Winter

US Air Force / Flickr Creative Commons

People flying in and out of Sun Valley have had a difficult time this winter with flights regularly being diverted or canceled due to winter weather conditions.

The chairman of the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority, Ron Fairfax, calls this winter the worst he’s seen in 20 years.

Data from the airport shows 30 flights were diverted between December 4 and December 26. Just two flights were canceled.

Richard Carter / Flickr Creative Commons

While Idaho residents are lamenting heavy snowpack and icy roads, wildlife in the state have been struggling in the backcountry.

Idaho Fish and Game officials told the Post Register that the tough winter will likely mean higher mortality rates for elk and deer that are coping with heavily crusted snowpack.

Charles Peterson / Flickr Creative Commons

The past week's unprecedented cold and snowfall have shattered weather records across eastern Idaho.

Enough snow fell in Pocatello to more than triple the previous record. Set in 2008, the old December 16 record was just three inches of the white stuff. Last Friday’s storm dumped a whopping nine-and-a-half inches of snow on the Pocatello Airport.

Charles (Chuck) Peterson / Flickr

Tuesday’s snowfall was just a preview of events to come. Another storm is moving into the Treasure Valley, which could disrupt traffic Thursday afternoon.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Elizabeth Padian  says there’s a warm front moving in from the Pacific Coast.

“With the cold air that we had this morning and today trapped here in the Valley and the Snake River Plain, that’s going to allow that warm air from the warm front to override over that colder air, produce precipitation and it will be in the form of snow here in the Valley,” says Padian.

Bogus Basin's Plan To Keep The Mountain White

Dec 18, 2015
Jessica Murri

It’s a cold morning at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area without a single cloud in the sky, but that doesn’t keep snow from piling up on the slopes. That’s thanks to a brand new SMI Super Polecat snow gun, blowing thousands of gallons of water into the freezing air.

“Since November First, we have used 800,000 gallons of water through the snowguns . . . so that’s enough to cover one acre of ground with a foot of snow,” says Director of Mountain Operations at Bogus Basin, Nate Shake.

Jon Preuss / Sawtooth Avalanche Center

This week, an avalanche on Bald Mountain injured a skier who was out of bounds at the Sun Valley ski resort. When it happened, the avalanche danger in the area was “high,” which means human-triggered avalanches were likely.

Every day, snow science experts from the Sawtooth Avalanche Center head out into the backcountry to figure out the severity of avalanche danger.

Ridge to Rivers Facebook page

Heads-up intrepid Boise foothills hikers, bikers and runners: time to find an alternate route for your cardio adventures.

The recent rain in the Treasure Valley has wreaked havoc on the trails, making them soft and muddy.

Trail managers are encouraging people to check conditions before they head to the hills this winter. Here's the link to updated trail conditions and alternatives (Boise River Greenbelt, 8th Street Road and Rocky Canyon) from the city's Ridge to Rivers system.   

Courtesy Robin Rausch

For the fourth-straight year, Meridian chef Rich Brown won the top prize at the Idaho state snow sculpting competition in McCall, creating a 14-foot circus elephant in just three days.

The McCall competition is one of two sculpting contests held at the winter carnival each year. Local businesses host a themed contest, the state competition is later in the week. Brown took part in both and picked up first prize in the state competition.

He and his two teammates chose to sculpt a circus elephant. "It turned out very well," says Brown.

Torch Magazine / Flickr

After two years of planning, a snow park will open Saturday for tubing and snowboarding in Eagle.

The City of Eagle and the park’s developer, Ryan Neptune, had been trying to get the park underway for two years. But they clashed with Ada County, which owned the land and said a commercial operation wasn’t allowed under the lease agreement.

The city finally bought the property from the county earlier this year, and gave the green light to the operation.

Bogus Basin, ski
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 3:15 p.m. Nov. 14:

Those who operate Bogus Basin ski area say they're now "in wait-and-see" mode. Snow totals have been on the low side of forecasters' predictions for the mountain.

General Manager Alan Moore says the ski hill needs three or four more inches of packable snow in order to open a limited number of runs this weekend.

"At this point, without more snow, we're not opening," Moore said Friday afternoon. "And as of right now it's not snowing."

Thanks to late-season snow that fell at many area Cascade ski areas will welcome skiers and snowboarders well past Easter.

snow, avalanche, sawtooth
Mark Westerdoll / Sawtooth Avalanche Center

Winter and early spring in the West means it's avalanche season. Several avalanche warnings have recently been in effect for parts of south central Idaho. And at least 17 people have died this season, including a Bellevue, Idaho man.

Bogus Basin, ski
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Next year’s Bogus Basin season passes went on sale this week. For skiers who buy before Monday, $229 will get them unlimited access to the ski mountain next season. Alan Moore, executive director of the non-profit attraction north of Boise, says prices are staying at the same level as this year.

The 2013-2014 season has been mixed, Moore says. Like many ski hills in Idaho, Bogus had pretty thin snow for a while.  But Moore says it’s also had a lot of sunny days that have drawn people out of the often hazy valley.  

Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.

If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.

"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.

yellowstone, winter, bison, snowcoach
Yellowstone NPS / Flickr Creative Commons

Yellowstone National Park is reopening for the winter.

Starting Sunday, the north, west and south entrances to the park will be open commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches.

The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room and gift shop will open for the season on Dec. 20 and the park's east entrance over Sylvan Pass is set to open Dec. 22.

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