Idaho Mountain Express Winter Sun Valley Guide

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PUBLISHER Pam Morris EDITOR Greg Foley WRITERS Christine Colbert Tony Evans Freddie Harris Pam Morris Robin Sias Kate Wutz ART DIRECTOR Tony Barriatua PHOTOGRAPHER Roland Lane GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Erik Elison Kristen Kaiser BUSINESS MANAGER Connie Johnson CIRCULATION MANGER Ben Varner ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Sara Adamiec Irene Balarezo James Mitchell Jerry Seiffert COV ER PH OTO BY RO L A N D L A N E The Sun Valley Guide magazine is published quarterly by Express Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340. For advertising and content information or to request copies of the magazine, call 208.726.8060 or email ©2013 Express Publishing Inc. Find us online at / to subscribe

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Having lunch or dinner at the historic Roundhouse Lodge on Bald Mountain is high on the list of must-do activities for Sun Valley Traditionalists. Photo by Kevin Syms, courtesy of Sun Valley Resort

Savoring mountain life and looking for more By Pam Morris Sun Valley Guide



As America’s first destination ski darling, Sun Valley’s middle name is Tradition. Cocooned in history and romance, it is without peer in the West. Been-there, done-that Traditionalists approach Sun Valley with a well-honed, but unstuffy sense of style. They don’t want to waste time or money on junk. They savor life and are looking for more. Traditionalists soak up the comforts of Sun Valley like a cat curled up next to a wood-fired stove. They wander down the paths that beckon to wrap themselves in the essence of this unparalleled place. Getting from Point A to Point B and back in record time is not No. 1 on their list. Sun Valley feeds their need for substance, authenticity and connection. They’re not into contrivance, plastic or the latest, greatest thing, unless it makes life more interesting or more enjoyable. They still welcome a good adventure. They love new mountain gear, but were content to let rocker skis evolve for a couple of years and to let others figure out how they should be handled before they clamped them on for a ride. They never lost their love for wool, even when it was displaced by fleece. With today’s wool in its no-itch form, they’re having the last laugh.

Traditionalists don’t want to miss even the tiny molecules of a Sun Valley experience. None would miss the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but Traditionalists would also seek out the tiny cafes where the chef is also the waiter. First things First Sun Valley Resort founder and Union Pacific Railroad Chairman Averell Harriman built the nation’s first destination ski resort in a Western style with European flair to entice passengers to travel here on the railroad, which served the resort when it opened in 1936. Brass bands met the trains at the station near Ketchum and horse-drawn wagons scooped up passengers for the three-mile ride to the Sun Valley Lodge, which today is a Traditionalist’s haven. The first thing Traditionalists should do at the lodge is to run a hand over the building’s exterior wall that looks like plank siding. No slivers here—the wall is concrete, which astonishes most people. This touch is the beginning of connecting with the resort’s history, which should continue with a stroll down history lane, a gallery of resort photos that hang in winter 2013/14 • sun valley guide

both wings of the lodge’s main floor. The friendly doormen will point out the way. A cozy dinner in a tall upholstered booth at The Ram, the resort’s oldest restaurant, sets Traditionalists up for a sound sleep before a big day on Bald Mountain. Pianist Larry Harshbarger plays standards most nights and will let you sing along if you’ve got the voice. On the mountain If it’s an epic storm night, powder will demand a quick morning cup and a croissant to arrive at the lifts in time for first tracks. Otherwise, plan on carving the corduroy first thing to capture magic-carpet-ride sensations. The wise Traditionalist knows that Baldy doesn’t close at noon and some of the most inspiring skiing can be found in the afternoon, after the speed demons have spent their energy. Baldy’s high-speed quad lifts provide as much vertical gain as anyone can handle and most days any time is a good time to hit the mountain. The curious can get a look behind Baldy’s curtain by joining a snowmaking tour or booking an evening ride on The Beast at River Run Lodge to see what the night shift does to extend our lives on skis and to make sure

there’s good snow underfoot. Don’t tell the kids, but Baldy is a high-tech miracle, and the masters of “construction snow” have good stories to tell. Traditionalists will revel in romance in an evening ride up the Roundhouse Gondola to the historic Roundhouse Lodge for dinner. On a clear night, watching the lights of Ketchum and Sun Valley recede and give way to the Milky Way’s glittering blanket is worth the price of admission. The crackling wood in the river-rock fireplace welcomes diners to the mountain restaurant whose ceilings, walls and windows were patterned after a railroad building where locomotives were repaired. Bon appetit. Up the road Nordic skiers will want to spend a day at Galena Lodge about 24 miles north of Ketchum. It was saved from the wrecking ball by local activists and the generosity of philanthropist Teresa Heinz Kerry. On the way up state Highway 75, a quick weekday trip through the Sawtooth National Recreation Area Visitor Center will orient the disoriented to the wild places around them. It’s one of the few places around with a Continued on page 18

must-dos for traditionalists

View historic photos at Sun Valley Lodge. S k i/snowb o ard on B aldy. D i n n e r a t B a l d y ’s Roundhouse or take the s l e i g h t o Tr a i l C r e e k C a b i n . Visit the Ski and Heritage Museum in Ketchum. Cocktails and dinner in Ketchum. Nordic ski and soup at Galena Lodge. Ta k e a s n o w m a k i n g t o u r. Wander Ketchum for cof fee, shopping and a good book. Dance at the Duchin Lounge. Hot tub, massage, yoga. Nap. Ibuprofen.

