman Cup
The Harriman Cup is reinstated in Sun Valley for March 13-15—the only World Cup race in the United States in 1975.
❽ Mayday Lift Unveiled
Plans for a new triple chair with access to the bowls (Mayday Lift) are unveiled, billed as “one lift to all bowls.” Previously, bowl skiers would need to make round-trip loops on three lifts—Cold Springs to Christmas to Lookout—for one run in the bowls.
❾ Sun Valley Village Development
Plans for the expanded Sun Valley Village development, modeled after the Swiss village of Zermatt, are unveiled, with construction slated for spring of 1976. Future phases originally planned to continue the mall “as far south as the present road to the horse stables and north toward the present Sun Valley Garage.”
❶ Pale Rider Filmed
Clint Eastwood and Malpaso Productions / Warner Brothers spend six weeks shooting “Pale Rider” in the mountains north of Sun Valley. It premiers at the Sun Valley Opera House the following summer.
❷ Bill Janss Interview
A 10-page interview with Bill Janns, owner of Sun Valley from 1964 to 1977, explores his life as Olympic-level athlete, surfer, cowboy, pilot, land baron, world traveler, art collector, visionary and patron saint of skiers.
❸ Real Estate Slump of ’82
Construction is off 40-50%, with the largest home inventory in history (up to that point), and interest rates hold at 17-18%. But local realtors are optimistic, predicting an upswing fueled by homeowners moving toward multi-dwelling units. To prove the point, a $12 million, 31-unit luxury townhome community in Elkhorn breaks ground.
❹ Speed Skiing
Locals Bruce Smith, Mark Poster, Lane Parrish and Scott Curtis are featured as the fastest non-motorized people in the world while competing on the international speed skiing circuit. Racing 100-plus miles per hour in a free-fall contest down a “course”
set on an average 52-degree pitch, they drop 1,200 feet in a scant half mile.
❺ Milt Kuolt Purchases Elkhorn
President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Horizon Air, Milt Kuolt purchases Elkhorn and vows to make it profitable.
His airline, Horizon Air, also begins regular daily commercial jet service from Boise, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Portland, offering direct flights to Seattle or Portland for $109 each way.
❻ High-Speed Quads
Opening Day, November 24, 1988, three brand-new, high-speed quads are completed on Baldy. A two-year, $6 million project, the quads reduce lift times by more than half. The Challenger quad at the base of Warm Springs replaces the 25-35 minute, multiple-lift- trip to the top, zipping skiers up in less than 10 minutes.
❼ Scott Glenn and Hemingway Project
Fresh from filming “The Right Stuff,” actor Scott Glenn talks about his new project “Personal Best” filmed with fellow local Mariel Hemingway.
Bad-girl band and singing group The Vuarnettes continue their bawdy brand of comedy and après ski entertainment.
❾ Cross Country Ski Association
The Sun Valley Cross Country Ski Association is founded to help promote
the amazing trails and services for the
1983-1984 winter season. Nordic skiing
takes off in popularity.
❶ The Business of Skiing
Profiles on Sun Valley ski industry innovators Ed Scott, John Demetre, Bob Smith, Bud Feltman, Bobbie Burns, Chuck Ferries and Mike Brunetto. Brunetto, whose story is similar to so many of the other businessmen profiled, first came to Sun Valley in 1964 and worked for Union Pacific as a busboy in the Duchin Room at night so he could ski by day.
❷ Backcountry Skiing
An insider’s guide to the historic pursuit of backcountry skiing and the ski legends—Florian Haemmerle, Andy Henning and Victor Gottschalk—who pioneered routes down some of the Sun Valley area’s most remote and formidable slopes.
❸ Board Mania
Boarding rises after Sun Valley Resort lifts restrictions imposed on snowboarders—such as their need to demonstrate proficiency on Dollar, before being allowed on Baldy or restrictions on certain runs.
❹ Expedition Inspiration
An interview with Expedition Inspiration founder Laura Evans.
❺ Grooming Champions
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) was founded in 1969 by Pete Lane, Jane Kneeland and Jack Simpson and was known through the years alternately as the Sun Valley Ski Team. So many Olympians, national and world champions have come out of this organization that it was featured multiple times in the pages of Sun Valley Magazine. In 1990, the annual budget totals $612,000 and costs for development team members $650 per year.
❻ Big Bad Wolf
A feature commentary on wild wolf status in conjunction with the work of Jim Dutcher and Karen McCall, including their study and filming of “The Sawtooth Pack” north of Ketchum.
❼ Hailey Renaissance
In 1996, Hailey is the largest city in the Valley and the fastest growing in the state, with new transplants like Bruce Willis and Demi Moore making an impact on Main Street.
❽ Junior Nordic Program
A profile of how head coach Rick Kapala trains and leads his Nordic junior racers to the top— three of the only eight junior skiers who qualified for the World Championships in 1996 were from the Sun Valley Nordic team.
❾ Hometown Hockey
From the Suns Hockey to the various adult leagues—A League, B League, the Sunsets (women’s league) and the Sun Valley Youth Hockey program—hockey fever sweeps the Valley.
❶ Avalanche Awareness
After barely avoiding an avalanche, writer, ski guide and avalanche forecaster Anne Marie Devereaux shares avalanche awareness tips for the growing legion of local backcountry ski and snowboard fans. They include never skiing alone, always carrying beacons and shovels, and only exposing one person at a time when crossing, descending or high-marking.
❷ Crist Brothers Go Big
Big mountain skiing is the name of the game and few are better at carving up sick chutes and crazy couloirs than Sun Valley locals Zach and Reggie Crist. We tag along with the brothers as they evolve from X Games champs to ski movie stars.
❸ Living in the Round
The popularity of yurts as the ideal way to access Sun Valley’s sweet backcountry skiing stashes begins to really boom.
❹ Becoming the BMT
From humble beginnings (that actually included a contestant at the inaugural race participating on wooden skis) to becoming one of the most popular and well-respected Nordic races in the nation, the Boulder Mountain Tour celebrates 30 years of ever-growing popularity in February 2006.
❺ Undaunted Warriors
We honor the work done by Sun Valley Adaptive Sports as they partner with the US Department of Defense’s Military Severely Injured Center to help those injured fighting for our country bring joy and healing back into their lives.
❻ Kings & Queens of the Hill
A profile of the men and women who make up the core of the Sun Valley ski patrol, all longtime locals, who help make Baldy one of the safest ski areas in the country.
❼ Skiing with the Girls
From Gretchen Fraser winning the first-ever skiing Olympic gold medal for the US, to Christin Cooper, Picabo Street and Muffy Davis, to “vomen”-powered groups like the VAMPs and the DIVAS, we honor Sun Valley’s history of being home to great female skiers.
❽ Snow Science
Sun Valley has long been famous for its perfectly groomed runs. We pay homage to the snowcat drivers who spend winter nights creating Baldy’s quintessential “corduroy.”
❾ Backcountry Mecca
We celebrate Sun Valley’s long and proud history of backcountry skiing, covering everything from the first tracks made to the Pioneer Cabin in the 1930s, to the area’s impressive legion of backcountry