In only 10 days in Sun Valley, there will be over 25 Nordic events at the annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival. This year, the week-long winter celebration includes races, downtown jams, parties, lectures, educational classes, demonstrations, demo days, and a reggae music concert—capped off, as usual, by the famous Boulder Mountain Tour. With over 200k of groomed trails throughout Galena, Alturas, Sun Valley Nordic, and the new trails at Croy Nordic, Sun Valley is quickly becoming as much a Nordic ski destination as alpine. Pack up the skinny skis and tight suits for another round of "Nordic Town!" Below is a breakdown of all the happenings, so you can be sure not to miss a single event.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 24
Opening Night Welcoming Celebration — Ketchum Town Plaza
+ Join the fun of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival as the “Opening Night Welcoming Celebration” kicks off 10 days of Nordic skiing, culture & sport in Nordic Town, USA (Ketchum/ Sun Valley, Idaho). Come to Ketchum Town Plaza to celebrate the best Nordic skiing in North America!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 25
+ Sun Valley Intermountain Junior National Invitational — Galena Lodge
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) Welcomes competitors to the Sun Valley Intermountain Junior National Qualifier. For a complete list of information, visit here.
+ BCRD Ski Free Day — Prairie Creek/Billy's Bridge
This year, the kick-off ski event to the Sun Valley Nordic Festival, Ski the Rails, has morphed into a Ski Free Day on the BCRD’s Nordic Trail system. Due to low snow conditions on the Wood River Trail, Saturday’s Ski the Rails event was canceled. To ensure everyone in the community can enjoy a great day on the trails and to celebrate the start of the Nordic Festival, the BCRD decided to offer free skiing all day, Saturday, January 25th, on its Nordic trails up north. And, BCRD staff and volunteers will be welcoming skiers at the Prairie Creek trailhead from 10 am -12 pm, offering hot cocoa, coffee, treats and a fire pit to warm up.
+ Galena and Trails Winter Benefit — Sun Valley Inn’s Limelight Room
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the community coming together to ensure the future of this very special place. Join us in celebrating 20 years of saving Galena Lodge.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 26
+ Ski for Air Service — Bald Mountain
Put a little alpine into your Sun Valley Nordic Festival week with a day of skiing on Bald Mountain for only $40. You can get 50% off demos and rentals, and 50% off select lodging for the weekend. *Lift tickets must be purchased in advance.
+ Skin It To Win It Ski and Snowboard Race— Dollar Mountain
Challenge yourself and have a great time at this randonee & snowboard race, hosted by the Friends of Sawtooth Avalanche Center. The uphill course is a 1 mile, 563 vertical foot climb up Forbidden Fruit ski run and then down Otto’s Run. Categories include men, women and coed teams of one, two and four persons. Silly costumes encouraged!
MONDAY, JANUARY 27
+ Skiers Special Breakfast/Brunch at Smiley Creek — Smiley Creek Lodge
Take the time to travel over Galena Summit to experience Nordic Trails Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Sawtooth Valley. Start your morning at the Smiley Creek Lodge where they will be serving spinach frittatas, rosemary red potatoes, and mimosas. Then head off to Stanley to enjoy the Sun Valley Nordic Festival Sawtooth Valley offerings.
+ Ski Tour: Winter Wildlife of the Sawtooths — Alturas Lake Ski Area
The Sawtooth Valley is bustling with wildlife in the winter time. Join the Idaho Conservation League, Sawtooth NRA staff and the Sawtooth Interpretative & Historical Association on cross-country skis and learn more about world of winter wildlife while exploring the rich habitat that the Sawtooth Valley has to offer.
+ Snowshoe Tour: History of the Sawtooth Wilderness — Park Creek Ski Area
Did you know that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act? Join the Idaho Conservation League, Sawtooth NRA staff and the Sawtooth Interpretative & Historical Association on snowshoes to learn about the History of the Sawtooth Wilderness. Group size is limited–must preregister.
+ Avalanche Awareness & Safety in the Backcountry — Stanley Town Square
Join a Sawtooth Avalanche Center forecaster and a Sawtooth Mountain Guides backcountry ski guide for an avalanche awareness presentation and avalanche rescue equipment demonstration. Learn about how and where avalanches occur, how to avoid being caught in an avalanche, and what you can do if someone in your group is caught and buried. This is a free event with no registration required.
+ Skiers Special Dinner — Stanley Sluice
Dinner at the Stanley Sluice will be chicken piccata and beef stew served buffet style. Beer and wine available.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 28
+ Twilight Ski and Dinner — Galena Lodge
Join us for our 3rd Annual Twilight Ski and Dinner at Galena Lodge. Nordic ski amongst the glow of tiki torches and the setting sun before heading into dinner for one of our only a la carte dinners of the season. A great evening for friends and groups looking to do something different. Full menu, wine, beer and full bar available.