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Dollar Mountain and its expansive terrain park offers skiing and snowboarding for people of all ages and abilities. Photo by Roland Lane

Tips for enjoying the ultimate clan adventure in Sun Valley By Robin Sias Sun Valley Guide



Sun Valley is for families, and no matter whether your and your children’s tastes tend to the refined or rad, you can captivate the senses and create memories to last a lifetime this winter. Here are some ideas to make the most of your family adventure.

• Try: Experts recommend booking a lesson at the beginning of your vacation, allowing ample time to practice new techniques and skills and get the most out of your time on the slopes. Call (888) 490-5950 to reserve a lesson or to learn more.

hit the slOpes Chances are you can’t wait to get out into the Sun Valley area’s vast white playground. From first turns to first tracks, the mountains in Sun Valley offer something for everyone. Your headquarters for gravity-induced family fun? Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge and the standardsetting SnowSports program. From the charming, squeaky-clean facilities, to hot lunches kids actually eat and instructors who are hand-picked and specially trained to teach children, your kids will beg to come back again. All-day group lessons are available for skiers ages 4-12 and snowboarders ages 6–12. • Don’t forget: Discounted lift tickets and rentals can be added to many SnowSports packages.

get sOme air Until you are dressed and ready to hop on a lift, don’t take your freestylers near Dollar Mountain. Once they see the epic jumps, challenging boxes, bonks, walls, rails and one of only two 22-foot Superpipes in the Northwest, they will want to get on them immediately. And who can blame them? Sun Valley’s always-evolving terrain park is a playground for children of all ages. • Don’t miss: Try your skill on entry-level features on Quarter Dollar. You will feel like a Slopestyle star without having to get too far above the terra firma, or, hopefully, the terra powder. • Remember: Even if park and pipe isn’t your thing, you can ski or ride the traditional runs on Dollar winter 2013/14 • sun valley guide

while your kids catch some air. • Try: Enjoy lunch on the deck at Dollar on a sunny day. It provides a great vantage point to take in the kids’ derring-do. Family ski day If your children are intermediate-level skiers and above, you will most likely find yourself on Bald Mountain, at the entrance to the wildly popular Adventure Trails. These narrow, banking runs slice through trees and glades on every area of the mountain. The best way to approach Adventure Trails if your skis are longer than 130 centimeters is to take a deep breath and go for it. The experts who cut these trails for Sun Valley say there is no shame whatsoever in snow plowing. • In the know: You can send your kids into the Adventure Trails and still stay within earshot of them on the groomers. Meet up at the bottom of the run. • Wallet-friendly tip: Feeding the family on a group ski day need not require dipping into the college fund. Try the affordable taco bar at Lookout Restaurant atop Baldy, or in Warm Springs Village, both Irving’s Red Hots famous hot dogs and Apple’s Bar and Grill are family- and budgetfriendly. If you eat in one of the mountain lodges, remember that the portions are generous and many children split a regular-sized entrée—grab an ample slice of pizza, or opt for special children’s dishes. Schussing the day away Cross-country skiing is a surprisingly family-friendly activity and they don’t call Sun Valley Nordic Town USA for nothing! Whether your clan is experienced on skinny skis or not, there is no more beautiful way to take in some spectacular scenery. Miles and miles of groomed trails will literally take you over the river and through the woods. If your group is new to the sport, one easy way to get started is by taking a lesson in basic techniques. Sun Valley Resort offers instruction in both classic and skate skiing at the Sun Valley Club, located just east of the Sun Valley Lodge. Full equipment rental is also available at this facility, as is a restaurant and pro shop. Galena Lodge, situated 23 miles north of Ketchum, also offers great instruction, full equipment rentals, a dining room and a real chance to get away from it all without having to go far. Both classic and skate ski rentals are also available at many local retailers, including Backwoods Mountain Sports and The Elephant’s Perch in Ketchum. • Try: Whether you are 5 or 55, jump onto the Rails to Trails system that connects the north and south valley. These 30 kilometers of trails are relatively flat and offer a great deal of scenic beauty very close to town. And the price is right: The Wood River Trail is a community-supported resource and no pass is required. • In the know: Snowshoeing is a terrific activity for the entire family, as well. Every generation can enjoy the sport that does not require cumbersome, expensive gear or specific clothing. You will almost always find snowshoe trails where there is cross-country skiing. • Consider: An overnight stay at Galena Lodge in one of their all-weather yurts can be a great family adventure. These large, round tent-like enclosures are heated by a wood-burning stove and appointed with bunks, cooking equipment and everything you and your family need to create a memorable, cozy night in the woods. Access to the yurts is by a short cross-country ski or snowshoe trek. • Even better: Book a yurt at Galena during a full moon. The lodge offers delicious, intimate full moon dinners throughout the season. They fill up early, so call (208) 726-4010 to secure your spot. Indoor fun The perfect start to a quieter day is breakfast in Ketchum at The Moose Girls Café or Perry’s restaurant. Both offer a unique, comfortable atmosphere, hearty egg dishes, healthy hot cereals, lots of kid favorites and specialties galore. Then wander over to The Toy Store, a unique emporium that Continued on page 18


