Snowbird, Alta to go into Interlodge as Little Cottonwood Canyon closes overnight

Feb 21, 2023, 6:52 PM | Updated: 7:02 pm

LITTLE COTTONWOOD, Utah — Snowbird and Alta will go into Interlodge Tuesday night after the Utah Department of Transportation announced the overnight closure of Little Cottonwood Canyon due to avalanche control work.

The announcements came just as skiers and snowboarders were getting in their last runs of the day. By that point, flurries had been flying all day as an intense winter storm moved in.

People like Maria Kuksenkova and her family, who are visiting from upstate New York, were excited.

“They told us that there’s going to be some powder coming,” Kuksenkova said, with a smile. She and her parents, Dmitri Kuksenkov and Hui Su, are staying at The Lodge at Snowbird for a week.

They were happy to see the fresh snow, while keeping an eye on the forecast and alerts. They’ve experienced a canyon shutdown before.

“We were locked in for like two days,” Kuksenkov said.

“It was the first time we came here. We also stay at The Lodge, and then we had Interlodge lockdown,” echoed Su.

It was fun for them, they said, as they listened to the sound of canyons firing off during the avalanche control work. It’s the same work that will happen overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

UDOT will close Little Cottonwood Canyon at 8 pm, and Snowbird said Interlodge will begin at 10. UDOT said there is no timeline for an expected reopening Wednesday morning.

Snowbird communications manager Sarah Sherman explained that they were quick to let guests know about the closure in case anyone needed to change plans and leave down the canyon early.

“When Interlodge goes into effect via UDOT, it’s actually illegal to leave a building up here due to avalanche safety and hazard,” she said. “So when that goes into effect, we take it really seriously. We want you to know what’s happening, to feel informed.”

“Snowbird safety and operations teams have been out all day,” Sherman said.

They will be assessing throughout the storm, staying in communication overnight into the morning to see what tomorrow’s opening looks like.

With the potential for two inches an hour, Sherman described how they could hit a season milestone.

“We are sitting at 479 inches of season-to-date snowfall right now, and we are hoping that this storm will be what bumps us up to that 500-inch mark, which is actually what our annual average is,” Sherman explained.

If this storm does force people to change plans, Kuksenkova said the change is in her skis. They plan to rent powder skis once the lifts open Wednesday, and will be ready to hit the slopes.

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Snowbird, Alta to go into Interlodge as Little Cottonwood Canyon closes overnight