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 I want to take for the day. I’d probably go ski a big peak in the boulders, maybe Boulder Peak or Galena Peak. Spring skiing—but climbing and skiing. I would head north around sunrise and climb up whichever peak.
Where’s lunch? Back in town? On piste?
Patrick: Lunch would probably take place on the mountain, on the go. I am a sucker for just any deli sandwich. Something crunchy and salty and probably some hot tea.
What’s the afternoon look like after a morning skiing?
Patrick: I would go back home and link up with my family. I’ve got 3 kids, ages 5, 7, and 22 months, so we’d probably have some sort of afternoon fun, whether that’s a bike ride or just going to a park to hang with them. We often go down the bike path and cruise into Croy Canyon and play at Hop Porter.
Patrick: I think maybe a BBQ with friends would be fun, a somewhat foreign concept for people today. We have a super sunny porch that’s really nice in the afternoon. If the weather is dry and warm, I’d invite my neighborhood friends over.
Do you have any nighttime or wind-down rituals?
Patrick: I think connecting with my partner and checking in on what her day looks like and just some quiet time that might involve a movie. My night’s are typically spent at home, especially being anchored to the children.