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What We're Made Of, Winter

What We’re Made Of: Sawtooth Mountain Guides and Sun Valley Mountain Huts

All manner of people have explored the Idaho wilderness, for as long as it’s been there, but two companies, Sawtooth Mountain Guides and Sun Valley Mountain Huts, are two of the longest-running backcountry businesses in the Wood River Valley. An accredited mountain guide service, Sawtooth Mountain Guides (SMG) has been around for over 30 years, providing summer and winter backcountry guiding services. Sun Valley Mountain Huts (SVMH), formerly known as Sun Valley Trekking, owns some of the country’s oldest and most diverse backcountry hut system, with six huts in five Idaho mountain ranges. Sawtooth Mountain Guides The History Founded in 1985, Sawtooth Mountain Guides is the brainchild of outdoor enthusiast Kirk Bachman, who began exploring local ski and climbing terrain in the area in the early ’70s. When Kirk started SMG in the mid-’80s, it was primarily as a climbing guide service, though he soon added ski guiding on to the company and also built and established some of the first North American yurts as backcountry ski huts in the Sawtooths. This included the Williams Peak Hut, which the company established in 1988 as a winter base for local at-risk youth programs and continues to operate today for both guided …

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24hrs with a Local, Winter

24 hours with a Local: Professional Skier Karl Fostvedt

Local ski legend Karl Fostvedt (often referred to as “Crazy Karl”) has been skiing Sun Valley’s local mountains practically since he was born at the local Moritz hospital. In his years as a professional skier, Karl has amassed many accolades, from being named King of Corbet’s in 2018 and 2021 to being featured in various free ski movies from Warren Miller Entertainment, Teton Gravity Research, Red Bull Media House, Matchstick Productions (to name a few) to competing in the Dew Tour and War of Rails. Karl’s focus of late is on his own production company, Native Earth Productions, and making his own ski films with his hometown crew in the mountains he grew up in. He and his long-time girlfriend, Sierra (who attends vet school in Logan, Utah for the time being) live in Warm Springs, but he also spends a good deal of time brapping and skiing in the winter, and preparing for brapping and skiing in the summer. “I do everything I can to take advantage of this awesome opportunity to live my dream as a pro skier and having such an awesome backyard to go out in.” Visit Sun Valley caught up with Karl to see how …

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Best Fireplaces to Cozy-Up by in Ketchum & Sun Valley

After a day on the slopes, or a day at the spa, there’s nothing like lounging next to a roaring fireplace as the snow falls outside. Whether you’re in the company of friends and family, or a good book, the warmth of a well-built fire fills the heart. Here are our favorite places to sit by the fire in Ketchum and Sun Valley. Limelight Hotel Limelight Hotel’s expansive lobby—perfect for a cocktail, a game of cards, a couple hours of work, or hanging out with your favorite person—welcomes visitors with two glass-fronted fireplaces. Sip a drink, taste an appetizer, and let the flames melt away all your worries. Sun Valley Wine Company The Sun Valley Wine Company, in Ketchum’s Town Square, is a wine shop, bar and light fare restaurant. Browse the racks for a great bottle of wine to share, or order a single pour at the bar. A selection of chilled beer is also available. Settle into the couch in front of the stone fireplace and munch on a cheese plate as you warm your toes. Sawtooth Club Hemingway knew how to while away the hours at a beloved bar, telling a good yarn. And his favorite haunt in …

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Boulder Mountain Tour: What Not to Miss

2023 marks the 50th year of the Annual Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour (BMT). This year the BMT will Honor Bob Rosso, one of the original founders of the race and a valued community member here in the Wood River Valley. This historic cross-country race is held on the historic Harriman Trail in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, north of Ketchum.

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Fly Fishing, Skiing & Snowboarding, Spring, Winter

S.A.A. – Spring Activity Anxiety

An intertwined combination of spring & winter can lead to a potentially chaotic outbreak of Spring Activity Anxiety. Symptoms most commonly associated with S.A.A. include: severe indecisiveness, confusion, and obsessive over packing of vehicles with sporting equipment. Patients are urged to remain calm, analyze possible activities, and cram as many said activities as possible in to one day to quell bouts of insanity.

