|Soldier Mountain Ski Area|
|Location||Sawtooth National Forest
Camas County, Idaho, U.S.
|Nearest city||Fairfield - 12 mi (19 km)
Hailey - 45 mi (72 km)
Mtn. Home - 76 mi (122 km)
|Vertical||1,425 feet (434 m)|
|Top elevation||7,177 feet (2,188 m)|
|Base elevation||5,752 feet (1,753 m)|
|Skiable area||1,150 acres (4.7 km2)|
- 28% easiest
- 25% more difficult
- 47% most difficult
|Lift system||2 double chairs
1 magic carpet
|Snowfall||100 inches (250 cm)|
|Snowmaking||not in service|
Soldier Mountain Ski Area is an alpine ski area in the western United States, in the Soldier Mountains of Sawtooth National Forest in south central Idaho. Located 12 miles (19 km) north of Fairfield in very rural Camas County, its summit elevation is 7,177 feet (2,188 m) above sea level with a vertical drop of 1,425 feet (434 m). The area has two chairlifts in series on its east-facing slopes, and a magic carpet was installed in the fall of 2012 near the base.
After watching the 1948 Winter Olympic tryouts in nearby Sun Valley, Bob Frostenson and his friend, Harry Durall, decided they couldn’t turn their backs on the sport of skiing. That summer they raised $10,000, began work on a base lodge, and purchased two rope tows, the first powered by a 1938 Chevrolet engine. They cut timber, installed lifts, and built lodges by hand.
The first chairlift was installed in 1971, and the upper chairlift (Bird's Eye) was added in 1974. Soldier has 1,150 acres (4.7 km2) of variable terrain including a terrain park, glades, bowls, and tree skiing. Soldier maintains snowmaking capabilities, although it has not operated since 1996. Soldier Mountain is open from Thursday through Sunday, except for the Christmas holiday season when it is open daily.
Four miles (6 km) west of Soldier's summit is Smoky Dome, with an elevation of 10,095 feet (3,077 m). In between there are several peaks well over 9,000 feet (2,740 m): Peak 1 at 9,147 feet (2,788 m) and Peak 2 at 9,529 feet (2,904 m) are used in Soldier's backcountry skiing operations, served by snow cat. Speculation is that Willis plans lift service to some of these areas.
An early morning fire on Monday, March 30, 2009, destroyed the 61-year-old base lodge. The cause was attributed to electrical wiring, and occurred shortly after the final day of the ski season. A new 4,500-square-foot (420 m2) base lodge was constructed and Soldier Mountain reopened ten months later, on January 28, 2010.
Actor Bruce Willis, a part-time resident of Hailey, bought the ski area in the mid-1990s. After nearly two decades of ownership, he donated it in 2012 to a non-profit organization, Soldier Mountain Ski Area, Inc. Many of its members are from the area and have been skiing/boarding the mountain since childhood.
- You Tube Soldier Mountain lodge fire - March 30, 2009
- Zatkulak, Karen (December 27, 2012). "Soldier Mountain reopens as nonprofit ski area". KTVB. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Stahl, Greg (April 23, 2003). "Soldier Mountain founder killed in vehicle accident". (Ketchum) Idaho Mountain Express. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Kauffman, Jason (February 6, 2009). "Soldier Mountain dreams bigger". (Ketchum) Idaho Mountain Express. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Kauffman, Jason (April 1, 2009). "Soldier lodge victim of electric fire". (Ketchum) Idaho Mountain Express. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Finn, Natalie (March 30, 2009). "Bruce Willis' ski lodge burns down". E! Online. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "Willis aims to rebuild lodge at his Idaho ski area". USA Today. Associated Press. July 6, 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- (Boise) Idaho Statesman - Old memories, new lodge at Soldier Mountain - 2010-02-11
- "Soldier Mountain Ski Resort opens with new lodge". KTVB. January 28, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Tucker, Hailey (Winter 2011). "Soldiering on after disaster". Sun Valley magazine. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Crisp, Andrew (December 12, 2012). "Soldier Mountain ski area changes hands, eyes opening day". Boise Weekly. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "Bruce Willis offers to donate Idaho ski area". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. April 4, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2013.