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Avalanche Kills Snowmobiler Near Stanley
Tuesday, March 14, 2023


A snowmobiler was killed by an avalanche Sunday in the Stanley Lake Creek area.

The rider was with two others when the avalanche occurred.

The avalanche caught the snowmobiler while he was climbing a slope. It carried him down the mountain burying him in more than three feet of snow.

Three other snowmobilers witnessed the avalanche and located the victim with the help of a transceiver, extricating him within 15 minutes. But resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.

The avalanche danger was rated considerable at the time of the avalanche. The snowmobiler has not yet been identified.

Idaho has gotten off light in terms of avalanche fatalities this winter until this. Sun Valley Resort is reporting 114 inches at the base of Bald Mountain and 160 inches at the top of Bald Mountain—far higher than normal for this time of year. And the snowpack in the Big Wood Basin is 131 percent of normal. Only the Clearwater area in North Idaho is below normal with 97 percent of snowpack.

The Idaho panhandle and Salmon River area are at 100 percent of normal.

Meanwhile, Warm Springs Road remains closed from the pavement on out due to multiple avalanches. As of Sunday, road crews had cleared five avalanches and were working on three others. Crews will not clear the rest until the avalanche danger has lifted, the county said Monday.

The Della View Subdivision, however, was cleared of avalanches over the weekend. Still, the Hailey Police Department asked residents to avoid the area as there was standing water and ice on West Cedar Street to War Eagle Drive.

Conditions are likely to get worse before they get better. A new winter storm watch is in effect through late Tuesday night with between 9 and 16 inches of snow forecast above 7,500 feet. Three to eight inches are expected to fall on lower slopes and in valleys.

Winds could gust as high as 50 miles per hour in some areas, producing drifting snow and reduced visibility.

Four inches of heavy snow fell on Baldy overnight.

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