Threat of avalanche closed Little Cottonwood Canyon

Posted at 10:40 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-24 10:18:06-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah - Avalanche danger closed Little Cottonwood Canyon for most of Monday, skiers, boarders and employees at Alta and Snowbird given only a two hour window in the afternoon to drive down.

"There was a pretty impressive avalanche slide, evidently one did hit the road this morning and their were trees broke all over the place and huge piles of debris," said Russ Grimm after driving down with his family.

Not everyone came down during the window when the road was open. Some are employees, who planned to stay the night.

"We're looking at about 37 inches out of this storm at the base, 48 inches mid mountain and we honestly don't know how much we have up top or in Mineral basin because we haven't been able to get there yet," said David Amirault, Director of Marketing at Snowbird. Amirault talked to us via Skype from Snowbird late Monday afternoon.

Resort employees at Alta and Snowbird were informing skiers all day about the canyon status, but some chose to stay the night.

"Some people did not want to leave because tomorrow is probably going to be one of the best powder days Utah's seen in the last few years," said Amirault.

If the ski runs are safe, they may have much of the resorts to themselves.

UDOT is estimating the canyon will re-open at 9:00 Tuesday morning at the earliest, depending on avalanche conditions.