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Idaho ski resort closes due to 'overwhelming' snowfall

Think you can't have too much of a good thing? Tell that to Soldier Mountain.

FAIRFIELD, Idaho — Think you can't have too much of a good thing? Tell that to Soldier Mountain.

The Fairfield ski resort announced that it will be shut down entirely on Tuesday due to "an overwhelming amount of fresh snow." 

A major snowstorm that moved through the area dumped 15 inches on the resort Sunday night, according to general manager Paul Alden, bringing the base depth to over two feet.

That much fresh powder sounds like a skier's paradise, but Alden said recent conditions also make it a threat.  

"It is significant avalanche danger due to the weather," he said. "We have to do what is called run routes - we can't let people get up on the mountain."

Staff are currently using explosives to dislodge the piled-up snow on the steepest slopes and offset the avalanche danger, something that cannot be done safely if visitors are moving around inside the ski area. 

In addition, the heavy snowfall has piled up in "walls" around the ski area's magic carpet lift, which has to be removed by hand rather than with machinery, Alden said.

Soldier Mountain is set to reopen on Wednesday.

"We needed the time to get the work done, and you can't do it with people there," the general manager said. "We just had a lot of snow."

Alden said most people have been understanding about the closure, and asked for patience. 

"You always have one or two grumps," he said. "We are sorry for any  inconvenience, but safety has to be our number one priority."  

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