This avalanche was triggered in the Alturas drainage over the weekend after the slide was released from a nearby ridge.

Following two weekend slides, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center and National Weather Service on Monday issued a backcountry avalanche warning for the Wood River Valley and Stanley, in effect until Wednesday morning.

Two avalanches were triggered Saturday by recreationalists in the western Smoky mountains, according to the Avalanche Center—one behind Smiley Creek Lodge in Mill Gulch and another in the Alturas drainage region. No one was caught in either slide, the center reported.

Heavy snow showers continued across much of central Idaho Monday afternoon and evening, with the Wood River Valley and surrounding mountains receiving between 8 and 16 inches of snow. While the skies cleared Tuesday afternoon, very dangerous avalanche conditions persisted in the Sawtooth, Smoky, Soldier, White Cloud, Boulder and Pioneer Mountains—including Banner and Galena Summits—due to the heavy snowfall and winds overloading weak snowpack.

The Sun Valley Resort also temporarily suspended uphill hiking on Bald Mountain Tuesday while Sun Valley Ski Patrol crewmembers worked to mitigate avalanche danger with artificially triggered slides.

Motorists should continue to be on the lookout for natural avalanches, according to the NWS.

“Some will be large enough to snap trees or destroy a wood-frame house,” the service stated Monday. “Slides may run long distances, into flat areas and mature forests.”

For more detailed information, visit sawtoothavalanche.com.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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