SVSEF and Soldier Mountain Partner to Host Downhill Skiing Speed Projects

SUN VALLEY, Idaho – January 28, 2022—In the coming two weeks, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) and Soldier Mountain will co-host the first-ever Intermountain Division (IMD) U14 Speed Project Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 and the U16, International Federation of Skiing (FIS), and Masters Speed Project Feb. 7 – 9 at Soldier Mountain. The events will conclude with a two-run alpine downhill race for U.S. Ski & Snowboard Masters on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Seventy U14 junior athletes will be traveling to Soldier Mountain for the U14 Speed Project from across the Intermountain Division, including Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. The thirty athletes in the U16/FIS Speed Project are members of the SVSEF Alpine Teams and currently 26 Masters athletes will come from the Far West, Intermountain, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific Northwest divisions including California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, to take part in the speed training and race.

“Working with the team at Soldier Mountain to build specific terrain and features, and to develop the downhill track for different age groups and terrain-based learning is an amazing opportunity,” said Will Brandenburg, SVSEF Alpine Program Director and former member of the U.S. Ski Team. “The ability for us to collectively build a safe and reliable place to train and race speed in the United States could be a game changer in this sport.”

Currently in the United States, there are only a handful of venues that build speed tracks for alpine downhill training. Access to train at these bigger resort venues is limited to pre- and late ski season in places like Copper Mountain, CO and Mammoth Mountain, CA; and pared down even more so at venues like Aspen, CO and Schweitzer, ID, where training is typically limited to their race weeks. Venues outside of major ski resorts will be key for this speed discipline of the sport to flourish because of the vast terrain and vertical required to be closed to the general public for liability purposes, and the willingness of the venues to create highly precise terrain builds for the safety of the athletes.

“We want to welcome camps and events with partners like the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation,” said Paul Alden, General Manager at Soldier Mountain. “SVSEF brings extensive expertise and experience and we have the appropriate training ground available—it’s a win-win. Because we’re currently not open Monday through Wednesday, we have the availability to help create meaningful opportunities like this for the athletes and coaches.”

For the past week, Brandenburg and SVSEF U16 Alpine Coach, Trevor Wagner, have spent time on site at Soldier designing and working on the venue with Soldier Mountain’s snowcat driver and groomer, Rob Loveland. Wagner brings extensive experience to the team having worked for U.S. Ski & Snowboard to build World Cup and NorAm venues.

“How we work with the athletes is all about progression and being able to repeatedly ski over the elements we build to understand timing, body movement patterns, and then helping the athletes gain confidence to go faster and jump bigger,” said Wagner. “You can only get that through dedicated runs for speed training and what we’re doing with Soldier Mountain is so unique. We’ll be on winter snow, all day long, and have the entire mountain for the kids to get comfortable with terrain and speed, as opposed to renting lanes for blocks of time, which is the norm at other venues.”

The partnership for this set of training camps is directly in line with how Soldier Mountain is reinventing itself as a friendly, welcoming, and reputable Idaho ski area. The team at Soldier Mountain is the first to say that they don’t deliver the same experience as the bigger resorts. They deliver a different experience and a different vibe at a fraction of the cost, yet it’s customer and quality first all the way around.

“We’re excited to welcome the ski team athletes and Masters skiers here to train and to make this an incredible experience for everyone involved,” continued Alden. “From our world-class training ground to our home-cooked meals and everything in between, we love that we can provide a very personal experience whether it’s for special events like these, or for our ski and snowboard guests throughout the season.”

About Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation

Since its inception in 1966, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation has been a longstanding pillar in the community, providing snowsport programs and offering academic assistance to support student-athletes in reaching their highest potential. SVSEF offers an array of programs for athletes ages five and up, and no experience is necessary to join. The organization offers financial assistance to families, so that anyone who wishes to may participate. For more information, please visit

About Soldier Mountain

Established in 1947, Soldier Mountain is a family friendly mountain resort located near Fairfield, Idaho, at 1043 N. Soldier Creek Rd. in the Soldier Mountains of the Sawtooth National Forest. It is about two hours from Boise, 80 minutes from Sun Valley, and 90 minutes from Twin Falls. The resort offers five mountain biking trails, a skills park, and a nine-hole disc golf course during the summer. In the winter it offers skiing and snowboarding on 35 named trails and a terrain park on the frontside and 2,000 acres of snowcat-accessible backcountry. Soldier Mountain has two chairlifts reaching an altitude of up to 7,177 ft. and a magic carpet. Its lodge restaurant serves homemade fare while The Fox Den Pub provides guests with a cozy spot to hang out after a great day on the mountain. Camping spots are available at the end of the resort’s parking lot at Pioneer Campground and along the road beyond, and motel lodging and vacation rentals are available in Fairfield about 10 miles away. Visit for more information.