Alta Questad Repeats and Walker Gove Claims First Win at the 2024 Arkoosh Cup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HAILEY, Idaho – Feb. 19, 2024 - More than 200 skiers registered to race in the 2024 Arkoosh Cup at Rotarun Ski Area, where boys and girls raced head-to-head within their age groups on the dual giant slalom course on Monday. Family members and friends cheered on their kids, and the competitive spirit was high. Age-class awards were presented at the conclusion of the event for the U8, U10, U12, and U14 categories, and the Arkoosh Cup was awarded to the winning girl and boy of the U10 category. Their names will be etched into the Arkoosh Cup trophy, which has a permanent home in the base lodge at Rotarun.

The overall fastest times for girls and boys in the U10 category and winners of this year’s Arkoosh Cup were, Alta Questad crossing the line in 23.70 and Walker Gove in 23.75. Questad, a member of the SVSEF U10 Travel Team, also won the Arkoosh Cup in 2023 as an eight-year-old (first-year U10) in the U10 category.

“We want to give the biggest thank you possible to Riley Berman and the staff at Rotarun for providing an impeccable venue for the race, to the coaches and volunteers for their hard work, and to all the families who support their kids and help share the love of ski racing,” said Chuck Harris, Arkoosh Cup Chief of Race

The Cup is named for the Arkoosh family from Gooding, who in 1957 gave Rotarun a 99-year lease for $1 per year. In 1993, the property was deeded over to Blaine County, with the underlying lease from the Arkoosh family intact.

“The Arkoosh Cup is a truly special day for us to celebrate and remember the family who made this place possible, and for us to continue to foster a love of ski racing among the youth in our community,” said Wally Limburg, Rotarun’s Board President. “The healthy competitive spirit and camaraderie among the kids, whether they’re new to the sport or more experienced, is just a great thing to see, and it’s an opportunity for the families to connect around something their kids enjoy and are excited to share with their parents and siblings.”

Since the mid-1960's, the Arkoosh Cup has seen winners like Picabo Street, who won the Cup in 1983 and eventually went on to become an Olympic and World Champion. Winners from more recent years are currently racing at the FIS elite level including Paige DeHart (2017), Jessica Blackburn (2016), and Haley Cutler (2009). Others have gone on to become SVSEF Alpine coaches, such as Sage Rheinschild (2012), Haley Cutler (2009), KJ Savaria (2008), Charlotte Gourlay (1999), and Amanda Stelling and Connor Farrow (2007). 

TOP FIVE PER AWARD CATEGORY RESULTS

U8 Men: 

  1. Ford Rixon
  2. Werner McNamara
  3. Ronan Currie
  4. Nathan Sattler
  5. Samuel Sattler

U10 Men: 

  1. Walker Gove (2024 Arkoosh Cup Winner)
  2. Asa Sattler
  3. Evan McGregor
  4. Dylan Smiley
  5. Ridge Crist

U12 Men:  

  1. Hunter Gove
  2. Kelby Harris
  3. Evan Logsdon
  4. Lachlan Hollis
  5. Logan Snell

U8 Women: 

  1. Quinn Woodward
  2. Lark Johnson
  3. Palmer Burwell
  4. Ruby Rogers
  5. Isla Young

U10 Women: 

  1. Alta Questad (2024 Arkoosh Cup Winner)
  2. Marie McNeal
  3. Kayla Kloster
  4. Dylan Spengler
  5. Sophie Robins

U12 Women: 

  1. Nina Viesturs
  2. Sophie Kanowski
  3. Piper Gerald
  4. Avery Logsdon
  5. Sara Stevens

Complete 2024 Arkoosh Cup results are posted at https://rotarun.org/arkoosh-cup/ 

Photo of Alta Questad by Heather Foster


Opening Day for Rotarun Ski Area Set for Sunday, Dec. 31

Rotarun to provide free day passes for all on New Year’s Eve Day

HAILEY, Idaho – December 28, 2023 – Public skiing at Rotarun Ski Area will officially open for the season on Sunday, Dec. 31 from 12-4 p.m. Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to come take a few turns with free one-day passes valid for Sunday provided at the ticket window. 

