UDOT reopens Little Cottonwood Canyon after a more than 36 hour closure

Jan 15, 2024, 7:34 PM | Updated: 7:36 pm

SNOWBIRD — Skiers and snowboarders lined up for miles, hours before the Utah Department of Transportation was set to lift a 37 hour closure of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

The canyon was originally scheduled to close for about 12 hours for avalanche danger and mitigation. That closure was extended as the avalanche danger rating was raised to extreme for the backcountry. More than 6 feet of snow fell at resorts like Snowbird.

“We work closely with UDOT and we really admire their decisions,” said Riley Whitney, communications director for Snowbird. “We always want to get folks out on the mountain, but the reality of a big storm is we’re going to do what we can and when conditions don’t allow us to open lifts and train we’re going to make that decision.”

Snowbird and other resorts were also forced to delay openings and limit the number of lifts opening due to peak wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour.

The closure forced the town of Alta and Snowbird Resort into interlodge. Cameron Dickerson was one of the guests at the resort during interlodge. She and her family traveled from Los Angeles to enjoy the holiday weekend at the resort. She said got used to hearing the “bombs” used during avalanche mitigation.

“Surrounded by all my family, it was made a lot easier, playing games and being able to explore for the hotel.”

Snowboarder Jefferson Zia said he was excited for the fresh snow.

“I’m looking forward to just being with my dad and be able to have fun with my have fun with my family,” he said.

Snowbird said teams are continuing to work to hopefully open more lifts tomorrow.

Despite Monday’s opening, UDOT announced an overnight closure from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the backcountry for more avalanche mitigation.

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UDOT reopens Little Cottonwood Canyon after a more than 36 hour closure