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Ultimate College Ski Trip

Picture this: 5 girls, 2 cars, 10 planks, 1 playlist, an air mattress, a case of beer, a Costco run, a couple of new years resolutions, and a big desire to get the most out of our Ikon passes. It was a snowy Thursday morning in Fort Collins, Colorado when the five of us girls set out on our 10-day ski trip to Bozeman, Montana.  When choosing Airbnb’s we kept a couple of things in mind. Firstly, price. When booking Airbnb’s it is important to start the process early, as many ski towns fill up quickly in the winter. We planned our college ski trip in October so we could book Airbnb’s that fit our needs; a close proximity to downtown nightlife and a decent kitchen so that we could cook most of our meals. We made a conscious effort to cook most of our meals, choosing one restaurant in each destination, this saved us a lot of money long-term. Bozeman and Big Sky We were in Bozeman for New Year’s, so being in town was a big factor for us. We were able to find a cute house just off Main Street on the East side of town, an excellent location …

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Skiing & Snowboarding, What We're Made Of, Winter

Sun Valley’s Next Generation of Skiers and Boarders

It would be hard for the town of Sun Valley, Idaho, not to be mentioned when talking about professional and Olympic skiers and snowboarders; the town is practically synonymous with greatness. With Bald Mountain as their training ground, ski greats from Picabo Street to Gretchen Fraser back in the day to more recent pros like McKenna Peterson, Wing Tai Barrymore, Lexi DuPont, Banks Gilberti, Colin Collins, Karl Fostvedt, Lucy Sackbauer have added to the legacy of the place. And snowboarders too—did you know there’s never been a U.S. Olympic snowboard team without a member from Sun Valley? Repping the boarders are Olympians Chase Josey, Kaitlyn Farrington, Graham Watanabe and a whole lot of other pros and amazing riders. The time has come for some of those same skiers and boarders to pass the torch to the next generation, which promises to bring it just as hard, race just as fast, jump just as high, and continue to put Sun Valley on the map for winter athletes.   The Rafford’s “For me, skiing on Bald Mountain was a privilege that took me years to appreciate.” Toby Rafford Starting out the list of the new generation are brother and sister duo Addison (Addie) and Toby Rafford, both of whom are …

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Uncategorized, Winter

Winter Tips for Visiting Sun Valley

Ski Towns all have unsaid rules, but Sun Valley in the winter comes with its own set of tips and tricks that can make your day here even better!

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Bucket List, Rentals, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Complete Guide to Cross-Country Skiing Sun Valley

Each winter, at the first hint of snow, local Nordic skiers pull out their gear and anxiously await the inaugural groom of the season. From the first pass of the snowcat in early winter until the trails disappear in spring’s warmth, stoke runs high. These long-time skiers know what many others are about to find out—that cross-country skiing is a great way to explore the mountains, clear the mind, and, especially this year, socially distance. While the pandemic may be partially responsible for this year’s meteoric rise in the sport’s popularity, cross-country skiing’s roots run deep in Sun Valley. Over 200 kilometers of Nordic ski trails wind through the Sun Valley area from Hailey in the south to Galena Lodge, tucked in the Boulder Mountains north of Ketchum. Our world-class trails are not only a destination for skiers from around the globe but are also the United States’ only designated cross-country skiing Olympic and Paralympic training site. Exploring Sun Valley’s Nordic scene for the first time can get a little overwhelming, but we’re here to help. In this guide, we give you the 411 on everything from where to ski to who can help you get the right gear. See …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Idaho Winter Vacation

An Idaho winter ski vacation is certainly a bucket list item for anyone. Names like “Aspen” or “Vail” may be more familiar to some, but Idaho’s ski resorts are known for tons of powder, minimal lift lines, and plenty of small-town charm. There are many small ski hills across the state, but the four listed below are the heavy hitters in terms of the best spots to visit for your winter vacay. Whether you’ve visited Idaho before and are looking to try out a different resort or it’s your first visit, these are the must-visit Idaho winter destinations. Bogus Basin As Boise’s ski resort, Bogus Basin is certainly the easiest resort to reach with the most options for places to stay and other, near-by activities. Founded in 1942, Bogus Basin is an accessible, family-friendly resort which receives between 200 and 250 inches of snow each season. At just 16 miles from downtown Boise, you can wake up and be on the slopes within the hour, ready to experience all Bogus Basin’s 2,600 acres of terrain has to offer. The 1,800-vertical-foot mountain is open for year-round recreation, but for the winter you’ll be enticed by downhill skiing as well as 37km …