The local La Parilla food truck will be onsite with tacos, enchiladas, burritos, burgers, and more for sale—the makings for a perfect tailgate afternoon with family and friends.

“We are excited to open the hill for free public skiing this Sunday afternoon,” said Riley Berman, Rotarun’s Mountain Manager. “While we’re not quite ready for night skiing with the limited snowpack, the hill is in great shape to come out with the family and make some turns to welcome the new year.”

Rotarun Ski Area is open to skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities and hill access is via one surface platter lift. Free parking is available at the base area. Public skiing hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 6-9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4 p.m. Public skiing is FREE on Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. 

Individual and family season passes for 2023/24 are available at rotarun.org. Day tickets are available in-person at the Rotarun ticket window and children 5 years and younger ski for free. Rotarun also offers the opportunity to host birthday parties on-site.

For more information about Rotarun, visit rotarun.org

About Rotarun

Located just three miles west of downtown Hailey, Idaho, Rotarun Ski Area has been a community hub for local snow sports enthusiasts since 1948. Rotarun offers affordable youth snowsport programming and public skiing throughout the winter season. Since 2017, Rotarun and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF), separate 501c3 organizations, have worked together to collectively further learn-to-ski and ride programs and advanced training opportunities for the youth of the Wood River Valley. For more information, please visit www.rotarun.org.

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It's All Hands on Deck at Rotarun

Sun Valley Source Magazine Winter 2023

SVSEF's Grassroots to Grand Stage Diversity Project Inspires Inclusion and Opportunity

Our friends at SVSEF announced an initiative aiming to bring our community’s children closer together through winter sport

SUN VALLEY, Idaho – February 28, 2023 – The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) has introduced the Grassroots to Grand Stage Diversity Project to inspire ethnic and cultural diversity, inclusion, and opportunity for historically marginalized children to participate in SVSEF’s competitive sports programming. The project aims to raise $100,000 to help support these children who show a desire to continue, improve, and advance as winter sport athletes.

The Grassroots to Grand Stage Diversity Project (G2G Project) is designed to integrate with current learn-to-ski-and-ride programming at Rotarun Ski Area and Quigley Nordic Trails. The project will provide further support and education for athletes and families as they pursue higher level journeys with SVSEF across the spectrum of snowsport disciplines, from alpine and cross country, to snowboarding and other SVSEF programs.

“The free learn-to-ski Rota-Rippers after-school program has been incredibly successful in getting first generation skiers on the mountain,” said Sam Adicoff, Volunteer Coordinator for the G2G Project. “As a volunteer Rota-Rippers coach, I noticed that each year there were kids that really loved the program and were yearning for more. That was the genesis for this Grassroots to Grand Stage Diversity Project—providing funding and support for these kids to move into the competitive SVSEF programs.”

Support through grants, donors, and key partners in our community is pivotal to the G2G Project’s success. Scholarships including ski passes from Sun Valley Company, equipment leases from Sturtevant’s and PK’s Ski & Sports, SVSEF tuition support, and other mission-aligned expenses are some of the means of support provided to these young athletes so they can fully engage in the process and the opportunity before them. Cultivating healthy habits, skills, and passions also contribute to the project’s intent to foster well-rounded child development for youth in our mountain community.

“We recognize there are both cultural and financial hurdles that need to be addressed,” said Scott McGrew, Executive Director at SVSEF. “The G2G Project is the seed that can grow and beget further opportunities early and often for local families—specifically athletic opportunities to inspire deeper awareness and inclusion, which we’ve seen have lasting and profound implications on the life of a child.”

Fernanda Hurtado was six years old when she took her first turns on skis as part of the Rota-Rippers after-school program. She was inspired while watching the 2018 Winter Olympics on TV and hasn’t looked back. Now 11 years old, Fernanda has learned and grown through SVSEF Alpine’s LASAR program, Baldy Devo and Mini World Cup teams, and is now a member of the Alpine U12 Travel Team. “My favorite thing about ski racing is the speed and the gates—it’s fun and it makes me feel good!” said Fernanda Hurtado. “There are many things I like about being a part of SVSEF, but my favorite thing is the people and coaches.”

