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Silver Mountain makes changes to its operations after deadly avalanche

"You do not go through an event like last year without reviewing your whole system and how you could improve," Silver Mountain operators wrote in a statement.

KELLOGG, Idaho — Silver Mountain Ski Resort is making some changes to its operations after a deadly avalanche hit the mountain last January. 

Three people died and four others were injured after an avalanche on the black diamond 16-to-1 run on Wardner Peak on Jan. 7, 2020. The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center released a report saying a skier may have unintentionally triggered it. 

"You do not go through an event like last year without reviewing your whole system and how you could improve," Silver Mountain's general manager wrote in a statement to KREM. 

One of those changes includes a new weather center on top of Wardner Peak that will give the resort hourly readings on snowfall, water content and wind. 

Avalanche transceiver checkers have also been installed on top of Chair 2 and Chair 4. Chair 4 is the lift that takes skiers up to the 16-to-1 run. Transceivers emit a radio signal that makes it possible for rescuers to detect people trapped under the snow. 

The resort is also expanding its avalanche dog program with a new addition: Roger, the black lab puppy, named after a longtime member of the ski patrol. Roger will help rescuers search for survivors in the event of another avalanche. 

Silver Mountain lifts are expected to open for the first time next week since the pandemic brought ski season to an end. 

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