Closures Announced After Skier In Sun Valley Injured In Avalanche


By Paul Johnson
By Michelle Milliken

UPDATE: Officials say Warm Springs Road is closed from the end of the pavement just west of Lower Board Ranch. This after a snow slide across Warm Springs Road was reported near Frenchmen’s Bend in Ketchum. The Sawtooth Avalanche Center said the avalanche danger is considerable at this time and may continue at or above this level over the weekend.

Blaine County, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A snowboarder was sent to the hospital Thursday after being partially buried by an avalanche.

The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office says that at around 12:15 p.m., they received an emergency call about a partially buried and injured snowboarder in the out of bounds area on the back side of Bald Mountain.

Search and rescue operations were immediately started by Sun Valley Ski Patrol. At the same time, units from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, Ketchum Fire Department, and Sun Valley Fire Department were en route.

50-year-old David J. Hattula, from Bellevue, was found in a tree well in the Double Ott Shoots, above Boiler Lane in the Lower Board Ranch subdivision of Warm Springs. Sun Valley Ski Patrol brought him to a parking lot, and he was later transported to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center for facial lacerations and possible bone injuries.

The avalanche was believed to have been started when Hattula was snowboarding alone out of bounds. The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a possible out of bounds skiing violation.

Blaine County Sheriff Gene D. Ramsey said, “Given the seriousness of the avalanche conditions, we were extremely fortunate to have a successful outcome. It was a very dangerous situation for our first responders. The backcountry is extremely unstable and will remain so at least through the weekend. We strongly encourage people to stay out of avalanche areas.”

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