“Fernanda brings a contagious smile and a positive, driven attitude when she is at ski team," said Adele Savaria, Alpine U12 Travel Team Head Coach. “She is making new friends in her age group, which has been awesome to see her only continue to thrive in this environment.”

Following in his sister’s footsteps, Octavio “Tavi” Hurtado, too found his first snow legs with the Rota-Rippers and has since discovered his love for the moguls on the SVSEF Freestyle Progression Team. “I love the jumps and the moguls,” said Octavio Hurtado. “The coaches and the community are what I like the most about SVSEF.”

“Athletes like Octavio are what make our program as special as it is,” said Alec Poster, SVSEF Freestyle Progression Coach. “Tavi inspires his peers with his work ethic and keeps the environment fun with his sense of humor. He’s an old spirit that continues to push himself and all who have the pleasure of skiing with him.”

“Whether Octavio is on the hill or in the air barn, he consistently pushes for improvement,” said Wyatt Wilson, SVSEF Freestyle Travel Coach. “I cannot wait to see the heights that his dedication will bring him to. And congrats on the flip!”

“SVSEF is like family for us—we are blessed to be able to have Octavio and Fernanda in these programs,” said Fernando and Nallely Hurtado, Fernanda and Octavio’s parents. “We can see how they have evolved in this world of skiing—it’s more than a sport for them, it’s their passion! The different programs they practice are an art of expression—they love and respect their coaches, and they look up to them.”

Athletes like Fernanda and Octavio, and families like the Hurtado’s, have really provided the inspiration for the G2G Project—and now an upcoming group of talented, determined, and powerful young athletes have begun to shape the desired goals and outcomes and will continue to help guide the future of the project.

Eight-year-old Eva Gonzalez, a 3rd grader at Alturas Elementary School in Hailey, is one young athlete who has helped grow the passion and idea for the G2G Project. Eva is on the SVSEF Cross Country Devo South Team and plans to join SVSEF’s LASAR (Learn to Alpine Ski and Race) program held at Rotarun.[RS1]  She is an eager and determined young athlete with hopes and dreams of becoming the best skier she can.

Linda Hernandez is 10 years old and in 4th grade at Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum. She is also on SVSEF’s Cross Country Devo South Team. In addition to skiing, Linda has been doing gymnastics for seven years, and like many kids her age, enjoys singing pop music and her favorite artist is Taylor Swift. Linda’s favorite thing about the Wood River Valley is the snow and her favorite thing about the ski team is she gets good exercise and it’s still fun!

“My husband and I think sports are important in our children’s lives,” said Sirlene Nunes, Linda’s mom. “My son and my husband snowboard but I don't ski downhill. About four years ago I had the opportunity to try cross country skiing and loved it, so the next season I asked Linda if she would like to try cross country with me and she loved it. That's how she started and now she is in her second year on the SVSEF development team.”

Ian Lozada attends Hemingway School in Ketchum as a 5th grader, loves math class, and aspires to be an architect when he is older. His parents came to the Wood River Valley over 20 years ago from Mexico and his father Hugo works for AC Houston Lumber. “My favorite thing about skiing is going fast downhill in the mountain environment with the forest around me,” said Ian, member of SVSEF’s Alpine U12 Home Team.

Justin Armas is a fourth grader at Hemingway Elementary School, where his favorite subject is science because he likes building things. He is skiing on both the Cross Country Devo North Team and the Alpine Baldy Devo Team and his favorite thing about being on ski team is going fast! Aside from skiing, Justin has been swimming and playing soccer for five years and started learning Jiu Jitsu last year. He wants to be a hip hop singer when he is older. Janet and Richard, Justin’s parents, are from Peru and have lived in Blaine County for 20 years. Richard’s first job was working in the Seattle Ridge Lodge for Sun Valley Company, and he is now self-employed as a painter and handyman.

People of color are vastly underrepresented in historically non-diverse pursuits like skiing. The G2G project takes representation as an initial step in shifting this narrative, while working closely with parents and community members to ensure the process is relevant and equitable. And sharing the impacts of the project with the broader community while celebrating through storytelling, fostering new and existing partnerships with our community, and highlighting the achievements of these young athletes will ultimately inspire a virtuous cycle of inclusion for generations to come.

The vision and goals of the G2G Project are designed to grow and expand as they gain community knowledge and financial support. Funds raised for the project will be utilized to support children identified through the grassroots programs who show a desire to continue, improve, and advance as winter sport athletes within SVSEF’s competitive programs.

The G2G Project will make long-term commitments to these dedicated athletes on the basis of annual reviews, and project outcomes will be measured by continued athlete participation, growth of the program, and athletic achievement.

To learn more or to support the Grassroots to Grand Stage Diversity Project, please contact Scott McGrew at scott@svsef.org or 208-726-4129.


Alta Questad and Alex Grant Take the Win at the 2023 Arkoosh Cup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HAILEY, Idaho – Feb. 20, 2023 – Nearly 200 athletes took to the dual giant slalom course on the face of Rotarun for the 2023 Arkoosh Cup earlier today. Hundreds of family members and friends cheered on the skiers and snowboarders, and the competitive spirit was high for those trying their first hand at racing and the more experienced racers alike. Girls and boys under the age of fourteen raced for age class awards, with the first place winners in the U10 category named this year’s Arkoosh Cup.

“It was the perfect day for youth ski racing in the Wood River Valley,” said Chuck Harris, Arkoosh Cup Chief of Race. “A huge thank you to Rotarun for providing an impeccable venue for the race, to the coaches for their hard work, and to all the parents who support their kids and help share the love of ski racing.”

The Cup is named for the Arkoosh family from Gooding, who in 1957 gave Rotarun a 99-year lease for $1 per year. In 1993, the property was deeded over to Blaine County, with the underlying lease from the Arkoosh family intact.

“The Arkoosh Cup holds a truly special place in the history of Rotarun,” said Scott McGrew, Rotarun’s executive director. “It’s an opportunity to remember and celebrate the incredible family who made everything we do at Rotarun possible, while continuing to foster a love of ski and snowboard racing among the youth in our community. There’s nothing quite like seeing the excitement and healthy competitive spirit come together on Arkoosh Cup day!”

Since the mid-1960's, the Arkoosh Cup has seen winners like Picabo Street, who won the Cup in 1983 and eventually went on to become an Olympic and World Champion. Winners from more recent years are currently racing at the FIS elite level including Paige DeHart (2017), Jessica Blackburn (2016), and Haley Cutler (2009). Others have gone on to become SVSEF Alpine coaches, such as Sage Rheinschild (2012), Haley Cutler (2009), KJ Savaria (2008), Charlotte Gourlay (1999), and Amanda Stelling and Connor Farrow (2007). 

The ‘Arkoosh Cup’ was awarded to the winning female and male of the U10 category. Award categories for the event are U12, U10, U8, and Snowboard.

The overall fastest times for boys and girls in the U10 category and winners of this year’s Arkoosh Cup were, Alex Grant crossing the line in 27.52 and Alta Questad in 25.21. 

TOP FIVE PER AWARD CATEGORY RESULTS

U8 Men: 

  1. Evan McGregor

  2. Ridge Crist

  3. Ford Rixon

  4. Dillon Wells

  5. Vance Gardiner

U10 Men: 

  1. Alex Grant - 2023 Arkoosh Cup Winner

  2. Halsten Bruun

  3. Asa Sattler

  4. Wyatt Matthews

  5. Lachlan Hollis

U12 Men:  

  1. Kelby Harris

  2. Alex Brown

  3. Max Smith

  4. Eli Sattler

  5. Matthew Thurman

U8 Women: 

  1. Kayla Kloster

  2. Dylan Spengler

  3. Estelle Turzian

  4. Lila VanderWyst

  5. Morgan Thomas

U10 Women: 

