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Sun Valley’s New Terrain Expansion Gives Experts a Reason to Visit

Skiers who’ve written it off as being too cruisey should check out the Idaho resort's new Sunrise terrain.

A few years after officially announcing the terrain expansion, Sun Valley finally dropped the ropes on its backcountry-inspired pod, Sunrise, last week, after a massive storm delivered four feet of snow to the resort.

The new terrain is 350 acres of bowls, glades, and chutes, and increases the resort’s skiable acres to just under 2,500. It’s also an entirely new offering for the resort best known for its long groomers and fast lifts.

Sunrise terrain Sun Valley
Sun Valley native son Bank Gilberti goes deep in Sunrise Bowl. Photo: Courtesy of Sun Valley Resort

For those who know Sun Valley, the expansion is located on Bald Mountain’s southern face, accessed off of the Seattle Ridge chair.

Named Sunrise because it gets first light, the new terrain features a bowl and two glades. Sunrise Bowl is open bowl skiing while The Glades and Numbers are low- to moderate-angle trees and denser glades, respectively. All the runs funnel down to the new Broadway high-speed quad, which deposits skiers at the Roundhouse Restaurant. (Make a reservation for an amazing, Euro-style fondue lunch.)

Related: Terrain Leak, Sunrise at Sun Valley

SKI previewed the terrain during the 2018-’19 season, escorted by ski patrol and guides from the SnowSports school. The mellow bowl skiing in Sunrise adds a component that’s long been missing at Sun Valley, and can even be skied by confident intermediates who are comfortable in ungroomed powder. The gladed areas offer a mix of widely spaced and slightly tighter tree-skiing that’s a total hoot, again closing the loop to keep Sun Valley competitive and on the visit list for skiers looking for more advanced options.

It would be remiss not to mention the incredible views out over the Sawtooth wilderness that make you feel like you’re far outside of the ropes.

Sunrise terrain Sun Valley
Photo: Courtesy Sun Valley Resort/Jon Mancuso/Idarado Media

It’s been a labor of love and is proof positive of the dedication of the Holding family to further the offering at the iconic resort, says Sun Valley President and General Manager Tim Silva. “Sun Valley has been working on the Sunrise terrain expansion for over three years,” he says. “This endeavor was truly a team effort and showcases the ongoing investment by the Holding family.”

Go Deeper: Get to Know Ketchum, Idaho

In partner with the new offering, the resort is also rolling out a new lesson/guiding experience designed around the backcountry-inspired terrain. The Sunrise Alpine Experience is a private lesson where skiers get a no-time-wasted intro to the pod, learn the ins and outs of the new terrain, and where to challenge themselves in the glades and chutes.

“This expansion is a huge step for the resort, offering an entirely new experience for our highly skilled skiers and riders to enjoy.”

Watch: Sun Valley Athlete Banks Gilberti Samples the Goods in Sunrise