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For gourmets of all stripes, this is the place By Kate Wutz Sun Valley Guide



Almost no one comes to Idaho just for the food. That said, more people should. Despite its remote location, the Sun Valley area is a foodie Mecca, filled with everything from traditional prime rib and potatoes to Austrianinspired crepes, Italian delicacies, baked goods and mindblowing Asian fusion. A foodie can run wild in Sun Valley, luxuriating in fine cuisine in a mountain setting few places can rival. where tO stay Of course, Foodies will be best served by staying somewhere with a good restaurant—and is close to other good restaurants. On Main Street just north of downtown Ketchum is the Knob Hill Inn, a luxurious, European-style hotel with a fine restaurant, The Grill at Knob Hill. The Grill serves everything from bar bites and cocktails to a full prime rib dinner — or, if you prefer, escargots, lollipop lamb chops or traditional Wiener schnitzel. The inn also offers a complimentary breakfast buffet with offerings that include fresh pancakes and fruit-and-yogurt parfaits. up and at ’em Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many people still skip it. If you do that in Sun Valley, you could miss out on some of the best the area has to offer. If you’re looking for a sit-down breakfast, try Cristina’s on Second Street in Ketchum, where Foodies can enjoy an espresso, fine pastries or the orange cinnamon French toast, made with Cristina’s own artisan bread. Not eating breakfast? Cristina’s also serves lunch. For those on the go, the Konditorei in Sun Valley Village offers coffee and Austrian-style pastries that can be quickly grabbed on the way to the ski hill. Of course, keeping in mind the appetites of families looking to spend an active day outside, they also offer both sweet and savory crepes, Belgian waffles (one served with Nutella whipped cream) and a croque madame — a grilled ham and Emmentaler Swiss cheese sandwich topped with two poached eggs. The Konditorei is also open for lunch.

The braised lamb shank is an Idaho favorite at the Ketchum Grill. Photo by Roland Lane

toP 5 for foodiEs

1B r e a k f a s t a t Ko n d i t o r e i i n S u n Va l l e y. 2Lunch at Seattle Ridge Lodge. 3Dinner in downtown Ketchum. 4Make your own picnic from Atkinsons’ or Main Street Market. 5S nowsho e/sk i and Full M oon Dinner at G alena. 8

time FOr sOme activity Before Foodies can think about eating a fancy dinner, they need to work up an appetite. In between meals, everyone can make time for a snowshoe or a quick Nordic skiing jaunt at Galena Lodge, 23 miles north of Ketchum. Galena Lodge offers gear rentals, skiing lessons, a variety of trails for both skiers and snowshoers — and an excellent lunch menu. The kitchen serves a variety of sandwiches, including the Grown-Up Grilled Cheese, a medley of bacon, apples, caramelized onions and Havarti cheese on local sourdough bread. If you’re going for an evening spin around the trails, try to do it on the night of a Full Moon Dinner, held once a month. Galena’s trails are magical by moonlight. winter 2013/14 • sun valley guide

Sun Valley Resort also offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at its Nordic Center. After taking a lesson or gliding around on your own, head back to the resort and A La Mode, the gourmet hot cocoa bar located in Sun Valley Village. For those who prefer alpine skiing, Foodies of all levels of skiing and snowboarding expertise can test their skills on Bald Mountain. The grand Seattle Ridge Lodge offers some of the best on-mountain food in the West. Think grilled meats, hearty soups and fine salads, all in the comfort of a roaring fire. For those who want a fine sit-down lunch, the choice is the Roundhouse. Where else can Foodies sit at a white-tablecloth-and-silverware setting and be served gourmet mountain favorites and fine wine, all while looking over the snow-capped peaks of central Idaho?

