Extreme avalanche danger in Sun Valley area

Extreme avalanche danger in Wood River Valley.

SUN VALLEY - The Sawtooth Avalanche Center has issued an extreme avalanche warning for the Sun Valley area. The center says the danger level is so high right now that the public is urged to avoid all avalanche terrain.

An avalanche warning is in effect through 7 p.m. Friday. The combination of heavy snowfall, strong winds and rain is creating extremely dangerous avalanche conditions. Officials say this type of avalanche activity is extremely rare, it occurs every 20-50 years. Avalanches could be much larger than have been seen in decades.

Former KTVB reporter Shannon Camp lives in Blaine County and says she saw a Ketchum police officer stopping vehicles on Warm Springs Road handing out flyers to warn of the extreme avalanche danger.

"He said 'that means we know it will slide, we just don't know when or where. When in an avalanche area please remain inside a car or building,'" Camp said.

Bald Mountain was closed for skiing until avalanche mitigation is completed. Dollar Mountain was open Friday for skiing and riding.

Sun Valley has received 50 inches of new snow in the past five days, and combined with the warmer weather and freezing rain, has forced the resort to close Bald Mountain due to the extreme avalanche danger. Officials say the ski hill will reopen as soon as it is safe.


Shannon also tells us that snow on the roof of the Tamarack Hotel in downtown Ketchum slid off Friday morning, burying several parked cars. East Avenue remains closed while crews dig out the cars and clear the snow.

Here are some links to the latest mountain updates from Sun Valley Resort:

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And visit the Sawtooth Avalanche Center's website for avalanche and mountain weather updates.

Several other ski resorts in southern and central Idaho also shut down their lifts on Thursday due to weather issues. Pomerelle Mountain Resort closed because of high winds and rain; Soldier Mountain was closed Thursday after a flood warning was issued for the area, and announced Thursday that the closure would be extended through Friday.

And Tamarack Resort shut down its lifts due to "extremely unawesome weather."

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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