Ski Resorts Shut Down After Major MLK Jr. Day Snowstorm

While the snow on MLK Jr. Day was plentiful in the cities–causing it cancel several parades including ones in Sugar House and at Utah State University–it was even greater up in the mountains and, specifically, at the Snowbird and Alta Ski Resort area. At roughly 1:30 p.m., a natural avalanche hit Little Cottonwood Canyon–which, thankfully, had already been closed. However, those trying to drive down the canyon near the ski resorts were instructed to return to Snowbird and Alta and stay inside.

Alta Logo

Thankfully, Utah Ski Resorts are well aware of the potential issues presented by the large snowstorms the state often gets, and how severe they can be up in the mountains. “The intensity of this storm was stronger than forecasted, but we’re prepared for situations like this.” Brian Brown, the resort communications manager for Snowbird  stated. “In a situation like this when the roads are impassable, Snowbird has the means to accommodate people.”

Snowbird lgoo

The restrictions were loosely lifted that evening at around 6:00 PM, allowing individuals owning cars with either four-wheel drive or chains to safely make their way down the canyon and back to their housing. The avalanche was so severe, however, that any other individuals weren’t able to safely take themselves home until 8 AM the following tuesday morning. And, on top of that, an avalanche warning has persisted in mountainous areas until 6:30 AM Wednesday morning.

While these natural disasters can be devastating, it’s amazing that we now possess the technology and means to effectively and precisely determine the risk of something as severe as an avalanche; and take the necessary precautions to prevent any major damage. And–with social media and radio–we’re now capable of communicating that information to nearby individuals efficiently and effectively.

Ski Staff

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