UDOT prepares for snow; Skiers take advantage

Posted at 6:11 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 20:55:39-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY — Skiers headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon Friday to enjoy the early season snow ahead of another snow storm hitting Friday night and Saturday morning.

Good friends and Salt Lake area residents Bob Strachan and Tom Gallagher say spending the afternoon skiing is something they’ve been doing for decades.

“Just the best snow in the world here, the best snow,”Gallagher said.

Strachan and Gallagher say the best place to be in the winter is in the mountains.

“When the chairs aren’t running, it’s real accessible and you get a lot of good skiing — and it’s safe,” Strachan said.

The two took advantage of the early season snow and hiked up Alta with dozens of other eager snow lovers before skiing back down.

“You’re on a surface where you can just sort of dance around, and if you can find exactly where to carve it, you have your music going and dialing it in, it’s very delightful. I feel like it’s almost like playing an instrument or something of music,” Strachan said.

As they enjoy gliding through the little bit of snow we do have, both are looking forward to seeing more as we head into winter.

“When you hit a nice powder day and everything’s clicking, it’s like, maybe a power boat and a sailboat, I’d rather be sailing,” Gallagher said.

While Gallagher and Strachan spent the day skiing, Utah Department of Transportation crews prepared to keep the roads clean from the next round of snow hitting the state Friday and Saturday.

“Up in the canyons, we’re going to see up to a foot-and-a-half to even two feet in some areas of fresh snow, and Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon, and we could see travel restrictions in place even for Parleys Canyon,” said John Gleason with UDOT.

Southbound U.S. Highway 89 was closed at the mouth of Sardine Canyon in Cache Valley Friday evening. It was reopened about an hour later, but with a warning from Cache County Dispatch: "You will not make it through the canyon without chains or 4x4."

Gleason said plows will be out most of the night and warned drivers to be cautious.

“Even if you don’t have snow tires, make sure that you have proper tread and that you’re ready to drive in these wintery conditions,” Gleason said.

Gleason says the canyons could see the most snow.

“If you have to travel through Parleys Canyon, you may want to adjust those times so you’re not traveling overnight if you’re going to avoid being out there in the snow-packed roads,” Gleason said.

Many of the canyons could see restrictions Friday and Saturday. Drivers should look for updates before traveling.