Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Avalanche Country. Predicting a Natural Predator’s Behavior

The author studying up on his subject.


Sun Valley is in the heart of avalanche country and as more of us venture into the unknown beyond the area boundary, the more important knowing the conditions becomes.  The Sawtooth National Avalanche Center works long hours during winter months to provide the backcountry traveler with a base of knowledge as to what to expect.

Baker Peak released much of its burden in a massive event last spring.


Nothing bums one out on a great day like dying unexpectedly.  Which is why people like Blaise Reardon are up before you and me, logging weather data and heading out into the field for a first hand perspective.  It’s a labor of love and cold fingers which at its core is one part science and one part alchemy with discretion being the better part of valor.

Blaise Reardon sitting in his office.


The Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center website is a resource available for free to anyone with enough sense to know what is out there before heading out themselves.  It is the site most visited by any skier or snowboarder with an addiction to fresh tracks.  With its complete listing of weather info, avy forecasts and observations as well as links to other helpful resources it is a must when visiting or living in the area.

Blaise gives the snow a good feel up on an early morning mission.


With a limitless amount of backcountry terrain available in all directions, Sun Valley is an untapped frontier of fresh tracks.  Five distinct mountain ranges encircle the region and SNAFC offers a glimpse as what to expect when you venture either under the ropes on Baldy or an all day mission into the wilderness.  

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