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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

There is no snow in Idaho

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

We are happy to say there is no snow in Sun Valley, Idaho. Unfortunately, friends in Wyoming woke up to snow and no electricity, friends in Utah woke to high winds, no Internet and downed trees, and friends in Colorado woke to snow, also. We woke to bright sunshine, no clouds in the sky but the temperature was a nippy 32 degrees.

There was a fire going in the lobby, when we decided to go out for breakfast. Perfect for a chilly morning.

We decided to go to breakfast to the Konditorei again. Notice the edelweiss flowers in the sign.

There were a few brave people whom decided to eat breakfast outside, including this gentleman and his two dogs. If you stood in the sun, it was pleasant out.

Yes, the dogs have some wolf in them. They are both males. They are very well trained!! The man told them to stay and they did not move until he came back to the table.

Michael and I had the Summit Creek Omelet (applewood-smoked ham, bacon crumble, caramelized onions and Gruyère cheese). The omelet is served with Yukon Rösti or kale quinoa salad.

It also came with a choice of toast, biscuit or English muffin. We had the homemade English muffin.

The condiments were: ketchup, butter and homemade strawberry jam. The jam was so delicious!!! OMG!!! I made sure to use up every bit of it (Michael's, too).

I should have had the hot chocolate. I found out afterwards it is an old world hot cocoa that's equal parts steamed milk and melted dark chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Surprised the flowers didn't freeze with the temperature dipping as low as it did.

Michael and I decided to go hiking. The sun shining down was warm and the temperature reached 64 degrees. Perfect weather for hiking.

The Lodge is very empty and there are hardly any cars in the parking lot. That is fine with us.

Pretty view of Baldy in the background.

The horses definitely are used to people. They came running up looking for treats. As soon as we didn't offer any, they walked away.

The Sun Valley community is very proud of their skiers.

Gretchen Fraser

"Gretchen Kunigk Fraser(February 11, 1919 – February 17, 1994) was an alpine ski racer. She was the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in skiing. She was also the skiing stand-in for ice skater Sonja Henie in the movies Thin Ice (1937) and Sun Valley Serenade (1941)."

"In 1938, she traveled to Sun Valley to compete in the second Harriman Cup, a new international event featuring the best racers in the world. She met 1936 Olympian and Northwest ski champion Donald Fraser (1913–1994) of the University of Washington on the train trip to central Idaho. They were married in November 1939, and Sun Valley became their home.

Both Frasers were members of the 1940 Olympic team, games that were cancelled due to World War II. She spent the war years skiing in Otto Lang's military training films and helping to rehabilitate wounded and disabled veterans through skiing, setting the stage for a lifelong commitment to working with disabled skiers.

After the war, the Frasers moved to Vancouver, Washington. She finally got her chance to compete in Winter Olympics in 1948. A week before her 29th birthday, Fraser won the gold medal in the slalom and a silver medal in the combined event in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

She soon retired from competition, became a mother and an ambassador for Sun Valley and skiing in general. Later in life she was a mentor to aspiring female ski racers at Sun Valley, including Susie Corrock, Christin Cooper, Picabo Street, and disabled racer Muffy Davis.

She died at age 75 in February 1994, during the Winter Olympics; her husband of 54 years, Don Fraser, had died a month earlier. They are buried at the city cemetery in Ketchum, Idaho."

Christin Cooper

Born in Los Angeles, California, she was raised in Ketchum, Idaho, and learned to ski and race at neighboring Sun Valley. Cooper's stepfather was William C. "Bill" Janss (1918–96), owner of the Sun Valley Resort until 1977.

"After her father William died of cancer in Los Angeles, her mother Glenn moved the family of five children to Ketchum in the late 1960's. At the request of longtime friends Bill and Anne Janss, owners of Sun Valley, Mrs. Cooper founded the arts center for the resort in 1969. Anne Janss died in an avalanche accident near the resort in early 1973; later that year Glenn Cooper and Bill Janss were married, with a combined family of eight children."

"As a member of the U.S.Ski Team, Cooper raced on the World Cup circuit from 1977-1984. Starting the 1977 season on the "C" team, she made her World Cup debut at age 17 on January 19 and finished 14th in a slalom at Scruns, Austria; a week later she had a tenth-place finish in the slalom at Crans-Monta, Switzerland. Best in the technical events, she raced in all five disciplines, with World Cup podiums in four. She broke her ankle during training in August, prior to the 1978 season. She competed in the slalom at the 1978 Worl Chaampionships in Garmisch, West Germany but did not finish.