  1. Alta Questad - 2023 Arkoosh Cup Winner

  2. Sophie Robins

  3. Lauren Larrabee

  4. Amelia Beck

  5. Arielle Ries

U12 Women: 

  1. Savannah Pringle

  2. Jennings Fraser

  3. Ava Gilmour

  4. Bria Smiley

  5. Amelie Ries

Snowboard Division: 

Girls:

  1. McKenna Minas

Boys:

  1. Liam Romero

  2. Barrett Gorringe

  3. Everett Gorringe

  4. Lucca Anguiano

  5. Henry Baker

For complete 2023 Arkoosh Cup results, please CLICK HERE.

Photo of Alta Questad by Heather Foster.


2023 Arkoosh Cup Expecting More Than 150 Racers

HAILEY, Idaho –February 17, 2023 – The 2023 Arkoosh Cup will take place on Monday, Feb. 20 at Rotarun Ski Hill. The event is open to all children under the age of twelve. The Cup is named for the Arkoosh family from Gooding, who in 1957 gave Rotarun a 99-year lease for $1 per year. In 1993, the property was deeded over to Blaine County, with the underlying lease from the Arkoosh family intact.

“The Arkoosh Cup holds a truly special place in the history of Rotarun,” said Scott McGrew, Rotarun’s executive director. “It’s an opportunity to remember and celebrate the incredible family who made everything we do at Rotarun possible, while continuing to foster a love of ski and snowboard racing among the youth in our community. There’s nothing quite like seeing the excitement and healthy competitive spirit come together on Arkoosh Cup day!”

Since the mid-1960's, the Arkoosh Cup has seen winners like Picabo Street, who won the Cup in 1983 and eventually went on to become an Olympic and World Champion. Winners from more recent years are currently racing at the FIS elite level including Paige DeHart (2017), Jessica Blackburn (2016), and Haley Cutler (2009). Others have gone on to become SVSEF Alpine coaches, such as Sage Rheinschild (2012), Haley Cutler (2009), KJ Savaria (2008), Charlotte Gourlay (1999), and Amanda Stelling and Connor Farrow (2007). 

The ‘Arkoosh Cup’ will be awarded to the winning female and male of the U10 category. Award categories for the event are U12, U10, U8, and Snowboard.

Online registration is open at Rotarun.org through Sunday, Feb. 19 at 6:00 p.m. The registration fee is $20. There is no race day registration. Results will be provided on Monday, Feb. 20 following the conclusion of the event.

EVENT SCHEDULE for Monday, Feb. 20

U12 & U10 SCHEDULE

8:00 a.m. Lift open to Coaches and Staff

8:00 a.m. Check-in / Bib & Lift Ticket pick-up

8:30 a.m. Lift open to U12 & U10 Racers only

8:40 a.m. – 9:10 a.m. Inspection

9:30 a.m. 1st Run

10:15 a.m. 2nd Run

11:00 a.m. Awards


U8 & SNOWBOARD SCHEDULE

11:30 a.m Registration

11:30 a.m. Lift open to U8 and Snowboard Racers only

11:40 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Inspection

12:30 p.m. 1st Run

1:15 p.m. 2nd Run

2:00 p.m. Awards

For more information about Rotarun, visit rotarun.org

About Rotarun

Located just three miles west of downtown Hailey, Idaho, Rotarun Ski Area has been a community hub for local snow sports enthusiasts since 1948. Rotarun offers affordable youth snowsport programming and public skiing throughout the winter season. Since 2017, Rotarun and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF), separate 501c3 organizations, have worked together to collectively further learn-to-ski and ride programs and advanced training opportunities for the youth of the Wood River Valley. For more information, please visit www.rotarun.org.

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Collective Effort and Shared Vision Lead the Way for Rotarun Ski Area

New snowcat and equipment garage bears fingerprints of our local community and beyond

Rotarun Ski Area has grown up over the last few years with the addition of snowmaking, and now thanks to the completion of a major capital improvement project, the operations at the ski area are increasingly sound. The new snowcat and equipment garage will house the snowcats and snowmobiles, to protect them from the elements, and allow for on-site maintenance and secure, year-round storage.