Finally, it’s dinner time It would be a shame to come to Sun Valley and not enjoy some prime rib and trout. Fortunately, a few restaurants in the valley offer upscale versions of Idaho cuisine. • CK’s Real Food on Main Street in Hailey focuses on fresh, local food and regional flavors while giving them an haute-cuisine twist. Though specials and menus change, expect to find items such as a Snake River Kobe flatiron steak served with a perfectly crispy potato pancake, pork belly and sundried tomato pesto, or grilled Idaho trout with Carolina tartar sauce. • Excellent Idaho-influenced cuisine can also be found at a variety of restaurants in Ketchum, including the Sawtooth Club and the Ketchum Grill. Both offer fish and steak; the Ketchum Grill menu almost always includes braised lamb shank and polenta and a juicy, farm-raised roasted chicken. • For fine cuisine in a slightly more formal setting in the heart of Ketchum, try B Restaurant and Bar, the Cornerstone Bar and Grill, Boca or Michel’s Christiania. Enoteca is an excellent option for the oenophile visitor. Opened by the Mason family of Ketchum Grill, this cozy restaurant in a historic building offers an extensive list of vintages along with small plates inspired by Tuscan chefs. If you’re just munching, opt for the artisanal cheese board and baconwrapped dates; for something more satisfying, explore the wood-fired pizza menu or opt for one of the “bigger small plates,” including lamb chops and lasagne. For Foodies who crave something less traditional, try Rickshaw, an intimate little spot on Washington Avenue in Ketchum. The food is inspired by the flavors of Thailand, Vietnam, China and Indonesia, full of bright hits of citrus punctuating the smoother flavors of curry, coconut milk, peanut sauce and tofu. Do not skip the green papaya salad just because it’s chilly. Dashi, on East Avenue in Ketchum, offers yet another variety of Asian fusion to diners. Dashi serves up everything from small plates such as a beet salad with local beets, grilled pears, watercress, pecans and goat cheese to excitingly creative ramen bowls featuring pork belly, pickled cucumber and shiitake mushrooms. Chef and owner Tyler Stokes’ menu melds Idaho with Continued on page 18

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Shopping, anyone? Among the boutiques and thrift stores are hidden a few Foodie havens. First, stop by Iconoclast Books on Sun Valley Road in Ketchum. There’s a surprisingly extensive selection of cookbooks, fun gifts and even a secondhand book section, all of which can be (carefully) browsed with a house-made latte and baked treat in hand. For the more nutritionally-minded, Glow Live Food Cafe on Washington Avenue has a small shop near the cafe that offers supplements and “live” food items; NourishMe on Main Street has an excellent selection of healthy foods such as gluten-free bread mixes, flax crackers and gourmet chocolates that taste good while being good for you. The grocery stores in Ketchum — Atkinsons’ Market and Main Street Market — both have excellent selections of wine, fresh breads, gourmet cheeses and other delicacies. Both also offer excellent take-away food as well, if Foodies want to stock up on some savory appetizers before going out for the big meal of the day.

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Finding the black diamonds, on and off the slopes

By Tony Evans Sun Valley Guide



A snowboarder rides through a Sun Valley powder stash. Photo courtesy of Sun Valley Resort

must-dos for EXPErts turn and burn: Get up early and hit the slopes at 9 a.m. for either champ agne corduroy or a p owder day. s t a y t u n e d : Ta ke y o u r e d g e s t o o n e o f K e t c h u m’s overnight ski-tuning shops. g e t s o a k e d : Ta ke a n a t u r e p l u n g e a t Fr e n c h m a n’s Bend hot springs, seven miles west of Ketchum. hit the bar: Have a cocktail and snack at the manycolored Cornerstone Bar on Main Street in Ketchum. 10

One of the primary selling points for Sun Valley is the lack of lift lines on the wide-open terrain of Bald Mountain. Another is the region’s abundant back-country ski and snowboarding opportunities. Some people come here to mix at parties, see the arts and eat specialty cuisine. And others come mainly to ski and ride. We call them the Experts. where tO stay If you are one of the purists who come to Sun Valley to make as many tracks as possible each day—if you are here to take advantage of the 3,000-foot vertical drop on Bald Mountain, one of the longest continual vertical drops in the U.S.—then you will want to get up early and get to the top of the hill without a lot of fuss. With that in mind, there are several vacation-rental agencies in the area that put Experts in a warm, comfortable condominium with easy access to Baldy. • Options for rental agencies include Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties, High Country Resort Properties, Sun Valley Resort, Thunder Spring, and Wyndham Vacation Rentals and Sun Valley Ultimate Services. • Visit Sun Valley, a branch of the Sun Valley visitors bureau, can also help visitors find a condominium (or house) in close proximity to the part of town best suited to your tastes. • The Kentwood Lodge is in the heart of Ketchum. up On the hill The River Run side of Baldy, including Seattle Ridge and the bowls, is generally sunny in the mornings, whereas the Warm Springs side is shaded in the morning and sunny in the afternoons. The high-speed quadruple lifts on both sides of the mountain, known affectionately as “the quads,” will get you within striking distance of the bowls, which are where everyone in town goes on a powder day. The expert ski runs on the River Run side of Baldy include Fire Trail, Exhibition, Inhibition, Olympic and the upper bowls. On the Warm Springs side, Limelight and International are steep groomers, while Upper Hemingway and Upper Cozy will likely offer some bumps. There are also quite a few steep, narrow shots under some of the ski lifts if you don’t mind having an audience. Veteran Baldy skier, former ski racer and author Dick Dorworth says it is best to hit the slopes at 9 a.m., when few people are on the mountain, “except on a powder day.” If you are lucky enough to get to the top of the bowls when the rope drops after a night of snow, Experts can be part of the free-for-all that takes place for the next few hours as powder hounds go to work. However, Sun Valley is known more for its exceptional grooming than its powder. To carve some classic Sun Valley corduroy, be sure to get on the mountain early. “The groomers on Baldy are as good as it gets,” Dorworth said. winter 2013/14 • sun valley guide

