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Reggie Crist Reports on the Croney Cove Sun Valley Heli Blowout
Posted on March 17, 2016

EB grassroots athlete, Jeff Mintz (jk) is mesmerized by the stark contrast of the blue sky, black trees, white snow, and the flickering shadows that rush past his ski trips en route to Croney Cove

Eddie Bauer guide Reggie Crist always seems to be in the zone when the words heli and extravaganza converge. That was the case in late February for the annual Croney Cove Blowout—complete with thousands of vertical feet of heli-fueled bliss, a serious crab feed and a soundtrack provided by famous musician, and verified heli skier, G Love. Reggie tried to convince us to be part or the party, but we, for some reason, declined. Now that we see his photographic proof, we’ve got a serious case of heli FOMO. There is always next year.  —LYA Editor

Landing 100 yards away from the hot springs.

Words by Reggie Crist, Images by Crist and Tony Harrington

Croney Cove is the ultimate base camp that offers the best of Sun Valley, Idaho. Located just a few miles beyond the ski resort, where the road ends and the hot springs flow, this private ranch is the gateway to the Smokey Mountains.

In the late 1800’s the Cove served as a gathering spot for miners looking for a warm bath and female companionship. The brothel flourished for several decades until the end of World War I when the price of ore suddenly plummeted. Today the clientele no longer seek precious metals or a fleeting one-night stand; instead they seek an intimate long-term relationship with virgin powder fields amongst old growth forest made accessible by the Castle Rock fire of 2007.

From the top of the resort, skiers can legally duck the rope and tour less than an hour to access Frenchman’s Bend, a 2,500 vertical foot amphitheater with a series of steep ridge-lines that finish at the doorstep of Croney Cove. This magical slice of Idaho also sits within the boundary of the largest permitted heli-ski zone in the lower 48, featuring more than a quarter-million acres. So if you don’t want to hike for turns then you can get a little help from Sun Valley Heli and arrange picked up and dropped off at The Cove where clients can quickly transition from ski boots to hot pools overlooking the Warm Springs creek. There is simply no better spot to unwind after a big day in the mountains, especially when my 77 year-old father is barbequing his famous duck hors d’oeuvres.

 

For one week out of the year, The Cove becomes a melting pot of talented folks from different walks of life. This year we kicked off the session by hosting musician, G Love, for his first ever heli-ski experience proving that, ‘G can Ski!’

The action was captured by professional photographer, Tony Harrington, who was kind enough to present a slide show featuring the record-breaking surf that has been pummeling the north shore of Oahu this month. Adding a bit of flare and contrast to the scene were acclaimed artists, Nelson Parish and Dino Columbo, crafting art installations around the property and making sure there was never a dull moment.

And a big thanks goes out to the Stellar guides, Doug Stoup, Tucker Patton, and Danny Jendral, for picking up my slack when I twisted my ankle while carrying a BBQ while setting up for the 100+ person King Crab Party. It’s always a team effort and nobody deserves more credit than my wife, Lola, who is now nursing me back to health while carrying a baby in her belly. Fortunately we ended the week in style as we danced the night away (on one foot) as The Kris Lager Band blew the doors off the barn with special guest appearance from Bryon Friedman. It was a night to remember but now that we’ve all recovered, we’re looking forward to turning my attention northward to Haines for AK season.

The Kris Lager Band, ladies and gentlemen.

Learn more about Reggie’s five-star, rock star heli missions and book a seat in his heli at Stellar Adventure Media.

Author: - Thursday, March 17th, 2016
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  1. Lydia Kendrick

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  2. Eddie Bauer Social

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