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Storm delivers tough road conditions, significant snowfall at Utah resorts

Posted at 8:58 PM, Dec 12, 2022

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — A winter storm moving through Utah on Monday was a welcomed sight for skiers and riders, but created some difficult conditions on roads.

“It looks like we’ve got a thin layer of ice underneath a top layer of snow and it just caused the canyon road to become too treacherous," said Sgt. Mike Hill with Unified Police Department, who tended to Big Cottonwood Canyon on Monday. “You can come up and everything looks good, and while you’re up there skiing, a storm comes in and then it's too dangerous for you to come down.”

A number of crashes and slide-offs in Big Cottonwood Canyon mid-afternoon forced the road to close to uphill traffic for a few hours. Utah Department of Transportation crews worked to clear snow and ice as the crashes were being cleared. UPD is encouraging drivers to be prepared with the proper tires and requirements if they plan to travel in both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon, especially while the "traction law" is in effect.

“Everybody’s moving slow — some people that probably shouldn’t be driving up in there," said Dana Kuglin, who was skiing at Brighton Resort earlier in the day. "That’s why it took us an hour to get out."

Traffic resumed with a steady stream of uphill travel as Brighton officially opened its night skiing for the season.

“This has been amazing since day one. It’s been like a full month of this, and we’re loving it. You look at the conditions up there — it can’t be beat," said Brighton Resort spokesman Jared Winkler. “You know, I’m hoping every Monday is a powder day. Last Monday was a powder day, this Monday’s a powder day, so hopefully next week let's plan on it.”

Other resorts, like Snowbasin, were able to open much earlier this season due to the ample early-season snowfall.

“This storm has been huge for us. We topped out at 18 inches on the day," Snowbasin Resort's Michael Rueckert said. "This early snowfall allowed us to be open earlier than we ever have before, and this snow allows us to open more lifts.”