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24hrs with a Local

24hrs with a Local: Community School’s Patrick Graham, April

As Outdoor Program Co-Director at the Sun Valley Community School, Patrick Graham spends roughly 75–80 days out in the field each school year, leading outdoor trips for students of each grade (in addition to other, less fun duties that fall under his purview). Before joining Community School in 2015, Patrick worked as a ski guide for Sun Valley Trekking and later as a licensed backcountry ski guide and an AMGA-certified climbing and skiing guide. He’s now been in the Valley for 17 years—specifically Hailey, where he lives with his wife and three kids. Read on as we dig into Patrick’s ideal 24hrs in Sun Valley for April. What’s your perfect morning start with? Patrick: Typically, it starts with coffee. I like to just have some quiet time in the morning to get myself centered, some sort of hot beverage. When putting my best foot forward, I often times write in a journal for half an hour or so and then prepare to go skiing. Skiing on Baldy? Backcountry? Patrick: To make the most of spring skiing, my day would start before the sun came up, and I would probably transition from coffee into looking at maps and determining the route …

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What We're Made Of

Women’s History Month: Women Ski Racers of Sun Valley

We’re already into the third week of March and Women’s History Month! After commemorating the vast history of the Wood River Valley, starting with the Indigenous Peoples and then focusing on the early settlers with ties to the mining and ranching industries, it’s time to focus on those women who made fame with their ski racing careers.  Ski racing has been central to the Sun Valley/Ketchum community since the inception of the resort in 1936, and we’re proud to boast numerous Olympic medalist women with ties to the area. These women represent the trailblazing spirit of Sun Valley and Ketchum and have impacted the history for women in sports for years to come. Gretchen Fraser  Gretchen Fraser, born in 1919 and laid to rest in the Ketchum cemetery in 1994, was the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in skiing. She grew up in Washington, but came to call Sun Valley home in 1938 when she met her soon to be husband, Donald Fraser. Although both Gretchen and Donald were members of the 1940 Olympics team, the games were canceled due to WWII. Gretchen took that time to help rehabilitate wounded veterans through skiing, something she would continue …

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Women’s History Month: Early Women of the Wood River Valley

For the second week of Women’s History Month, we are honoring four women who have shaped the history and heritage of Sun Valley. These ladies have all had an impact on the Wood River Valley, dating back to before the establishment of the ski resort and through its early years.  Two of these women were integral in establishing the Community Library in 1955. They, along with 14 other trailblazing women, “founded the Community Library Association, a privately-funded, privately-governed public library to encourage intellectual and creative adventures in the remote mountains of central Idaho,” (ComLib). All four women contributed to the pioneer spirit of the Valley, fostering a momentum for woman-led innovation that is alive to this day. Marge Brass Heiss 1910-2007 Marge Brass Heiss, daughter of Ernest Brass, was born in Caldwell, Idaho in 1910. She moved to Ketchum two years later when her father bought what became known as the Brass Ranch until the family sold the land to the Union Pacific in 1936. He traded 3,888 acres for $39,000, and Sun Valley was born. In fact, Marge, along with her sister Roberta, gave a tour of their ranch property to Count Felix Schaffgatsch. Within a few months of …