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Idaho ski area closes because of too much snow

Too much of a good thing

Courtesy of Soldier Mountain

It might be hard to imagine for people who love skiing, but an Idaho ski resort has so much snow it’s been forced to close operations Thursday. Soldier Mountain—located about two hours east of Boise, Idaho—has received at least 60 inches of snow since Friday with total snow depths around seven feet.

That much snow has made the avalanche danger very high, and the resort is still digging out and working to make conditions safe for guests. While ski areas in California and the Pacific Northwest frequently close when they get tons of snow, it’s a rare occurrence in Idaho.

In a statement to the press, the resort says, “Due to massive amounts of new snow with increasing density and current extreme avalanche warning in effect, Soldier Mountain be closed Thursday (Feb. 28) as we continue digging out and getting the Mountain safe for skiing Friday through Sunday (Mar 1 - 3).

We still have another foot of snow on the way through Thursday, but Friday is shaping up to be mostly sunny and 27 degrees. Thanks to our employees who have not only been digging themselves out, but also helping us try to stay ahead of this massive storm. Sorry for any inconvenience, we strive to provide a safe fun day of skiing every day we are open and tomorrow [Thursday] will not be one of those days.”

And all the moisture isn’t just hitting Idaho. February is shaping up to be one of the snowiest months in many places in the west. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has had to restrict backcountry access as more than four feet of snow has fallen on the Tetons in the past three days. In Lake Tahoe, many resorts like Sugar Bowl and Homewood Mountain have already passed the 400-inch mark for the season, with Sugar Bowl shattering its all-time February snowfall record.