Little Cottonwood Canyon open again after second avalanche closure in 24 hours

Posted at 11:22 AM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 19:32:38-05

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah – Car after car was turned around Friday at Little Cottonwood Canyon after the second avalanche in the area in less than 24 hours.

The slide temporarily closed the canyon Friday morning, not long after the canyon reopened following a closure prompted by Thursday evening’s avalanche—which buried three parked vehicles at Snowbird.

“We’ve had a lot of snow that’s fallen in the canyon areas, high winds, and temperature variations over the last several days,” said John Gleason of the Utah Department of Transportation. “All of that has created prime conditions for avalanches.”

But for visitors, the past few days were prime for hitting the slopes.

“It’s kind of a bummer because, you know, it’s probably the best snow day of the year, or one of the best,” said David Traina of San Diego.

Traina and his family will head back home to San Diego Saturday after a week of skiing, but not before sitting in traffic for three hours Friday morning.

“We’re about 10 minutes away from our kids going nuts on us because they’re so hungry, so at some point we have to give up and call it a day,” he said.

About five minutes later, that's exactly what they did. But the kids weren't too bummed out

“It was all worth it because the snow is beautiful and it’s such a fun time just skiing everywhere,” Anamarie Traina said.

There weren't any injuries as a result of the slide, but it did take some work to clean up before crews reopened the road in both directions around 3 p.m.

“I think it’s a good reminder that once in a while nature can throw you a curve ball,” Gleason said.