Avalanche at Sun Valley's Bald Mountain

Avalanche at Sun Valley's Bald Mountain

A skier scrubs a turn through powder on Bald Mountain on Saturday.


by Kim Fields


Posted on December 4, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 11:58 PM

SUN VALLEY -- The Sun Valley Ski Patrol reported an avalanche Monday morning.

Jack Sibbach, Marketing and Public Relations Director for the Sun Valley Company, said, "This was a big one."

Sibbach said the avalanche occurred on Lookout Bowl and slid down the length of the mountain. The Ski Patrol noticed the slide and reported it Monday morning.  There is no way of knowing exactly when the avalanche occurred, according to Sibbach.

Sibbach said a pile of snow from the avalanche had gathered at the base of the Seattle Ridge lift.  There was no damage to the lift.

Lookout Bowl was not open at the time of the avalanche and is currently still closed.

No one was injured in the naturally occurring slide.

Sibbach said the resort has received 35 inches of new snow since Friday.  Winds were high and visibility was low on Sunday. In fact, the resort had to close a few lifts Sunday because of high winds.

Tuesday update:

The Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center is reporting considerable avalanche danger in the Sawtooths, along with the North, Central, and South Wood River Valley.

Scott Savage with the avalanche center says two factors are contributing to the avalanche danger.
The first factor, or primary avalanche concern, is a layer of wind affected snow called a "slab" that built up during last weekend's storm.

The second factor, or secondary avalanche concern, is made of two weakened layers in the snowpack buried deep beneath much of the snow in higher elevations.

Savage's most recent report says both avalanche concerns can be triggered either by people, or natural weather factors like wind, rain, and temperature, and may result in medium sized avalanches.

Anyone going into these mountain areas is cautioned to read the avalanche center's full report, and stay below higher elevations with open, exposed slopes.