Sunday, April 18, 2021
Galena Loppet-Move Over for the Green Sumo Wrestler on the Trail
Kathy Alexander, Glo Kimball and Erica Thorson ready themselves for the 156th Galena Loppet fueled by donut power.
Monday, March 22, 2021


It was billed as the 156th Galena Loppet. But what made this long-distance event so special was not the number made in jest but the fact that it happened at all.

After a year of fun being cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic, dozens of Nordic skiers turned out in sumo wrestler outfits, Zorro costumes, lederhosen and Hawaiian grass skirts to ski the trails around Galena Lodge I search of homemade donuts and margaritas.

“I’m just so excited to have an event to go to. And this is one of the best—it’s not a race, it does involve costumes and it’s all about sun, skiing and donuts,” said Lauren Marziliano.

Muffy Ritz and Kate Ellis looked svelte, but they soon found that their sumo wrestler outfits caught wind, slowing them on the downhills.

Sun Valley-area residents have had the luxury of getting to downhill and cross-country ski—something most of the country did not have through a pandemic winter. But, still, they missed their apres ski concerts on the Warm Springs patio and laugh-out-loud events like Ski the Rails and Paw n’ Pole.

That changed at 8:30 a.m. Sunday as Emma began frying donuts in the Lodge kitchen and Erin Zell began toting batches of hot chocolate and margaritas and beer to the intersection of Titus and Northwood and the top of Horse Creek.

Skiers—many of them wearing face masks—left the snow-covered Lodge lawn in waves to ensure social distancing. And as they hit the trails, with the most ambitious eyeing a 25-kilometer ski on such trails as Psycho and Rip ‘n’ Tear, they spread out.

“At this point in the season, I’m thinking it’s biking season. This makes sure I go skiing one more time,” said Sarah Forzley, who was skiing with Bigfoot, aka Adam Driscoll.

Mike Long looks as if he’s gearing up for just another day at work.

The Lodge parking lot has been full all season long, thanks to skiers driving by themselves rather than car pooling, said Lodge Manager Don Shepler. Lodge business has been down, what with skiers encouraged to eat at a temporary Pearl’s food truck outside or on picnic tables positioned along the trails.

But that’s okay, said Shepler, given that the lodge was working hard not to pack people in in order to keep them safe.

“Nordic skiing kept us sane during the pandemic,” said June Lane, as she stood atop the Horsecreek Loop where she had a grand view of the majestic Galena Peak. “And the loppet has given us a chance to chat with friends a little bit and see some unsurpassed views.”

Ralph Johnson concurred: “I’m out here just about every day—I think this is my 110th day. I love the scenery, the food. Galena Lodge has some great scones, the pastries are excellent and the lamb burger is so good.”

Mike Brumbaugh was perfectly suited for those margaritas waiting at the top of Horsecreek Loop.

The loppet included a Poker Run, with skiers drawing cards hoping for a winning hand that would snag them a prize. A hula hoop was posted  at the margarita stand, although it wasn’t clear whether a vigorous side to side was designed to give skiers a tummy workout or simply serve as a test for anyone considering a second margarita.

“What’s nice about these trails is the varying terrain,” said Lane. And, given the views, it’s the closest thing to being in Europe without being in Europe.”

Peggy Boggs, who started the season with co-ed tune-up lessons offered by the Vamps and Dons, said she has skied at least five days a week since.

“I like the peacefulness you find here,” she said. “And Nordic skiing is such that you can ski fast, ski slow and you can always work on improving. But I have to say it’s kind of weird being out here with all these people today. I’m not used to it. I’m used to being out here alone.”

Their costumes may say Hawaii but the snow on the bottom of the boot says Sun Valley.


  • The 19th Annual Ride Stride Glide winter triathlon will be held Saturday, April 3, at Galena Lodge. Fun lovers are encouraged to participate as a team or go solo as they bike 9 kilometers around Jenny’s Way, run for 4.5 kilometers out Gladiator and Western Home Glade and ski for 9 kilometers along Rip & Tear and Psycho.

There is a kid’s course, too. And, of course, costumes are encouraged.

Cost is $25 for a solo racer or $60 for a three-person team and we’re told the entry includes a mug of soup. Proceeds support the Galena Youth Adventure Camp Scholarship Fund.

Register online at

  • An Easter Egg Hunt will cap Easter Sunday on April 4. That also is the day Galena Lodge will close for the winter season. The hunt will begin at 10:30; pint-sized hunters are asked to bring their own baskets.

Skiing and snowshoeing on the BCRD/Galena Lodge trails are free for the remainder of the season, thanks to a generous donation from Peter and Quin Curran.


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