Little Cottonwood Canyon reopens after avalanche control work; Sundance closed Monday
SALT LAKE CITY — Crews with the Utah Department of Transportation have reopened Little Cottonwood Canyon after finishing avalanche mitigation work, and Sundance Mountain Resort announced it will remain closed Monday due to power outages.
UDOT closed Little Cottonwood Canyon Sunday as a massive winter storm hit Utah, dropping several inches of wet, heavy snow.
Sundance led most resorts with 4 feet of new snow, while Brighton and Alta received over 3 feet.
Please be patient while the road & avalanche crews work.
— UDOT Cottonwood Canyons (@UDOTcottonwoods) January 1, 2023
Avalanche control work continued throughout the weekend, as seen in the video above, with Little Cottonwood Canyon finally reopening Monday morning. Crews wanted to remind drivers that the traction law will be in effect and they should expect major delays.
A line of cars stretched along Wasatch Boulevard for nearly 3 miles before Little Cottonwood Canyon reopened, and Big Cottonwood Canyon reported a large volume of cars heading up the canyon.
— Matthew Johnson (@KSL_Matt) January 2, 2023
Sundance announced on its Instagram stories that it will remain closed Monday while Rocky Mountain Power crews work to remove downed trees and restore power to the area.
Resort parking lots fill up fast
Several resorts in the Cottonwood canyons reported running out of parking before 10:30 a.m. Monday.
Snowbasin said it anticipates running out of parking “due to recent snowfall, delayed openings at neighboring resorts and the holiday.”
Deer Valley and Park City also reported full parking lots Monday morning.
Resort officials urged skiers and snowboarders to consider riding Utah Transit Authority ski buses, which are running Sunday service schedules due to the holiday.
The second ski bus of the morning pulls up to a bus full of people (about 1/3 resort employees), with no room for any of them. The next one is also full.
This is life with 30-minute headways. The cottonwoods are broken. pic.twitter.com/pWJyhBxadb
— Taylor W Anderson (@TaylorWAnderson) January 2, 2023
Winter weather wrecks havoc on Utah roads
State troopers responded to over 200 crashes in Utah on Sunday, while dozens of slide-offs and crashes were reported Monday.
Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Terry Buck said they had to call in more troopers on the holiday.
“We’re still seeing people traveling at high rates of speed – 70 miles plus – in these conditions,” he said, adding that it “isn’t safe, especially with all the slush and ice buildup.”
They responded to five times the number of crashes and double the number of calls compared to a normal day, he said.
In Morgan County, a hit-and-run crash involving a semi-truck sent a UDOT snowplow driver to the hospital and flipped the snowplow on its side.
First responders said the driver’s injuries were not considered life-threatening, and they urged drivers to never pass a snowplow on the right.
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