Getting off-piste There is also great out-of-bounds skiing off of Baldy, but you have to know where to go, and where to turn to get back to the lifts, or where to leave a car if you are straying out of bounds. However, out-of-bounds skiers do so at their own risk—there is no ski patrol there and avalanches can occur. Turkey Bowl and Lime Kiln off of Seattle Ridge to the south are favorites, as well as Cold Springs to the east, but these routes can require a long hike out. Another popular area is The Burn west of Warm Springs, an area cleared several years ago by the Castle Rock Fire. Backcountry skiing and boarding has taken off in the Sun Valley area in recent years. Get some local knowledge, including avalanche conditions, before grabbing your skins and avalanche beacons and heading out into the mountain ranges north of Ketchum. Sawtooth Mountain Guides rents a winter ski hut and offers professionally guided backcountry ski trips a 30-minute drive from Ketchum. Sun Valley Trekking also provides backcountry trips, and has several yurts for rent during winter, all within reach of great skiing. If you are looking for a true adrenaline rush, call Sun Valley Heli Ski, a company said to be “steeped in tradition.” Sun Valley Heli Ski, based in Ketchum, pioneered American helicopter skiing more than 50 years ago, whisking powder aficionados from a heliport north of Ketchum to the big, wide-open territory covering three mountain ranges. Of course, it’s hard to say which days of your stay will be the best for skiing on Baldy and which days should be spent doing something else. So, Experts can take advantage of Sun Valley Resort’s multi-day lift-ticket packages. In case of unfavorable weather conditions, you can opt out of Baldy for a day and trade that day’s lift pass for a massage, ice-skating session, three-course meal at The Ram or a shopping discount. Got gear? For alpine skiers, Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports, PK’s Ski and Sports, Sturtevants, Sturtos Hailey and Formula Sports offer wide selections of gear and apparel. All of the ski shops offer tuning services, as do specialty shops The Waxroom and Ski Tek. For those venturing into the backcountry, head for Backwoods Mountain Sports and The Elephant’s Perch in Ketchum. Winding down Apres-ski experiences can begin at the River Run base of Bald Mountain, where live entertainment is offered during high season, but take your boots off and head to Main Street if you are looking for variety. The Cornerstone Bar and Grill is located in the only building on the historical registry in town (1884). Excellent happy-hour cocktails are served at an ultra-modern bar that changes color, causing newcomers to wonder if they have had enough. If you need a respite from town and have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can take the beautiful seven-mile drive west of Ketchum for a soak in Frenchman’s Bend hot springs. The springs are located in Warm Springs Creek on the left after crossing an iron bridge, nearby to several upscale homes. There are no services there, but locals tend the rocks, adjust the water flow and keep the place clean year round. Where to re-energize Assuming you want to cut fresh tracks or carve corduroy as soon as possible, you can head straight to the bottom of River Run or Warm Springs lifts and have breakfast at one of the lodges, beginning at 8 a.m. There will be plenty of time to get on the lift by the 9 a.m. first chair. Luckily, Sun Valley Resort also serves fine lunch buffets at Seattle Ridge on the far side of the bowls, and at the Lookout, on the summit of Baldy. If your main interest is in loading up on carbs for the next day on the slopes, why not gorge in the plush and romantic décor of Il Naso Italian restaurant, or sit down at the new Enoteca on Main Street, which serves wood-fired pizzas, artisanal cheeses and has a lively bar. East of Main Street, Cava Cava offers great cocktails, a good wine list and a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes. sVg

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For beginners who want a day off from the ski slopes, snowshoeing is a perfect way to get outside on a sunny winter day. Photo courtesy of Sun Valley Resort

What Sun Valley newcomers need to know By Freddie Harris Sun Valley Guide



If you’re a first-timer in Sun Valley, you’ve picked the perfect winter destination; after all, we are ranked No. 4 in SKI magazine’s listing of the top Western mountain resorts. The resort area and the surrounding Wood River Valley is like a romantic memory—simply gorgeous and ever so slightly elusive. The intimate towns of Bellevue and Hailey are bookended by sage-frosted hills to the south; Ketchum and Sun Valley burrow in the stunning Central Idaho Rocky Mountains to the north. Sun Valley is remote, but our elusiveness is part of the area’s charm. Unspoiled by corporate commercialism that has leached through the borders of other mountain resort towns, and beloved by locals who are loyal to businesses that have withstood the test of time, Sun Valley boasts a unique character reflected in an array of human personalities. “There’s an incredible collection of people here,” says Paul, an elderly gentleman whom I encounter at

a coffee shop in Ketchum. “And everyone mixes very well.” Sun Valley’s varied personality is further reflected in the multiple things one can do here. So, for your first time in Sun Valley, what are your options? What to do? Where to go? Like anywhere, in Sun Valley people, businesses and fads come and go. But some things, like the mountains that surround us, have been around for ages. These are the places that a first-timer should visit. These are Sun Valley staples. sleeping in histOric cOmFOrt If you are looking for a place to stay that oozes with traditional Sun Valley charisma, try the Sun Valley Inn. Originally opened as the Challenger Inn in the 1930s, the Inn offers a charming alternative to the Sun Valley Lodge, which is a short stroll away through a picturesque pedestrian village of shops, restaurants and even a movie theatre. The Inn, which was inspired by the movie “I Met Him In Paris,” is winter 2013/14 • sun valley guide

