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Avalanche

This soft slab avalanche on Jan. 19 was just outside the northernmost boundary of the Sawtooth Mountain Zone near Cape Horn. Skiers intentionally triggered this slide from above. The avalanche was about 30 feet wide and ran 300 vertical feet.

SUN VALLEY — A skier and snowboarder were able to free themselves after being caught in an avalanche they triggered Sunday on Bald Mountain, authorities said.

The avalanche in the Warm Springs Creek drainage was triggered by the two in the sidecountry or out of bounds terrain, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center said in a statement.

The two were carried 100 to 150 yards before being buried by the avalanche, the skier fully under the snow for about 25 minutes and the snowboarder with his head and torso beneath the snow, the center said.

Both were able to free themselves from the snow and neither was seriously injured.

“This was an extremely close call,” the center said in a statement. “These individuals are fortunate they were not seriously injured or killed. The terrain in this area is heavily treed, so most people caught in avalanches here sustain significant trauma. Picture riding a bike downhill at 30 miles per hour and jumping off into a forest — it usually doesn’t end well.”

The avalanche was at least 100 feet wide at about 8,000 feet in elevation.

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center says there is considerable dangerous avalanche conditions at upper and middle elevations as very weak snow struggles to beat the weight of snow from recent storms.

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