Wet winter means more digging out, prep work for ski resort employees

Mar 9, 2023, 12:40 PM | Updated: 1:05 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Before many Utahns were awake, Solitude Mountain Resort’s employees were at work, clearing all of this snow that has continued to hit Utah and preparing to open.

The resort’s snow total this winter is just under 600 inches. Wednesday’s snowfall added to the count.

“It’s just such a rare day to get a bluebird powder day so we knew we had to be on the lift early,” said skier Mary Oneglia.

Early birds get the first runs of the day, but before they line up, a lot of work has to get done.

After a storm, employees will come into work to find more fresh powder, piled high. Before anyone can walk, drive or ski anywhere, they need to clear it.

Lift operations director Casey Hall gets to work around 6 a.m. every day.

“The lift mechanics head out on the hill, they get the lifts going, they’ve got (maintenance) checks they’re performing on all the lifts,” he said.

While the rest of us shovel our driveways, this team shovels an entire resort daily.

“It’s been endless, endless it seems like,” Hall said.

Resort employees have to battle traffic, road closures and slick conditions, too.

“This last Sunday was a pretty rough day just because what was going on in the canyon, plows were having issues,” he said. “We normally will have anywhere upwards of 40 liftees here to get the lifts ready and we had seven.”

Snow or shine, those liftees are busy shoveling and clearing snow off of eight lifts, top to bottom.

“You get something shoveled off and then the next morning you come back and you do it all over again,” Hall said.

While they clear the snow, ski patrol is busy up on the mountain peaks doing avalanche mitigation work.

“We’re just hearing the blasting,” Oneglia said. “It started at 5 a.m. We’re watching the snowcats doing the grooming over the moon rising.”

Employees said they’re used to the snow, but this record-breaking wet winter keeps them extra busy, and sometimes start times can be delayed.

“We love what we do so, it can be some frustrating mornings, but in the long run it’s a fun job,” Hall said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rar...

Paulina Aguilar, CNN

Preschool teacher finds rare fossil along Oregon coast

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rare fossil of an extinct animal.

3 hours ago

(Courtesy: Ogden Utah Fire Department) The aftermath of the fire...

Carlysle Price

Ogden mobile home fire claims lives of a cat and dog

A one-story mobile home caught fire Friday night near Wall Avenue, where four people and three pets were affected. 

3 hours ago

A man stands near what was discovered to be a well that opened up in a Spanish Fork man's Driveway....

Brianna Chavez

Spanish Fork homeowner finds old well under his driveway

After years of gradual change in one Spanish Fork homeowner's driveway, a well was discovered after part of the concrete caved in.

16 hours ago

Michael Cook, who was running for the Republican nomination for Spanish Fork's District 25 senate s...

Carlysle Price and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Former Senate candidate charged for refusing to leave a USPS while gathering signatures

Former Republican candidate Michael Cook is facing two charges after allegedly attempting to gather signatures in a federal building on March 29.

17 hours ago

FILE: A Summit County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle. (KSL TV)...

Alexander Campbell

Multiple Summit County businesses affected by counterfeit scheme, one arrested in connection

After reports of businesses being passed counterfeit money, one man is arrested in Summit County and facing drug and forgery charges.

18 hours ago

Green grass and wildflowers grow as a cyclist rides on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the foothi...

Carter Williams

Salt Lake City hits 1st 80-degree day of year, ties 88-year-old record

Utah's capital tied an 88-year-old temperature record on Friday as the high temperature at Salt Lake City International Airport surpassed 80 degrees for the first time this year.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Wet winter means more digging out, prep work for ski resort employees