gilded with ornate furnishings and sumptuous fabrics. It provides 190 rooms, a conference center and delicious dining at The Ram restaurant. However, if you want to venture slightly further afield to dine, without getting in the car, take your significant other on what is possibly the most romantic night out—a sleigh ride under the stars to the Trail Creek Cabin, where you can dine on typically Western fare by a crackling fire. Hitting the slopes The Inn and the Sun Valley Lodge offer two year-round heated pools that steam against a crisp, cold winter night and soothe tired post-skiing bones. Best of all, they’re only minutes away from a beginner’s ski haven: Dollar Mountain. As a beginner, there might be nothing quite so alarming as tackling Bald Mountain, the resort’s larger, more advanced ski area immediately west of Ketchum. Dollar, however, offers calm slopes and a luxurious lodge with a wide selection of comfort foods. Dollar boasts 10 runs and five lifts on its 628-foot vertical rise, including two high-speed quad lifts. Particularly appropriate for beginner skiers is the “magic carpet,” a slow-moving, soft conveyor belt that takes younger skiers up a short slope where they can take their first turns. For adults, most of their first runs are on Poverty Flats, accessed by the Quarter Dollar lift. It’s even better when one’s first awkward turns are guided by an expert from the SnowSports School at Dollar Mountain. After a luminous afternoon on the slopes—Dollar is treeless which means more sun, and fewer pesky branches to get in one’s way—enjoy some time in Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge. Indulge in a hot cocoa, or something stronger, or chose something yummy from a delightful family-friendly menu. For those who prefer not to ski—there are those of us who would like to curl up in an armchair while others tackle the slopes—the lodge is a sumptuously rustic place to relax with a great book, while friends or family members ski or snowboard. Or, given that the lodge offers spectacular views of Bald Mountain, skiers and non-skiers can dine in the sun on the heated deck. For an après-ski drink or snack, head to The Ram Bar at the Sun Valley Inn, where you can have a drink before relaxing your bones in the nearby heated pool. Some other tips for getting outdoors are: • To get geared up for skiing or snowboarding, several sports stores offer rental packages and top-notch gear. Try Pete Lane’s, Sturtevants or Formula Sports. • If you want to try something other than downhill skiing, go to the Sun Valley Club at Sun Valley Resort or Galena Lodge, 23 miles north of Ketchum—both offer opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. • If you’re in Sun Valley for the winter holidays, the resort puts on a spectacular Christmas Eve ice show on the outdoor rink followed by a fireworks show over Dollar Mountain. Dinner out on the town Finding excellent places to eat in the Sun Valley area is a formidable task, only because it offers so many options. Those new to town might want to try two of Ketchum’s oldest and coziest dining spots: The Pioneer Saloon and the Ketchum Grill. Originally a casino dating back to the 1940s and shrouded in a dim light that casts a warm glow over the heads of various game animals mounted on the wall, the Pio (as the Pioneer is known by the locals) is reminiscent of an ancient Wild West saloon. The Pio doesn’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait, even during slack seasons. The Ketchum Grill has been a staple for locals and tourists alike for 22 years. Owned by husband-and-wife team Anne and Scott Mason (he is the head chef, she concocts delectable pastries and desserts), the Grill is located in the historic Ed Williams House, which was built in 1885. The ambience inside is lively and warm. Ernest Hemingway 101 After all that food and skiing, it might be time to visit the haunts of Sun Valley’s most famous resident, Ernest Hemingway. A regular at The Alpine Continued on page 18

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Being young in a ski resort town can be challenging, especially if you’re incomechallenged, or ensnared by a city-is-alwaysbest narrative. What separates Sun Valley, or more specifically, Ketchum, from comparable ski towns is the accessibility of affordable dining and multiple activities that offer even the most wanting wallet of the under-30s things to do. Here, traditional small-town bars flourish, coupled with friendly locals and good eats. In Ketchum, all the best spots are centrally located downtown—an additional plus in that it puts everything you need within walking distance. gliding and riding So, you’ve come here to ski, right? First, you need some direction, a little advice as to where to “shred the gnar.” There’s no shortage on Bald Mountain, which boasts one of the most consistent fall lines in the country. With more than 3,000 feet of vertical, Baldy is guaranteed to give you a fast ride. On the Warm Springs side, you can head up the 11-minute Challenger quad and head straight down the lift line for an intense workout. “That’ll get you in shape better than anything I know of,” says local pro skier Cody Barnhill. The south-facing slopes are also a go-to spot after the resort has gotten a big dump, as well as the Rock Garden and Wolverton runs. On Dollar Mountain, a vast terrain park and superpipe are popular with skiers and snowboarders.



