Sun Valley, Idaho Conditions Report: Fresh Pow Over the Weekend

Michael Dunning | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report
First real powder turns of the season in Sun Valley. Photo: Michael Dunning
First real powder turns of the season in Sun Valley. Photo: Michael Dunning

Like many resorts on the west coast, the ski season is off to a slow start here in Sun Valley, but the conditions have been surprisingly good. Thanks to one of the most sophisticated snowmaking systems in the world, while the surrounding area has been dry and brown, we have been skiing over 3000 vertical feet of good quality snow since early December.

Seattle Ridge from Mayday Chair. Photo: Michael Dunning
Seattle Ridge from Mayday Chair. Photo: Michael Dunning

The majority of the mountain was open before we received any significant snowfall, and last weekend a winter storm finally arrived to bless us with much-needed new snow. With Baldy receiving around a foot of new snow over three days, most of the mountain is now open. The bowls and the south slopes are going to need a few more storms to fill in. After a few days of powder skiing, most of the fresh snow is skied out but conditions remain excellent.

Lots of new runs opened after the weekend's snowfall. Photo: Michael Dunning
Lots of new runs opened after the weekend’s snowfall. Photo: Michael Dunning

High pressure has moved in and Sun Valley will see blue skis and mild temperatures for the next week at least. The mountains just north of Sun Valley received up to 30” of snow from the last storm, and it’s finally looking like winter in Idaho. The weekend’s new snow drastically increased the avalanche danger, with the Sawtooth Avalanche Center reporting “considerable” avalanche danger in the Smoky, Boulder, and Sawtooth mountains. Backcountry skiers and riders have reported multiple natural and remotely triggered avalanches in the last 72 hours.

Best to stick to low angle terrain in the backcountry right now. Photo: Andrew Dunning
Best to stick to low angle terrain in the backcountry right now. Photo: Andrew Dunning

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