Alta interlodges as avalanche mitigation continued into Monday morning

Jan 14, 2024, 10:15 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2024, 6:05 am

ALTA, Salt Lake County — The town of Alta remained interlodged late into Sunday night due to the holiday snowstorm.

The Utah Department of Transportation reported good progress in Little Cottonwood Canyon throughout the day. Crews worked on avalanche mitigation; slides crossed the road in multiple areas, leaving debris and more to clean up.

At the Alta Ski Area, similar efforts were made to clear snow and mitigate avalanches. Visibility was low and winds were high Sunday morning, making snow removal dangerous.

A worker plowing the snow in Alta. (KSL TV)

Warren Williams, a ski lift operator in his 11th season at Alta, helped clear the snow surrounding the lifts.

“The first thing we’re usually doing out there is to get out the snowblower, shovels and digging the lift out,” Williams said.

They run the lifts for ski patrol, working on avalanche mitigation while skiers and residents remain interlodged.

“We had 60 mph winds, and it felt like the building was shaking at points in time,” Williams said.

Winter conditions as 60 mph wind blows against Alta. (KSL TV)

Alta’s mayor, Roger Bourke, said the town takes interlodge very seriously.

“We don’t want anybody injured, and we don’t want anybody trapped,” Bourke said.

Signs on doors in the buildings remind those interlodged that going outside could result in a fine. Bourke cautioned those tempted to leave their house before interlodge is officially lifted.

“It’s not only for your safety but for the safety of the community,” he said. “That’s what we’re after here.”

He expects the interlodge could be lifted by late Monday morning, but it all depends on how much wind and snow they get up the canyon Sunday night. All parking reservations at Alta Ski Area were canceled and will be refunded.

A sign warning visitors to not go outside or face a fine. (KSL TV)

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Alta interlodges as avalanche mitigation continued into Monday morning