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Praying for Snow as Sun Valley Resort’s 88th Season Nears
Kelsey, Charlie, Jude and River Schubert grabbed a few family photos in the Pray for Snow photo booth.
Monday, November 13, 2023


How do you pray for snow?

“Fervently!” says Gretchen Basen.

Sun Valley’s faithful turned out by the hundreds Saturday night for Sun Valley Resort’s Pray for Snow party. And, while most said they’re not worried, beating the drums for the white stuff seemed take on extra urgency this year as sunny temperatures in the 50s have kept Mother Nature’s snow at bay with this week’s forecast offering more of the same.

Gordon Knight and Andy Gilbert wore yellow Wide World of Sports jackets as they attempted to turn the vintage ski outfit contest into something akin to a sports competition.

Flashing snowflake rings and necklaces were bestowed on partygoers as they entered the River Run Lodge where colorful Christmas lights and even a moose sculpture wrapped in cotton snow greeted them.

Some partygoers—especially the 3-foot-high variety--lingered outside until it became dark, trudging up the manmade snow that Sun Valley Resort’s arsenal of snow guns has made on Lower River Run and sliding down.

The Pray for Snow Party attracted Sara Rankin and Phil Doerr from Boise. And, they said, they had all their cousins and friends from out of state praying for snow, as well.

Ten-year-old Valentina Holman said the lack of snow on the valley floor with 10 days to go until the Thanksgiving Day opening is not keeping her up at night.

The Holman family, including 10-year-old Valentina, 8-year-old Hunter, their mother Marianna and grandmother Carol—had their photos taken in the Pray for Snow photo booth.

“But I’m always hoping to wake up to snow in the morning because I want to ski powder!” she said.

Grandmother Carol Holman could understand her enthusiasm. She fondly remembers how she started  snowboarding in 1988 and all the fun she had boarding with the likes of Callie Galpin and Jim Slanetz over the next 10 years. And, while she no longer skis or boards on the mountain, she does still cross-country ski on the trails surrounding Sun Valley.

Bonnie Hovencamp said she recently bought a pillow that says “Pray for Snow.”

“I put it at the front door and then I’m reminded to pray for snow every time I come into the house,” she said. “Everyone ought to get a ‘Pray for Snow’ pillow.”

Bonnie Hovencamp and Gretchen Basen, both Yellow Jackets with Guest Service’s Courtesy Patrol, raised a hand to skiing by the fireplace that they hope to be warming themselves soon.

“The best thing you can do is say it isn’t going to snow—and it will,” added Gordon Knight and Andy Gilbert, who presided over a vintage ski outfit competition that offered such prizes as ski passes, lift tickets, ski gloves and passes to Sun Valley Resort’s bowling center and spa.

Kelsey Schubert confided that she has been perfectly happy with the warm weather.

“But my little one is chomping at the bit for snow because he’s going to be a Little Spud this year,” she said referring to the children’s Learn to Ski Program. “So, we had to come out and pray for snow.”

Stacy Gilden moved to the Wood River Valley at 13 from New Jersey after her father decided that, if Sun Valley was good enough for Ernest Hemingway, it was good enough for him.

Stacy Gilden shows off a 23-year-old vintage Bogner suit estimated to be worth more than $1,800 when new that she was able to snag for a few hundred at the Gold Mine thrift store.

“He didn’t ski, but he fished and hunted and enjoyed the outdoors, just like Hemingway,” she said. “Me? I love the skiing—and last year’s snow was some of the most amazing I’ve seen in all the years I’ve lived here.”

If you’re looking for Gilden on the chairlift this year, you’ll find her wearing a 23-year-old Bogner ski outfit estimated to cost more than $1,800 when new that she found at the Gold Mine.

“I’m always in a one piece,” she said. “You don’t have to pull your pants up all the time, and you don’t get snow down your pants if you fall. I will wear this every day this winter.”

~  Today's Topics ~

Papoose Club Holiday Bazaar Sports Spurtles, Dibbles and More

James Beard Chefs Bring Flavors of the South to Sun Valley

Taize Services Encourage Prayers for Peace and Quiet Reflection









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