Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Sun Valley Resort Primed for 100
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A skier loomed over the city of Ketchum as she made her way down College Boulevard Monday morning.
 
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Three more inches.

That’s all Sun Valley Resort needs to amass 100 inches of snow for the month of February.

This is the resort’s third snowiest month since the resort started keeping records, said Mike Fitzpatrick, director of marketing for Sun Valley Resort.

 
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Hyndman Peak and other peaks in the Pioneer Mountains could be seen from the Hyndman View loop at Sun Valley Nordic Center for a few hours Monday. Two large avalanches, by contrast, could be seen in a gully behind the Sun Valley Gun Club.
 

“We’ve had 97 inches of snow on the mountain as of President’s Day. And only January 1969 and February 2017 exceeded 100 inches,” he said. “With 10 days to go, we have a good chance to do that.”

Skier Larry Kraay reported three inches over President’s Day Weekend at his farm south of Bellevue. But Sun Valley got only a dusting from that storm. But snow was forecast for today.

Two weeks of nearly continual snow pushed area snow packs above average for the first time this winter. As President’s Day Weekend loomed, the snow pack in the Big Wood Basin stood at 114 percent of average.

The snow pack stood at 125 percent of average at Camas Creek, 111 percent at Chocolate Gulch, 102 percent at Galena, 114 percent at Galena Summit, 115 percent at Hyndman, 111 percent at the Vienna Mine and 155 percent at Soldier Ranger Station.

It was a big contrast to Thanksgiving when the Big Wood River Basin had a snowpack that was 17 percent of average.

Dennis Harper and his snowmaking crew, however, managed to make enough snow during the early lean weeks of December to keep opening runs on Bald Mountain.

 “We’re teasing him that the temperatures are perfect right now for making snow, but we don’t need any more,” said Fitzpatrick.

Now, the walls of snow along the walking path along Sun Valley Road are so high that only the top of a pink umbrella could be seen bouncing along on Sunday.

More than 6,500 skiers and boarders flocked to Bald and Dollar mountains on Saturday and again on Sunday.

And all the snow should please tour operators from China, Germany and Australia spending a few days skiing and dining in Sun Valley this week following an international Go West Summit in Boise.

“People have been so impressed by the size of the mountain and its steepness,” said Fitzpatrick. “Even when there are lots of people on the hill, like this weekend, everyone’s spread out. I skied the Bowls the other day and I was the only one in my Bowl.”

Fitzpatrick praised the efficiency of the operations staff in getting the mountain open safely and quickly, even during a snowstorm that dumped more than 30 inches on the mountain last week. People were allowed to begin loading on the chairs within 45 minutes of the normal opening that day.

 “Not all ski resorts can do that,” Fitzpatrick said. They might be closed a day or two.”


 

 

 

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Leisa Hollister
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