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Avalanche Rescues Under the Microscope
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Tuesday, January 5, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Monday’s snowstorm, which covered the area with eight inches of snow, has elevated the risk of avalanches in the Sun Valley area to high—the National Weather Service says slides could even destroy homes.

So, it would seem this is the perfect time for the Sawtooth Avalanche Center to offer yet another presentation educating Wood River Valley residents—and the world beyond—about avalanches.

The Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center are hosting an online presentation looking at how rescue operations work on Wednesday.

The program, “Local Professional Avalanche Rescue: Who, Where, When and How,” will be offered free at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6 on Zoom.

Miles Canfield of the Ketchum Fire Department, Dr. Terry O’Connor, a St. Luke’s emergency physician, and other key players will talk about how organized rescues work and how you can optimize rescuers’ ability to help you.

Since the program is live, audience will be able to ask questions throughout the presentation.

To watch go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87165998644. The link can also be found @sawtoothavy #sawtoothavy

The program is part of the Center’s Digging Deeper Series—this one hosted by Sturtevants in Ketchum.

AVALANCHE WARNING

Between now and then, just look out your window if you want to educate yourself about avalanches.

An avalanche warning is in effect for the Sawtooth, Smoky, Boulder, Pioneer and White Cloud mountain ranges in the Sun Valley area. That includes peaks around Ketchum, Hailey, Carey, Galena Summit, Smiley Creek and Fairfield.

Highway 21 between Grandjean and Banner Summit west of Stanley has been closed as a precaution due to the risk of slides in the so-called “Avalanche Alley.”

Heavy snow and winds are expected to combine to overload a weak snowpack, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters expect very dangerous conditions with natural avalanches large enough to snap trees or destroy homes. Slides could run long distances into flat areas and mature forests, the Weather Service cautions, so skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers should be aware off their surroundings and the potential for a runout.

 

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