Whether it snows a little or a lot across Idaho each winter, one thing you can count on is a succession of snow slides along notorious “avalanche alley” in District 3. The 11-mile section of Idaho 21 between Banner Summit and Grandjean Junction, called Canyon Creek, has 54 avalanche chutes along its steep slopes, contributing about 90 percent of the state’s avalanches.
On Dec. 2, the ITD Avalanche Office conducted a one-day refresher for District 3 & 4 personnel at the Lowman Fire Station. The avalanche training began with a detailed Power Point presentation explaining the different types of avalanches, how to mitigate them and how to conduct rescue efforts.
Emphasis was on the Idaho 21 corridor. In addition, two meteorologists from the National Weather Service based in Boise presented an overview of how they collect weather data, and how that data is combined with information from ITD’s weather stations to more accurately predict avalanches.
The afternoon session included hands-on practice in the use of avalanche beacons, probes and rescue devices. More than 20 ITD employees attended the course. Employees who completed the training are sanctioned to enter the Canyon Creek Corridor during closure periods.
Know more about Idaho 21 and the avalanche corridor: