24hrs with a Local

24 Hours with a Local: Sawtooth Mountain Guides’ Lindsay Mann Davis

Backcountry ski guide Lindsay Mann Davis didn’t move to the area until 2018, but skiing has always been in her life. Growing up on the east coast, she spent most of her youth exploring the White Mountains of New Hampshire and competitive ski racing, which took her to mountains around the world. Her passion for skiing took her to Dartmouth, where she helped her team win an NCAA title in 2007. After college, she spent time working as an alpine ski racing coach, mountain guide, and avalanche instructor. Before making the move to Idaho, Lindsay and her now-husband Leon were living in Jackson Hole.

After he accepted a pilot job in the state, she got a job offer with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) to coach alpine and do avalanche education. She’s now a guide for Sawtooth Mountain Guides and also works at Andy Gilbert’s Press Print House and Keely’s Camp for Girls as operations manager. The flexibility of Lindsay’s employers has been instrumental in being able to spend time with her 1-year-old daughter, Matilda. Lindsay and her family live in a house in Hailey, and in her free time she loves to mountain bike, climb, backcountry ski, and do fiber crafts like knitting and crocheting. We caught up with her to see how she’d spend her perfect 24 hours in Sun Valley in November.

How does your morning start?

Lindsay: Assuming we have the snow, around Thanksgiving you can start skinning up Baldy, so I would be up at 5, skin up and come down. It’s such a nice time because usually you’re getting to the top around the time the sun is coming up. I just think there’s something so special about waking up with the town. That is usually what motivates me, because I don’t usually love getting up early—that view and looking out. It’s so special.

What’s after that?

Lindsay: Head home and make breakfast with Leon and Matilda, probably pancakes, which is a fam favorite right now and not too messy—and definitely drinking some coffee.

What’s after breakfast?

Lindsay: One of our favorite things right now is going to story hour at the library in Hailey. We’ve been going to the library with Matilda since she was born. It’s cool because a couple of the librarians now, we walk in and it’s like, family. A couple of Matilda’s pals go to story hour too, so it’s fun to let them play and roam a little afterward. It just sets a really nice tone for sharing a love of books.

And after the library?

Lindsay: We like to walk to the library, so on the way home I’ll grab a coffee from either Café Della or Black Owl. Then walk home and do some nibbles, maybe heat up some homemade soup and Matilda’s taking a little snooze.

What’s your afternoon like?

Lindsay: In November you can still get out without too much hassle, and you can have those still warmer fall days in south Valley. We like to save a couple hours in the afternoon to hook up our little trailer to our bikes and go to different slides, see where the wind blows us, not have this crazy schedule. We run into various neighbors and stop at different houses of our friends. We might go to the grocery store, which is all of the sudden this fun adventure. Hop Porter Park is a favorite, the new slide at Sun Beam—I just call it our “adventure wanderings” cuz who knows where we might wind up or who we might see.

Now it’s dinner, what’s on the menu?

Lindsay: Leon’s an amazing cook, so when he’s home he takes charge of the dinner train, and we have a nice homecooked meal. Since Matilda was born, we’ve tried to treat dinner as the time when we’re all coming together. Just end the day with a calm meal, maybe have some friends bop over; I feel like that’s the nice thing about Hailey is that pals can just bop by for dinner.

What’s after dinner?

Lindsay: Then we put Matilda to bed and then Leon and I really like winding down the day with a beer or some sort of drink and a game of Backgammon. We have a yearlong tournament we’ve been doing since COVID. We bet on every game, like $5 or whatever, and whoever is the loser at the end of the year has to buy the winner something with whatever the difference is; two years ago Leon won and I got him 6mm cordelette for $11.15. Last year he won and got me sunglasses clips for my car.

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