Cooper's best season in international competition was in 1982, when she won three medals (two silvers and a bronze) at the World Championships at Haus im Ennstal, Austria. She also had three World Cup victories and placed third in the 1982 World Cup overall standings. The previous year, 1981, she finished fourth in the women's overall and second in slalom.

A downhill training crash in late January at Les Diablerets in Switzerland sidelined her for the remainder of the 1983 season. It resulted in a compression fracture in her left tibia just below the knee and required a bone graft from her hip. Cooper returned to form the following season with five early podiums before the 1984 Winter Olympics, and then won the silver medal in the Olympic giant slalom, 0.40 seconds behind teammate Debbie Armstrong at Jahorina. Soon after, a run at her hometown resort of Sun Valley was named in her honor: the run "Silver Fox" on Seattle Ridge was renamed "Christin's Silver." Nearby on Seattle Ridge is "Gretchen's Gold," a run named after Gretchen Fraser, a gold medalist in the slalom at the 1948 Winter Olympics and a mentor to Cooper.

Cooper retired from international competition following the 1984 season, in which she was the runner-up in the season's giant slalom standings. She completed her racing career at age 24 with five World Cup victories, 26 podiums, and 65 top tens."

When Michael and I are on vacation in Europe, we visit different churches where we light candles and/or write prayer intentions for family and friends. We were surprised to find Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church open. Due to COVID we were unable to light candles or write prayer intentions but we did pray for our family and friends.

"For nearly 135 years there has been a Catholic presence in the Wood River Valley. In 1880, St. Charles Borromeo was built in Hailey, and for several years served as the mother church of Southeastern Idaho. In 1884, St. Mary’s church was built in Ketchum, measuring 48 ft. by 24 ft., with a lean-to in the back where the missionary lived. In 1948, due to an increase in the population of permanent and part-time residents in the Ketchum-Sun Valley area, a second and larger church was built under Fr. Linus M. Dougherty. This church was dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows and was a mission parish of St. Charles."

"For several years, services were held at the new Our Lady of the Snows, as well as at the Sun Valley Opera House. However, both facilities became inadequate to accommodate the number of Catholics now coming to the area, and in 1968 a special building fund campaign was started to build a new and larger Our Lady of the Snows church. Mr. and Mrs. Bill Janss and family, owners of Sun Valley Resort at the time, donated a two-acre tract of land on Sun Valley Road on which to build the larger church, in memory of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy."

"The new church cost approximately $150,000 to build and was dedicated by Bishop Treinen on August 16, 1970. Fr. William P. Carroll was appointed the first pastor of this church and served until 1974.

The exterior of the church featured wood and stucco paneling, and on the Sun Valley Road side of the church, a 12 foot Italian carved wood statue of the Madonna and child Jesus hung. The statue is over 200 years old and was a gift from William and Rosemary Hewlett. Ralph Harris designed and Herman Lirk created the stained glass windows depicting the Good Shepherd, Mary, and an angel.

In 2005, due to the increasing costs to repair the church, a building campaign was initiated to build a third, more efficient building. Jim McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates, a world-renowned architectural firm that is located in Sun Valley, was the architect chosen to design this new church. He is also a parishioner of Our Lady of the Snows.

McLaughlin took the cross as the inspiration for the shape of the new church. Outside the front of the church hangs the wood carving of Mary and the child Jesus from the previous church. Inside you will find the stained glass windows from the previous church, as well as two newly commissioned pieces, one above the front doors depicting a cross, and the other, St. Joseph. Both pieces were designed and created by Ralph Harris and Herman Lirk.

A distinguishing feature of the new church is the chandelier which forms a baldachino (canopy) over the altar. It is a unique work of art commissioned specifically for this church. The artist is Sharon Marsten, from London, England. The piece is 24 feet long and is constructed with 1,600 fiber optic filaments and 2,200 hand-blown glass crystals."

We also walked to Ketchum.

You can never tell what you may see.

Saw these birds at the Sawtooth National Forest center. They also had informational signs. I learned the bee I saw yesterday on Baldy is the Great Northern Bumble Bee. Another sign gave the name of the wildflowers. Always something new to learn.

cutleaf daisy

Saw this in the parking lot in back of the skating rink. I know where it came from? Do you?

This is the outside seating for Gretchen's (Sun Valley’s own Gretchen Fraser is the restaurant’s namesake). It overlooks the skating rink.

Another day comes to a close. Temperature warms up to 69 degrees tomorrow. Expecting a low of 42 tonight. Sounds pretty good.

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