“This has been the epitome of a ‘community coming together’ project,” said Wally Limburg, Rotarun’s board president. “Without the generous support of individuals, foundations, and businesses along with their understanding of the value this project would bring to Rotarun, this simply would not have been possible. We are so incredibly grateful for how everyone chipped in how they could, whether it was through their time, their treasure, or their talent.”

Community support is certainly not new to Rotarun. Since the “little mountain with a big heart” first started turning its tractor-and-pulley rope tow in 1948, it has been the helping hands of Hailey and communities in the Wood River Valley that have kept it going year after year. Volunteers come back year after year to help run the platter lift, to teach skiing and riding with the Rota-Rippers, and simply to enjoy this special place that welcomes skiers and riders to learn, train, and race, while still exuding the accessibility and spirit of smaller ski hills gone by.

“Those who have stepped in to support this project and so many others along the way are really the fabric that make up Rotarun,” said Scott McGrew, Rotarun’s executive director. “From digging the dirt and pouring the foundation, to framing the walls, putting on the roof, and hanging the doors—this project has been a labor of love for everyone involved and it will serve an invaluable purpose for decades to come.”

From initial ground breaking, the project took five months to complete on time and under budget, even as construction costs continued to rise over the course of the build. Limburg served as the project manager, with a heavy lift of support both literally and physically from Carl Rixon and Rixon Excavation.

“I feel that it is so important for me to give back to help see the success of Rotarun Ski Area!” said Carl Rixon, Owner and Operator of Rixon Excavation. “Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation has been such a huge supporter of me and my family through the years, and with how involved they are with supporting Rotarun, and with the value both of these non-profits bring to the entire community, I am happy to contribute any way I can.”

Collaboration at every level starting with the Sage Springs Homeowners Association, Blaine County Planning Department, the Board of Blaine County Commissioners, and Wood River Fire Marshal Mike Elle, was essential to the project’s future. Creating the vision and plans required to bring the building to fruition was a team effort between de Reus Architects, Maxwell Structural Design Studio, Galena Engineering, and Blueprinting, Inc. Ketchum. Delivery of the materials and labor was made possible by Brooks Welding, C&R Electric, JMF Construction, Miley Roofing, R&M Steel Company, Superior Steel Products Boise, Thornton Heating, Valley Wide Co-Op, and WILRO Plumbing. And bringing it all together, Skip Merrick and the team at Merrick Construction were instrumental in the project’s success.

Raising the funds to complete a project of this size for a non-profit was a significant task in itself, and Rotarun is eternally grateful to everyone who played a part at every level. From organizations including the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, Marshall Carroll Charitable Fund, Nancy Eccles and Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation, and Spur Foundation; to individuals including Kathy and Wally Limburg, Mark de Reus, Mark Kandianis, and Susan and Scott Robinson; it was the collective effort and belief in the project’s importance that brought it to fruition.

Additional thanks to Andrew Harris, Brian Caulkins, Brian Opp, Riley Berman, Wilson Construction, and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation staff for their support along the way.


Rota-Rippers Find a Love for Winter

Eye on Sun Valley's Karen Bossick paid a visit to Rotarun to meet up with the Rota-Rippers and had the opportunity to catch the kiddos in action and to hear what they had to say!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO STORY

Thank you, Eye on Sun Valley!


Rotarun Ski Swap

Thank you to everyone who came to the Ski Swap! We hope you found some great gear for the upcoming season, and appreciate your support of our little ski hill!

A huge thank you to Sturtevants for all their essential support to make the Ski Swap a success!

 

 


Thank You, 100 Men Who Care WRV

The team at Rotarun extends more than 100 THANK YOUs to the 100 Men Who Care, Wood River Valley!

Through their collective generosity, Rotarun Ski Area has received a $4,600 gift to support learn to ski and ride programming!

We are so grateful for Marty Lyon's vision, inspired by this quote from Margaret Mead...

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."