Outdoors Blog

Sun Valley to re-open Bald Mountain on Saturday

UPDATE: Sun Valley will re-open Bald Mountain on Saturday after a two-day closure because of avalanche danger. The Sawtooth Avalanche Center issued an extreme warning Thursday but dropped that to high on Friday.

Dollar Mountain was able to stay open.

Soldier Mountain Ski Area in Fairfield also was closed Thursday-Friday and expects to re-open Saturday.

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Original post on Thursday:

Sun Valley Resort closed Bald Mountain on Thursday because of an extreme avalanche danger rating from the Sawtooth Avalanche Center.

Dollar Mountain remains open.

Sun Valley has received 50 inches of snow in the past five days, according to the resort. Now warmer temperatures, freezing rain and high winds are in the forecast, creating a dangerous mix. Sun Valley’s high temperature is expected to hit 40 degrees or higher five of the next seven days.

[Related: Bogus Basin announces season pass prices for 2017-18]

Avalanche mitigation is ongoing at Bald Mountain, which will be re-opened when the area is deemed safe.

“This is somewhat rare for Bald Mountain to be closed,” Sun Valley spokeswoman Kelli Lusk said. “Sometimes we have a one- to two-hour delay for early-morning avalanche mitigation, but this is a unique snow situation with the heavy snowfall, freezing rain and higher temperatures.”

When an avalanche center posts an “extreme” warning, the recommendation is to avoid avalanche-prone terrain.

“Large, natural avalanches are certain,” the Sawtooth Avalanche Center posted. “Stay off and far away from steep slopes while this storm runs its course.”

Soldier Mountain Ski Area announced Wednesday that it would be closed Thursday because of rain and flooding concerns. Soldier Mountain also is within an extreme avalanche warning. The ski area announced Thursday that it will be closed Friday because of avalanche danger and rain. Soldier Mountain expects to re-open Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Payette Avalanche Center in the McCall area has posted two high warnings (level four out of five) — in the areas around Tamarack Resort and Brundage Mountain Resort, plus the mountains east of McCall.