Friday, August 23, 2019
Sun Valley’s Snowmageddon-Deep Stuff
A winter wonderland emerged as the snow began to let up Sunday on Baldy.
Monday, February 11, 2019


Is there such a thing as too much snow?

Deep snow that cascaded around some skiers’ waists had some wondering that Sunday as skiers flocked to Sun Valley Resort following a storm that dumped at least 30 inches of snow over a 24-hour period.

Ridge looked like a war zone as skiers and boarders’ heads peaked out of deep holes they’d fallen into and couldn’t get out.

A man went to sleep with a clean car Saturday night only to find it covered come Sunday morning.

But there was no tow truck available, with ski patrollers busy doing avalanche control.

Skiers and boarders found 18 fresh inches of snow had covered even groomed runs. And the snow was so deep that they were sure to stall if they didn’t point their sticks straight downhill.

It was definitely harder work than the day before when skiers and boarders cavorted in knee-deep powder.

But no one was complaining.

Sun Valley’s 30-incher has been making headlines around the area.

“The snow took its time getting here,” said one skier. “But this is worth it.”

The Ski Patrol opened Bald Mountain at 9:45 a.m. Sunday after throwing explosives at slopes above cat tracks and lifts, leaving charcoal-colored craters in the snow.

“Look at those skiers,” one woman said, as she watched skiers come down the South Slopes from her spot on the Frenchman’s Chair. “They’re barely moving but look at all the snow swirling around them!”

“I saw some of the skiers Skiing the Rails yesterday and they looked like snowmen,” said Scott Chamberlain, referring to Saturday’s Nordic tour from Ketchum to Hailey.

The storm cycle that started Friday night brought Sun Valley Resort’s ski total to 101 inches on the year by Sunday morning.

And it snowed steadily through the day until about 2 p.m. when the sun and blue skies finally managed to stage an appearance.

The snow appeared to be quite localized, however, with Sun Valley and the Soldier Mountains near Fairfield getting nearly three feet of snow, while Galena Summit got about 16 inches and the Sawtooth Mountains only a few inches.

Forecasters for the Sawtooth Avalanche Center said the avalanche danger is “considerable” in the Smoky and Boulder mountains.

Even on wind-sheltered slopes it’s likely that recreationalists can trigger a two – to four-foot deep avalanche involving the new snow, forecasters said.

Three long avalanches released during last weeks’ snowstorm above the Proctor Loop at Sun Valley Nordic Center but did not travel far enough to endanger skiers.

On Sunday morning, at least a couple people reported the tall walls of snow they’d shoveled or blown off their driveways sliding.

Lynne MacKenzie, who works in guest services for Sun Valley, predicted today’s skiing could be “epic.”

“With the Bowls not opening on Sunday, think of what it’s going to be like!” she said.

COMING UP: Snow shovels and snow blowers will be back in action today as another round of snow returns. Today’s may only bring three to seven inches. A storm on Tuesday could bring another three to six inches. But a storm on Wednesday could bring as much as five to 11 inches.

Sun Valley’s trademark sun will likely return on Thursday.


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