Skiers and snowboarders will be able to ride a new chairlift and get a glimpse of new terrain on Saturday, when Sun Valley Resort begins the first phase of opening a long-awaited expansion in the Cold Springs area of Bald Mountain.
Sun Valley will welcome skiers to explore an extension of the Lower Broadway run and ride the new Broadway high-speed quad chairlift. The Seattle Ridge area of Baldy is also scheduled to open on Saturday, served by the Seattle Ridge and Mayday chairlifts. The resort stated Tuesday that it will finalize which trails will be open in that area later this week.
The resort has installed the new Doppelmayr high-speed quad Broadway chairlift to serve the expansion area southeast of Seattle Ridge—called Sunrise—and to bring skiers out of the Seattle Ridge area. The lift has replaced the oldest operating chairlift on Bald Mountain, the Cold Springs two-person chair. The lift ascends 1,582 feet from a point at the bottom of an extension of Lower Broadway up to the Roundhouse restaurant, where skiers and riders can access the Christmas chairlift and runs on the River Run side of the ski mountain. The resort has installed 25 new snowmaking guns on the extended section of Lower Broadway, a popular, easy-rated cruising run.
On Tuesday, there were no plans announced to open any of the 380 acres of new expert terrain in the Sunrise area. The resort has previously stated it will open the area—featuring chutes, glades and a bowl—when conditions allow.
The expansion—which boosts Baldy’s skiable terrain to almost 2,500 acres—will eventually offer access to the formerly out-of-bounds Turkey Bowl area, now called Sunrise Bowl. In addition to the double-diamond expert bowl, new terrain includes areas called the Numbers and the Glades. Those zones will be accessed via Seattle Ridge.
The long-awaited expansion and lift project was announced in 2017, before being approved by the U.S. Forest Service, which manages much of the land on Bald Mountain. The resort operates on the land under a federal use permit.
After opening up the River Run side of Baldy on Thanksgiving Day, Sun Valley Resort opened the Warm Springs side of the ski mountain last Friday, offering top-to-bottom skiing and boarding to and from both bases. The resort reported on Tuesday that 38 trails and tracks were open, including Upper College, Lower College, Ridge, Cut Off, Rock Garden, Upper Blue Grouse, Exhibition, Graduate, International, Flying Squirrel, Lower Picabo’s Street and Warm Springs.
The Warm Springs base area and day lodge and the Roundhouse restaurant also opened last Friday.
On Tuesday, five lifts were open—River Run, Lookout Express, Challenger, the Roundhouse Express gondola and Christmas—as well as the Kinderspielplatz tow for children.
Sun Valley reported a 30-inch snow base at the summit of Baldy and a 25-inch snowpack at the base of the mountain.
Mitigation measures to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses are in place. Go to sunvalley.com for more information.
Bald Mountain’s sister ski area, Dollar Mountain, is scheduled to open Saturday, Dec. 12.