Extreme avalanche danger forces closure of Little Cottonwood Canyon


LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON (ABC4 News) – A natural avalanche forced the closure of Little Cottonwood Canyon Monday.

Utah Department of Transportation said the snowfall rate was 5” an hour which causes white-out conditions.

The avalanched was triggered Monday afternoon and spilled into the roadway, but thankfully no one was hurt. At that point, the road through the canyon was closed, resorts shutdown and skiers and snowboarders were instructed to turn around and shelter-in-place at Alta and Snowbird.

It’s referred to as interlodging. People are not allowed to stay in their cars.  Alta officials warned residents and visitors it’s against the law to break the rules when interlodging is in effect.

Officials said interlodge violations carry a potential $1,000 fine and jail time. They said nine arrests, including violations from Monday, were this week.

UDOT continued avalanche control until the road was re-opened just before 6 p.m. The canyon will be closed again at 11 p.m. for additional avalanche control. It has an estimated reopening time of 8 a.m. Tuesday. 

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