A massive storm led to a record-breaking 60-hour shutdown at Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon recently, followed by a day of private skiing exclusively for those already in the area.
Picture a canyon that’s so steep and narrow and gets so much snow that avalanches can come cascading down the mountain and cover parking lots, roadways, and even buildings. That’s what can—and does—happen in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon, the steep, narrow gorge home to the Alta and Snowbird ski areas. The canyon sees an average of 545 inches of snow each year and is one of the most active avalanche zones in the country, with 64 different slide paths.
Last week a series of massive storms dumped 96 inches on Alta and 88 inches on neighboring Snowbird over a handful of days. The storm shut down Little Cottonwood Canyon for a record-breaking 60-hour interlodge, an event in which everyone in the canyon except critical workers are required to stay indoors due to the high avalanche danger.