Locals converged on River Run Lodge to “Pray for Snow” last Saturday and, lo, it worked: The skies over Bald Mountain opened up to winter, dusting Sun Valley and Ketchum in white.
But, just in case those prayers fall short, the resort is helping winter along.
Snow guns are humming on Baldy and nearby Dollar Mountain, with a little more than a week to go until Sun Valley hopes to spin the lifts for its 83rd season.
“Our goal is to have top-to-bottom skiing and snowboarding, weather permitting,” Kelli Lusk, a spokeswoman for the resort, told the Idaho Mountain Express on Friday. “Right now, conditions have been perfect for making snow and grooming.”
If all goes to plan, skiers and riders can take their first runs Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. Dollar will be open through Sunday, Nov. 25. Then, it will re-open for good “a couple weeks later,” Lusk said.
The River Run side of Bald Mountain will remain open throughout. Snowmaking crews are concentrating on connecting College to Lower River Run, giving skiers and riders a lap of almost 3,300 vertical feet to start the year.
The resort kicks off the season with free après-ski music at the base, featuring Emily Stanton from 2:30-5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, and Tylor & the Train Robbers from 2:30-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24.
Elsewhere in the West, 4 feet of early-November snow has given the mountains of Colorado a head start on the season. Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are among the beneficiaries, with the latter claiming 82 inches of snowfall so far. Further up I-70, Vail is expected to open today, Nov. 14.
For more information on Sun Valley’s opening day, and the resort’s Thanksgiving festivities, go to www.sunvalley.com.