The Peak Video crew and I have been enjoying Sun Valley, Idaho. After skiing and then driving for upwards of 6 hours on winding, mountainous roads for a couple of days in a row (harder to do than I thought), I was happy to stay put for a few nights in one location. Sun Valley is a special place and clearly many people think so. It’s been attracting celebrities and royalty alike since it opened in 1936. The Sun Valley Lodge and Inn (where we stayed) as well as the mountain lodges, Warm Springs Lodge, Seattle Ridge Lodge and River Run Lodge, all exude elegance. We can’t think of any other ski resort (except Sun Valley’s sister resort, Snowbasin) with mountain lodges more luxurious and grand. The North Rockies mountain range in this South Central Idaho region are even grander. The original founder, Count Felix Schaffgotsch, described it back in 1935 as combining “more delightful features than any place I have ever seen in Switzerland, Austria or the U.S. for a winter resort.” Today, the resort boasts two ski areas, Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain (which we’ll tell you more about later). Bald Mountain is the larger of the two and has 2,054 skiable acres, 3400 vertical drop and something I learned on this trip: some of the longest sustained pitches in the U.S. – the longest being 3 miles and the steepest being 35 degrees (Inhibition run). Sun Valley is known for having 80% sunny days during the ski season – but that doesn’t mean lack of snow. I also learned that Sun Valley has an incredible 535 snow guns covering 645 acres (more on that later). That’s the equivalent of making enough snow to cover almost all of Aspen Mountain, CO (which has 675 skiable acres) or all of Alpental, WA’s backcountry terrain (523 acres), or over half of Stevens Pass, WA (1,125 acres) or all of Eldora Mountain, CO (680 acres). How’s that for putting things in perspective? The combination of long, steep runs, sunny days and snowmaking mean racers or wanna be racers can count on some of the best training ground around. Indeed, Olympic medalists from Sun Valley include Gretchen Fraser, Christin Cooper, Picabo Street and Muffy Davis – there are runs named after all of them on Bald Mountain. We caught up with another Sun Valley Olympian, X Games ski cross champion and friend, Reggie Crist. He tells us why he loves Sun Valley and makes it his home in this video. Check back because Reggie’s going to catch us up on his production company, National Geographic and other projects and heli skiing in Sun Valley.
For more information on Idaho and its ski resorts, please visit