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Pray for Snow Party Sports Plenty of Snowflakes But Not the Kind They Were Praying For
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Nara Pikethly, Meg Chambers and Michelle Hixon offer their forecast for the upcoming ski season at Sun Valley Resort.
   
Monday, November 14, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Inch-sized snowflakes twinkled across the darkened River Run Lodge Saturday evening as hundreds of Sun Valley snow lovers came together to Pray for Snow.

The blinking snowflake necklaces given out by Sun Valley Resort were the only snowflakes circulating on this particular evening, as outside a lovely pink alpenglow streaked across the sky to the west. But inside the skier faithful gave thanks for the two feet of snow that haven fallen on Bald Mountain and surrounding cross country ski trails.

“I think a snow-in is going to happen. And I hope for more snow by spring than what we got last year,” said Michelle Hixon.

 
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Ariel and Avery Audet don ice cream-colored sunglasses, rather than rose-colored ones, as they try to will a frosty, snowy forecast into existence.
 

“I’m hoping for the opening of the Bowls by Christmas—like last year,” added Narda Pitkethly.

Representatives of Sun Valley Resort traded raffle tickets and the light-up snowflake necklaces in exchange for contributions of winter coats and canned and dried foods for The Hunger Coalition. And Snowboard Coach Andy Gilbert ratcheted up the excitement as he traded snowboards, skis, ski passes and other prizes for the raffle tickets.

Karen McGee recalled how she had been skiing Sun Valley since the 1970s when a shack occupied the site where the luxurious River Run Lodge now sits. And Jeane Gadd reminisced about the days when she was daring enough to ski in shorts.

“That was a long time ago—40 years ago,” she added.

 
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Will and Julie Caldwell were among those sporting vintage clothing, including a snazzy Bavarian hat Will got when he was 14 in Germany.
 

Jodie Hamilton, who organizes an adventure camp for deaf and blind children at Sun Valley Resort each year, brought her new white deaf dog Rooney to greet people as they entered the lodge

“I’m teaching him sign language and he’s getting used to being around people right now,” she said. “Come January I hope to bring him to Dollar when the Idaho State School for the Deaf and Blind children hold their Adventure Club in Sun Valley.”

There’s no snow in the forecast through the next week. But at least the temperatures have been cold enough to hold the two feet of snow that fell this past week. And Sun Valley is able to make plenty of snow on Baldy, which will open from top to bottom on the River Run side of the mountain on Thanksgiving Day.

The resort, which was named the No. 1 ski resort in North America’s West by SKI Magazine for the third year in a row, will host young ski racers for a week-long ski camp beginning Dec. 19.

 
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Jeanne Gadd nad Steve Smith were among those wearing blinking snowflakes provided by Sun Valley Resort.
 

And cross-country skiing, which didn’t get up and running until Dec. 15 last year after warm temperatures wiped out early snows, started earlier this week. Galena Lodge is poised to open on Saturday, and it will have plenty of Nordic skiing to greet people, unlike last year when those taking December ski classes had to be content to run up and down snowless trails.

“I grew up in Kansas so any year in the mountains with snow is memorable!” added Hamilton.

 

 
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Karen and K.C. McGee remember skiing sun Valley in the 1970s when a shack sat on the site of what is now the luxurious River Run Lodge.
 

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