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A slab avalanche in the Sawtooth Mountains Jan. 10.

KETCHUM — It’s time to hone your avalanche skills. The Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center have a full slate of avalanche awareness and introduction to avalanches education programs.

These classes, as well as other avalanche safety programs throughout the state, can be found on the newly-created Idaho Avalanche Education Calendar at

New this winter is the educational series titled “Digging Deeper.” It will be held every other Wednesday at rotating venues in the Wood River Valley. Sawtooth Avalanche Center forecasters will give brief presentations on tools, tricks, technology and other topics of interest — with plenty of time for discussion.

Also, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center will again host a Motorized Level 1 Avalanche Course in conjunction with the Friends of SAC — from Jan. 18 to 20 in Stanley.

For more information on all classes, email

Once there is enough snow, the Avalanche Rescue Training Park at the northwest end of the Baker Creek parking lot on Idaho 75 will be installed. The training park is free and always open; all you need is an avalanche beacon and probe. This is a great tool to improve your avalanche beacon skills.

The ski patrol on Bald Mountain again plans to set up its beacon practice area in the bowls as soon as snow depths permit. This provides an excellent opportunity to practice your skills on skis or board.

Free rescue clinics will be offered at the Baker Creek facility and the Smiley Creek Lodge. For more information, go to Stay tuned for dates and times.

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