Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Baldy Challenge Gets a Little Bigger This Year
The Baldy Challenge invites you to ski every run on Baldy, with an opportunity for advanced skiers to schuss through the new Sunrise Bowl. PHOTO: Cooper Morton/Sun Valley Resort
Saturday, February 6, 2021


Spice up your skiing this month by taking part in PK’s 10th annual Baldy Challenge.

Baldy has approximately 100 named runs, with the addition of Sunrise Bowl off of Seattle Ridge.

Runs include the usual suspects, such as Ridge, Blue Grouse and Hemingway. But they also include some you might not be as familiar with, such as Drop Out, Grandma’s, Ladies Start and Showcase,

Lee and Alex Nelson took part in last year’s PK’s Baldy Challenge.

The Baldy Challenge FUN-draiser provides the incentive to explore Bald Mountain by skiing all these runs.

“It celebrates our lifestyle,” said Bryant Dunn, a longtime member of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol.

You can ski all of Baldy’s named runs. Or, at least, half or more in the Half-Challenge. There is also a Dollar (Mountain) Challenge.

And there are an assortment of other challenges, such as the Lift/Lodge Challenge, which involves riding every lift on Baldy and having a cocoa in every lodge in one day (some people have been known to swap Bloody Marys for at least one of those cocoas).

Dr. Richard Moore managed to do the challenge, even though he cracked a few ribs in a duck hunting accident.

It costs $30 to purchase a Run Card. Tick off as many ski runs as you can during the month of February and turn your card in for a chance at a variety of prizes, including a new pair of K2 skis of your choice.

This year the money raised by the Challenge goes to The Senior Connection, which has been tasked with feeding more seniors than ever during the pandemic through its Meals on Wheels program.

Card can be purchased at PK’s Ski and Sports in Ketchum, Apple’s Bar and Grill or online at Even if you turn in a blank card, you will be eligible for prizes.

The Challenge has raised more than $40,000 for local nonprofits, according to Charlotte Gourlay.

The only thing that will get these folks off the slopes is a good party—something that comes with the Baldy Challenge in a normal year.

“It’s something that complements our lifestyle,” she said. “It’s so fun because it invites you go places you wouldn’t normally consider.”

Last year’s Baldy Challenge was a little difficult because sparse snow meant that some of the runs were closed.

Still, more than 180 contestants—the most ever—took part. They celebrated with a party at Whiskeys just before the pandemic closed Bald Mountain and sent skiers home shuttering in place.

It was a room full of people who love skiing--people who could tell you how many chairs are on the “Chair to Nowhere” from Lookout Restaurant to the actual lookout atop Baldy.

The father-son team of Lee and Alex Nelson were among those who took up the challenge.

“One day I rode every chair and a ski instructor said, ‘Why don’t you ski every run?’ So, I took up the challenge,” said Lee Nelson. “My son then tried it, skiing 130,000 vertical feet in two days. I like the Challenge. I like it a lot. I think the Fire Trail was the most challenging with bumps that go east-west, instead of north-south.”

Sita Vaughan said it was a great way to become acquainted with her new mountain home in her second season on Baldy.

“The most difficult for me was the rollercoaster off International. But I liked the challenge. One of the great things is that it made the whole ski area bigger.”

Patty and Chuck Lockhart take on the Challenge every year.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” said Chuck Lockhart. “I learn about runs that I never knew what they were.”

Questions? Call 208-726-7474.


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