Idaho slide kills 2 |

Idaho slide kills 2

Bob Berwyn

An avalanche near Soldier Mountain Ski Resort, about 80 miles west of Boise, killed a Washington couple vacationing in a mountain cabin, USA Today reports. The couples’ children and grandchildren, sleeping in a loft in the same cabin, survived the slide, which left a pile of debris about 200 yards wide and 10 to 15 feet deep.According to USA Today, the room where the victims were found was filled nearly to ceiling with snow. The survivors tried to dig the couple out, but then decided to ride their snowmobiles to a neighboring cabin to try and get help. It took rescuers an hour to dig out the victims.Record snows near ShastaThe Mt. Shasta News reports that a two-foot holiday dump in the town of Yreka might be an all-time 24-hour storm total record. Historical records show only 10 snowstorms dropping 10 inches or more in the northern California city.Nearby ski areas also benefited from the wet Pacific system, as the Mt. Shasta Board and Ski Park reported 24 inches of new snow in 24 hours. But too much snow forced the closure of the Mt. Ashland Ski Resort, just north of Mount Shasta. Officials said snow grooming machinery was not able to operate because of heavy snowfall.World War III?London’s Sunday Telegraph reports that residents of Chamonix (France) are fed up with a British invasion and have decided to fight back.According to the Sunday Telegraph, British citizens are buying apartments and starting businesses generally acting like &quotthey own the place,&quot according to Chamonix critics. In response, locals have taken to spraying offensive graffiti in very public places, including shopping centers, on automobile hoods and on the walls of British-owned businesses. Tires have been slashed and glue and matchsticks have been pushed into door locks, according to the Sunday Telegraph.Even a local official, no less than the director of tourism, calls it &quotEnglish economic imperialism,&quot and says he wants the British to come visit for a vacation and then go home again. He claims that local real estate agents now cater to 70 percent British clients and that property prices have climbed 40 percent as a result of the invasion.Hesperus Ski Area open for businessIt may not be Colorado’s biggest ski area, nor the fanciest, but little Hesperus Hill, a few miles west of Durango, has the tastiest homemade Rice Krispy bars in the cafeteria. And the Durango Herald reports that Hesperus is open for business, providing a friendly neighborhood ski experience for the many ranching families in the area, as well as residents of nearby Durango and Cortez.The little area has only one lift, but it does offer night skiing, with a few steep and twisty runs cut through the scrub oak. Set back a short distance from the base of the San Juans, Hesperus also provides unsurpassed views of the nearby La Plata Mountains.Snowmass council eyes petitionA citizen petition that would require voter approval for projects exceeding height and density maximums outlined in the town’s comprehensive plan is up for review by the Snowmass Town Council, the Aspen Daily News reports.The petition was submitted to the council last month in response to a proposal from Intrawest, which has partnered with the Aspen Skiing Co. to redevelop the Snowmass base area. The Canadian resort development company recently scaled back its plans for residential and commercial development at the ski area base, but some citizens including a Pitkin County commissioner who helped organize the petition drive think it’s still too big, according to the Daily News.Backers of the petition expect the council to reject their bid, but the Daily News reports that town officials will still have to schedule a special election on the issue.Telluride moves on condemnationThe Telluride Town Council took another step toward condemnation of the Valley Floor last week, ordering its attorney to begin preparing the documents necessary to take the matter to court, the Telluride Daily Planet reports.The Valley Floor land has been at the heart of contentious battle pitting would-be developers against a community determined to preserve open space at the outskirts of the small San Juan town.Legal preparations are expected to take several months before the proceedings actually begin in court, according to the Daily Planet.’Chest deep’ at TargheeA holiday snowstorm that brought snow to much of the northern Rockies was particularly kind to the Tetons, where skiers and boarders enjoyed chest-deep freshies between Christmas and New Years, according to the Jackson Hole News and Guide.Bridger-Teton forecasters reported that 51 inches of snow fell at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort during the last few days of 2003 and the beginning of 2004, while Grand Targhee reported 48 inches of snow in a single 24-hour period during the same storm. The resort issued dozens of &quotsnow checks&quot to guests because the snow was simply too deep for many guests, according to the News and Guide.Teton Pass was closed for avalanche control work for a time, and highway crews had a chance to try out their new automated Avalanche Guard system to trigger controlled slides in Glory Bowl, a popular backcountry ski destination. In fact, highway officials warned backcountry skiers that the change in avalanche control routines affects some other popular ski terrain on the pass, where crews historically have used howitzers to trigger slides. With the new automated system, those chutes are no longer blasted.East West helpspreserve Tahoe landVail Valley-based East West Partners is partnering with an conservation group in Lake Tahoe-area land preservation efforts, the Sierra Sun reports. Under the terms of a recent agreement with Sierra Watch, East West will designate .5 percent of every real estate sale in Northstar Village toward purchasing open space in the Martis Valley, according to the Sun.Several conservation groups including Sierra Watch have threatened to sue over a development plan for the Martis Valley, a residential subdivision near the resort area straddling the California-Nevada border. East West is a major player in that plan, according to the Sun.Sierra Watch still plans to go to court over the development plan, but under the agreement with East West, the group signed off on the Northstar Village part of the plan.

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