Sawtooth Avalanche Center Season Opener



DATE:  November 27, 2017                        

PHONE:  208-622-0095



Sawtooth Avalanche Center Season Opener


The balmy, T-shirt weather over Thanksgiving weekend did not bring back crisp memories of last year’s deep snows, but you can relive the epic winter via our Annual Report at While the past week’s weather created some soggy snow conditions, there’s still enough snow in the mountains to travel on sleds, skis, or snowshoes. If there’s enough snow to ride and slide, there’s enough snow that we need to think about avalanches. Whatever your winter passion, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center (SAC) exists to help you make safe decisions in the backcountry.

We will begin publishing daily Backcountry Avalanche Advisories at on Thursday, November 30th – the first time we’ve ever begun issuing daily advisories in November! Advisories are issued each morning by 7:30 am. They will continue to be available through the web, email subscription, telephone hotlines, and podcasts. On weekday mornings, you can also tune into KECH 95.3 FM or KDPI 88.5 FM to hear a quick summary of the current avalanche conditions.


We launched our new Observations platform! Visit to see firsthand field reports from forecasters, other avalanche professionals, and recreational users. We need to know what you’re seeing when you’re out in the hills, so we also made it easier than ever for you to submit your observations and photos via the ‘Observations’ menu on the website. You’ll also notice a new look to the Danger Rating portion of the advisory products. To improve consistency among the 14 USFS avalanche centers’ products, we are phasing out the danger rose and introducing a “mountain elevation view” graphic to our daily products. You’ll still be able to toggle back and forth between the new look and the old, danger rose view this season.


Have you taken an avalanche course lately?  The Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center (SAC) hired Stacey Ward as their new Education Coordinator. Stacey is charged with increasing the Friends’ Avalanche Awareness and Introduction to Avalanches education program offerings this year. Catch a presentation about memory and decision-making on December 7th at Sturtevants in Ketchum or the next Introduction to Avalanches class on December 14th at 6pm at the Hemingway STEAM School in Ketchum. Visit the Education and Events Calendar on the website for details on SAC and Friends classes and presentations, courses from local avalanche education operations, and events like the 509 Snowmobile Movie Premiere at Wise Guy’s in Hailey Thursday night, November 30th. We’re hosting a Motorized Level 1 Avalanche Course in conjunction with the Friends in Hailey on February 9-11th – call or email us for details. 

Once we have enough snow, we’ll install the Avalanche Rescue Training Park at the northwest end of the Baker Creek parking lot on HWY75. The Training Park is free for anyone to use, and all you need is an avalanche beacon and probe. This is a great community tool for those hoping to improve their avalanche beacon skills – which is all of us! In conjunction with the Friends of the SAC, we plan to offer free Rescue Clinics at the Baker Creek facility and the Smiley Creek Lodge - visit the website and stay tuned for dates and times. The ski patrol on Bald Mountain again plans to set up their beacon practice area in the bowls as soon as snow depths permit. It provides an excellent opportunity to practice your skills on your skis or board.


If you’re out sliding and riding in the hills, please submit pictures or observations via the Observations tab on the website or via email at Hope to see many of you out playing in the hills soon!

Forecasters Scott Savage, Ethan Davis, Matt Wieland, and Intern Forecaster Ben VandenBos


For additional information about the Sawtooth National Forest call 208-737-3200 or visit the Sawtooth National Forest website at and like us on Facebook at.




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