Sun Valley Resort’s superpipe at Dollar Mountain tests even the most extreme skiers and snowboarders. Photo courtesy of Sun Valley Resort


FOOd up high and dOwn lOw Up on the mountain and looking for a meal? The Lookout, at the top of Bald Mountain, is perfect for mid-day eats. Get your lunch here and take a run immediately after, as opposed to getting sleepy on the lift while you digest. It serves affordable tacos and fresh burritos, as well as barbecue and beers outside in the spring. If you head up in the afternoon, you might catch the 3:30 after-work club hanging around until the ski patrol kicks them out. The Lookout is also a warming hut and has lockers inside in case winter 2013/14 • sun valley guide

you need to stash some of your layers. Maybe you’ve packed it in, headed back down the mountain, and need sustenance in town—economical, filling nourishment. Two local favorites are La Cabanita and Wrap City—even during off seasons these lunch spots are busy. La Cabanita offers a traditional Mexican menu with homemade flair. Wrap City serves healthy salads and wraps—the Chinese chicken salad wrap is a house favorite. Subshack serves savory sandwiches on homemade bread. For tasty, affordable Asian food, try Thai Cuisine and Sushi Bar on Sixth Street. Sushi on Second offers excellent sushi in a more refined setting. Going out on the town So, if you’ve decided to spend all day on the mountain, some après-ski entertainment is in order. If cocktails, high ceilings and cushy chairs are your thing, head over to the River Run Lodge, where you’ll find plenty of live music. Looking for something more casual? Apple’s, at the Warm Springs base of the mountain, offers a lively après-ski scene that is popular with locals. Looking for grub to accompany your après-ski beer? One word: Grumpy’s—a tiny tucked-away cabin on Warm Springs Road—just look for the sign that says “Sorry, We’re Open.” Here, regulars have enjoyed burgers and beers with friends or, sometimes, a few high-rollers, including Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks. Alternatively, Lefty’s is another great location for beer and bar fare. It features burgers, subs and salads, and plenty of TVs tuned to sports channels. Wiseguy Pizza Pie offers hand-tossed pizzas whole or by the slice. It is located near the Cellar Pub, where you can In Ketchum, you get going on a night out. In Ketchum, you won’t have to worry about won’t have to worry waiting for 20 minutes to get an overpriced about waiting for cocktail. Ketchum was originally a mining 20 minutes to get an town, and that flavor is still a big influence. Real small-town bars still exist here. The Celoverpriced cocktail. lar Pub has Guinness on tap and buffalo burgers. The next stop can be Whiskey Jacques’, which features two full bars, giant big screen TVs, arcade games and a stage with live music. Whiskey Jacques’—once a favorite haunt of writer Ernest Hemingway—will offer live music and DJs throughout the winter season. Across from Whiskey’s is The Casino, a favorite late-night spot that was once—believe it or not—a casino. With plenty of pool tables, a jukebox and room at the bar, the Casino stays busy into the early morning.







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Where to stay A reasonably priced place to catch up on some sleep is the Best Western withwith Tyrolean Lodge, located near the base of Bald Mountain. It is only a five-minute Consignment Consignment Consignment with a Cause walk away from pretty much everything. It offers a hot tub, pool, steam room aa Cause Cause and an exercise facility, as well as a free shuttle service to the ski lifts. DianeDiane Von Furstenberg, I.N.C., Von Furstenberg, I.N.C., Diane VonTahari, Furstenberg, I.N.C., The Tamarack Lodge and the Lift Tower Lodge are good choices for people Velvet, Joie, Ralph Velvet, Ralph Velvet,Joie, Joie, Tahari, Tahari, Ralph Lauren, Transit, Majestic, FreeFree looking for affordable hotel rooms right in town. Lauren, Lauren,Transit, Transit, Majestic, Majestic, Free People, Burning Torch, Neiman In Hailey, try the AmericInn or Wood River Inn. People, Neiman People,Burning Burning Torch, Torch, Neiman Marcus, BCBG, Pendleton, Marcus, BCBG, Pendleton, Marcus, BCBG, Pendleton,

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winter 2013/14 • sun valley guide



COUNTLESS ADVENTURES Sun Valley/Ketchum in winter is like the proverbial box of chocolates: From the outside everything is draped in the same color, but once you bite in there’s a flavor for every palette. What will the sparkly white landscape offer up today? A schuss down Baldy? A sledding race on Penny Hill? A snowshoe stroll across the White Clouds golf course? Or is catching air on Dollar Mountain’s state-of-the-art terrain park more to your taste? Perhaps it’s the perfect day to skate ski the Wood River Trail. Whatever your appetite, use this map to pick your snowy adventure—it’s sure to be a delicious one.


