Idaho, United States
Soldier Mountain is an alpine ski area in south central Idaho in the Sawtooth National Forest. It is 12 miles (19 km) north of Fairfield in very rural Camas County. The summit is 7177 feet (2187 m) above sea level and the vertical drop is 1425 feet (434 m). The area has two chairlifts in series on its east-facing slopes. A handle tow is 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 was added in 1974. Soldier has 1150 acres (4.65 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.
Actor Bruce Willis, a resident of nearby Hailey, is an owner of Soldier Mountain. Willis' company is expected to submit a comprehensive plan for the ski area to the U.S. Forest Service in September 2008, according to staff at the Fairfield Ranger Station.
Four miles (6.4 km) west of Soldier's summit is Smoky Dome, with an elevation of 10,095 feet (3077 m). In between there are several peaks well over 9,000 feet (2743 m), and Peaks 1 and 2 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.