The cold weather and snow from last week continued to stick through the weekend. The Sun Valley Company used the weather conditions as an opportunity to make snow on Baldy in fairly large amounts. On Monday after work Kyle and I decided it was time to test what were the conditions for snowshoeing up Baldy.
The temperature in Ketchum as we headed up River Run was 63 degrees at 4PM. River Run at 4PM during the last days of October is entirely in the shade. The snow was slightly slushy at the start. We decided that the dogs (Shae and Merry) would enjoy the trip. Our goal was to reach the Roundhouse (~ 2,000+ vertical) before the sun fell behind the top of Baldy. Shae, Merry and Kyle set the pace. The evidence the Sun Vally Company is in full operation preparing for the winter season was apparent. The Gondola was operating in Test Mode. Lift Operators were at some the main stations and there were snow mobile tracks all over the snow that had been made.
The amount of snow coverage going up River Run was more than Kyle and I expected. Also, there were large mounds of snow in certain places (from the snow guns) that had yet to be smoothed out by the grooming machines. All of this reminded Kyle and I that Sun Valley has the largest snow making capacity of any resort in the world.
About two-thirds the way to our destination the conditions became quite icy. Luckily our crampons bit into the ice very nicely.
Once at the cat-track for the Roundhouse, we scurried over to the famous edifice. The sun was just above the top of Baldy shining down on the towns of Ketchum, Sun Valley and the Pioneer Mountains.
After taking a few photos, we headed down the mountain. Seeing that Shae Dog had discovered and chased a deer on the ridge-line between the Canyon and Exhibition ski runs. Given the situation Kyle suggested we make our first run of the season down Exhibition. Exhibition is famous around the world as being the most demanding run for mogul competition and part of the original Harriman Cup course. Kyle and I descended the 885 vertical feet the run offers using our crampons and poles. There was enough snow to make the effort fun.