Postcard from... Sun Valley
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Wednesday 11 June 2014
Just off a picturesque road between two multimillion-dollar properties in the Idaho resort of Sun Valley are the remains of the world’s oldest surviving ski-lift.
You’d be hard pressed to identify it as such, as remains isn’t much more than a shed, an iron frame and a trail of supporting pylons stretching up the mountainside. But it is a little piece of history.
Today, Sun Valley is best known for a media conference that takes place every summer, and is attended by everyone from Tony Blair to Mark Zuckerberg. But it began life as the first dedicated US winter resort, established in the 1930s by W Averell Harriman, chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad and a keen skier. He modelled it on the Swiss towns of St Moritz and Davos but in 1936 he added a modern touch: three electric chairlifts to carry skiiers up the slopes.
The contraption still visible beside Fairway Road may be the world’s oldest surviving ski-lift, but it is no longer working, because the resort long ago moved its ski operations. Its place in history is preserved, however, at the Sun Valley Lodge hotel, where a corridor off the lobby is lined with photographs of famous early guests on the slopes, including Mary Pickford, Ernest Hemingway, Ginger Rogers and Gary Cooper.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an awa...
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...