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Environment| Environment

Due to the high avalanche danger in nearby Sawtooth Mountains, the Idaho Transportation Department closed State Highway 21 south from Stanley Thursday night.

From Grandjean to Banner Summit, mileposts 93.7 to 105.5, the road is closed. This is approximately 25-35 mile from town. ITD will review the situation at 5:05 p.m. today (Dec. 24).

Avalanche risk was high in the Sawtooth Avalanche Center’s forecast area on Friday. This included the Banner Summit area.

Forecaster Ethan Davis stated Friday that over 2 feet of snow and recent strong winds are pushing a weak snowpack into its breaking point. “Very dangerous conditions exist especially in windier terrain higher up. Today, you could trigger avalanches at all elevations.

Banner Summit Snow Layers

According to the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, four feet of snow sits atop a weak layer of Banner Summit.

“Slides are possibleRemotely activatedFrom the lower terrain, to the top, and down to the sides of steep slopes. Some of these slides can snap trees and encompass the entire season’s snowpack.

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