+ Coaching Through the Ages — Community Library
Sun Valley’s favorite ski coaches (Rick Kapala, Colin Rodgers, and Muffy Ritz) will discuss their favorite activity–training for cross country skiing. Free of charge.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29
+ Ski with the Gold Team— Prairie Creek
Join the local Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation XC Gold Team for a distance ski on the Harriman Trail! Meet the athletes at Prairie Creek. Technique tips available so come with questions and get answers from some of the America’s top XC ski athletes.
+ Paralympic Biathlon Practice — Sun Valley Nordic (also on January 30)
The practice is being run by the Wood River Ability Program in conjunction with the US Nordic Paralympic Team and is open to everyone. All must have membership to US Biathlon—you may purchase a 1 day license ($10.00 fee). Paralympic Air rifles will be used.
+ Sun Valley Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony — NexStage Theater
This will be the 4th annual awards ceremony for the Sun Valley Ski Hall of Fame. The distinguished honorees have a strong connection to the Sun Valley area and are being honored for their significant contributions to either Nordic or Alpine skiing (including Earl and Carol Holding, Olympic skiers Maria Maricich and Jimmy Griffith, Alison Owen and Jon Engen, as well as the Heinz Family, Bob Disbrow and Kim Kawaguchi).
+ Coffee Tasting — Lizzy's Fresh Coffee Roasterie
We’ll be brewing different coffees from our offerings and serving as espresso, pour over, french press or drip. Take a seat at the tasting bar and enjoy!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 30
+ Ski the Harriman with the Vamps Coaches — Ketchum Visitors' Center
Ski the first 10km of the Boulder Mountain Tour course with the legendary Muffy Ritz, two-time winner of the American Birkebeiner, and her fabulous Vamps coaches, and then enjoy lunch at Galena Lodge. The group will meet at the Ketchum Visitors’ Center, will car pool up to Galena (leaving some cars at Prairie Creek), will ski to Prairie Creek, and then drive back up to Galena Lodge for lunch before returning to the Visitors’ Center.
+ Downtown Jam/NordicTown USA Sprints — Sun Valley Center Lot
Skiers can go head to head in a two person sprint relay format. A great spectator event that features top racers from across the US, with a fat snowbike race, beer from Sawtooth Brewery, grub from The Haven food truck and a bonfire.
+ 4th Annual XC Party— Perry's Restaurant
Join us Thursday, Jan. 30th, before, during, or after the NordicTown, USA Downtown Jam and Sprints. Eclectic dinners, appetizers, premium beers and wines featuring Lava Lake Lamb Stew: seasoned, braised, and slow cooked locally raised lamb served in a red wine tomato gravy with Idaho Red garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed fresh veggies.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 31
+ Swix Boulder Mountain Tour Expo — Wood River YMCA
TheSWIX Boulder Mountain Tour Expo is the official pre-race headquarters for the latest race information as well as the location the bib and souvenir pick-up. The Expo is open from 10AM till 8PM at the Wood River YMCA.
+ Banff Mountain Film Festival — NexStage Theater (also on January 1)
This annual fundraiser brings together over $10,000 of incredible raffle prizes with some of the world’s most amazing outdoor films for a great night of entertainment. Raffle tickets can be purchased ahead of time and you need not be present to win. This year’s line up of films is currently touring around the world and will land in Sun Valley during Nordic Fest! Food and beverages will be available, but tickets sell out every year so get them early, and support your Avalanche Center!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1
*** 39th Annual SWIX Boulder Mountain Tour — Galena Lodge to SNRA
The 2014 Boulder Mountain Tour (The BIG event) will be host to the American Cross-Country Skiers (AXCS) National Masters Championships. Celebrating its 39th year, this is one of the largest cross-country ski races in the country. Between the world-class competition and the stunning scenery of the Boulder peaks, the BMT is one of country's the most respected ski races for more than one reason–a big race, big legs, big mountains. Don't miss this event!
*** Reggae in the Mountains — Ketchum Town Plaza
The greatest show on snow will present an all-ages winter concert in the Ketchum Town Square on Saturday, February 1. A concert pre-party will take place at Lefty’s Bar and Grill in Ketchum at 4 p.m. The concert will take place at 5 p.m. at Capping off this year's Nordic Festival, this reggae concert will feature the nine-piece roots Bob Marley-inspired band Sol Horizon and the nine-piece roots-music-inspired band Natural Roots. The concert will be followed by an after party show at Whiskey Jacques in Ketchum, which will begin at 10 p.m. with Soul Medic, Jah Wave and Lions Den Unlimited Sounds. A great way to end the week!
+ Boulder Mountain Tour Demo Day — Sun Valley Nordic
Try the latest ski equipment and enjoy the skiing at Sun Valley Nordic Center. Reps from a variety of companies will have skis, boots and poles to try out. Take advantage of the special discounted daily ski pass rate of $10.
Video courtesy the SV Nordic Festival. For more videos, visit here.