Traditionalist from page 5

stuffed wolverine, a most elusive creature, along with a new video about it. Our favorite Nordic ski and snowshoe trail, the North Fork Trail, is located there, too. It’s an easy figure-eight ramble, dogfriendly, along a shallow creek lined with soft snow drifts. People on this trail are more prone to drifting in time than to racing time trials, so it’s peaceful and friendly and a good workout. Quaint Galena Lodge, once a way station for travelers, serves up spectacular soup. It lies in the center of a pretzel of groomed Nordic trails at the top of the Harriman Trail, which stretches from the lodge to the SNRA Visitor Center at the south end. Wandering Ketchum Back in town, some Traditionalists will want to go in search of the spirit of famous author Ernest Hemingway. Books and biographies about him are abundant, but the best way to understand why he lived here is to walk outside, take in the crisp blue winter sky, then have a cocktail in Ketchum, the town he enjoyed with many friends. Once home to a lead and silver smelter and once the largest sheepshipping center in the U.S., Ketchum was settled before Sun Valley. Today it’s a place to find new twists on world cuisine or penultimate comfort food. When the legs become putty, Traditionalists can find a place to

watch the world go by with a coffee drink in hand. Chain or small brewer, Ketchum’s got it. Looking to wind down? The nearest hot tub, a session with a massage therapist or a yoga class at the YMCA or Zenergy Health Club and Spa are the ticket to some relaxing alpha waves. Dancing shoes After an afternoon and evening in Ketchum, Traditionalists must exchange their sheepskin boots for dancing shoes, take their partner by the hand and lead their friends into the embrace of the dark-paneled walls of the Duchin Lounge in the Sun Valley Lodge, where concert pianist Joe Fos and his trio can play anything—really—but give dancers the allegretto swing-time of their lives. From a slow waltz to a jazz jive, it’s all there. Of the old-fashioned cocktails-and-jazz bar, one well-traveled Traditionalist gushed, “You don’t know what you have here, this easy atmosphere, this music, this dancing—this doesn’t exist anywhere else anymore. It’s amazing and wonderful.” After a of couple days like these, Traditionalists will want to tuck in with their favorite anti-inflammatory. They’re gonna need it, but it’ll only hurt when they walk downstairs. However, laughing will be no problem. sVg

Family from page 7

has delighted children with hand-selected items for more than 30 years. If the gang is hungry again, head across the street to Despo’s, a family favorite offering tasty Mexican fare, or Smoky Mountain Pizzeria. A dip in a pool might be a great way to spend a day off, too. Many local hotels offer year-round, indoor and outdoor heated pools and the Wood River YMCA in Ketchum has one that will make the kids’ eyes pop. The huge waterpark features slides, a lazy river and a splash park. A day pass entitles you to everything else the Y offers, including an epic rock-climbing gym. Maybe it’s the perfect day for a movie. In Ketchum and Sun Valley, the Magic Lantern Cinema, Screening Room and the Sun Valley Opera House offer first-run films and almost always have family-appropriate offerings. In Hailey, the Big Wood 4 Cinemas offer stadium seating and 3-D versions of the most popular movies. If the kids still have energy to burn, the historic bowling alley and game room at the Sun Valley Lodge offers old-school fun at its finest. Rent shoes, grab a lane, put up the bumpers—or not—and enjoy an afternoon or evening that reminds us that the simple things are often the best. The little ones will enjoy learning to ski at the Not enough? Add to your list a SnowSports School at Dollar Mountain. Photo by Kevin Syms, courtesy of Sun Valley Resort horse-drawn sleigh ride to Trail Creek Cabin, figure skating at the iconic outdoor Sun Valley skating rink, sledding on Penny Hill (at the corner of Sun Valley Road and Dollar Road), tubing on the tubing hill at River Run or snowmobiling at Smiley Creek, over Galena Pass. With nearly 80 years of providing guests with the ultimate experience on the slopes and off, Sun Valley is a place that is easy to warm up to. After all, it is the original American ski resort. sVg 18

Foodie from page 9

Asia in dishes such as the Niman Ranch beef tenderloin, which is served with potatoes, local chard, ginger soy jus and enoki — a type of Japanese mushroom. Globus, a longtime Ketchum favorite, offers items such as cider-marinated pork tenderloin alongside traditional curries, Pad Thai and ahi tuna with a golden beet puree. Save room for nightlife? When looking for a good cocktail and perhaps some gourmet munchies, look for the Cornerstone Bar and Grill on Main Street in Ketchum. The cocktails are crafted with care, especially Erik’s Ultimate Manhattan, named after Cornerstone coowner Erik Vorm. This Manhattan is made with name-brand bourbon, vermouth, whiskey-barrel bitters and topped with a cherry, up or on the rocks. The Bourbon Bramble, which consists of Makers Mark, lemon and berry preserves, shaken, is a popular choice as well. An excellent selection of wine and beer is available if desired, and culinary offerings include mushroom risotto, homemade macaroni and cheese and an ambitious tuna tartare with seasoned squid. Bon appétit! sVg Beginner from page 13

Club (now Whiskey Jacques’) and The Casino, both busy bars on Main Street in Ketchum, Hemingway stayed at the Sun Valley Lodge in a lavish suite he called the “Glamour House,” where he worked on his acclaimed novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” People can visit the writer’s grave in the Ketchum Cemetery north of downtown; many visitors leave coins on the headstone shaded in a grove of trees. The Hemingway Memorial is also a must-visit. Situated northeast of Ketchum and Sun Valley on Trail Creek Road, the memorial consists of Hemingway’s bust and a eulogy he wrote for a friend: “Best of all he loved the fall … the leaves yellow on the cottonwoods, leaves floating on the trout streams and above the hills the high blue windless skies.” sVg winter 2013/14 • sun valley guide






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