[All photos courtesy of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department]
An avalanche near Frenchman’s Bend Hot Spring just outside of Sun Valley buried a full-sized SUV last week. Luckily, the person inside was able to get out but the photos are still terrifying.
The Blaine County Sheriff’s Department is warning automobile drivers to be prepared for avalanches if they are driving in terrain that is precipitous to sliding. The Sawtooth Avalanche Center went on to reinforce that message by issuing a warning concerning the widespread layer of weak, faceted snow that exists in the snowpack currently.
“Slabs sit on weak layers of sugary snow in many areas. Triggering a deadly slab avalanche remains likely in the Smoky/Boulder, Wood River Valley and Soldier zones. Sun-induced loose snow avalanches are possible in extreme terrain on the south side of the compass.” – Sawtooth Avalanche Center
Bottom Line… [Sawtooth Avalanche Center]
“Over the weekend a widespread slab avalanche cycle occurred at all aspects and elevations. In the days following the storm multiple human-triggered avalanches were reported. What didn’t slide awaits a trigger – don’t be that trigger. Even the smallest slab avalanche you get tangled up in will be large enough to kill you. Loose snow avalanches are possible today as sun warms the snow near rocks and cliffs in extreme, south-facing terrain.”
Find updated avalanche forecasts here: Wood River Valley Avalanche Bulletin