November 20, 2013
Pre-Season Skiing on Baldy

With a recent storm passing through Sun Valley, locals are gearing up for ski season in full force. The past few weeks have seen a lot of snow blowing up on Baldy and it’s finally to the point where die-hard skiers and boarders alike can hike their way up to carve their first turns. With the mountain expecting to open on Thanksgiving, this weekend’s dusting proved to be a great morale-booster for the people of Sun Valley, and they came out in droves to see what the storm added to the man-made base.

Conditions aren’t perfect, but it’s finally beginning to feel like ski season is upon us, with several runs covered in enough snow to allow for shredding, albeit with caution.

Starting on November 24th, Sun Valley will be hosting a camp for skiers to train before the mountain opens, and it looks like they are well under way to having everything prepared for the team. “It’s great to see so many people excited about ski season. It gets my hopes up that it’ll be an epic year,” said Meggie Rose, local skier. Don’t hesitate to go out and hike the River Run side this week, but remember not to send it too hard and to watch for hikers and dogs alike.

Pre season skiing on Bald Mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho.Pre season skiing on Bald Mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho.

  1. If you have a great pair of beater skis, now’s the time to use them. Although it is mid November, the mountain is skiing as if it were late spring, with exposed spots on runs like College having a nice, soft top layer and the shadier areas being East-Coast slick.
  2. Skins are not required! They have become the popular option for most skiers out there, but there’s still something to be said about boot packing—give yourself a serious workout and strap an extra 50 lbs to your back to hike up. Appropriate footwear encouraged.
  3. The lifts are completely shut off to the public, so go up only as far as you are willing to come back down. Adjust the difficulty to your own personal needs.
  4. For going up, a few different options are available. You can hike River Run to Mid River, over to College OR River Run to Hershey Highway to College. The snow guns have been blowing enough that Upper to Lower College and Mid to Lower River Run are completely skiable, with Canyon looking like it could support a few turns. Ski at your own risk.

Skier’s etiquette still applies, despite it being off-season. Hikers should generally stay to the side of the run as much as possible, and skiers must yield to the downhill skier/hiker.

Pre season skiing on Bald Mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho.Pre season skiing on Bald Mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho.