Little Cottonwood Canyon still closed due to high avalanche danger

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS (ABC4 News)  Avalanches across the Wasatch are the big concerns Friday. Especially, in the Little Cottonwood Canyon where it remains closed down for the second day. 

Mac Charvala caught the power and force of an avalanche on video outside the Goldminer’s Daughter Lounge at Alta Ski Resort, completely swallowing cars and everything in its way.

Alta and Snowbird effectively shut down because of the unpredictable snow.

“You know nature is in charge and all we can do is be patient,” said Brian Brown, the Snowbird Communication Manager. “With the storm that we received on Monday versus the storm that blew in on Wednesday, it was two different types of snow that we received.”

That snow dry and fluffy followed by wet dense snow. 

“Our patrollers call that upside-down snow,” he added.

UDOT crews caught an avalanche in action with their cameras too.

Officials telling ABC4 News at least three natural avalanches that hit the road near White Pines. 

Brown said, “On top of that we were seeing 100 mph winds yesterday at Snowbird. Even this morning the winds were somewhere between 62 and 94 mph.”

A rare weather event causing all guests and personal of the resorts into interlodge procedures. 

“Everybody is inside, everybody is safe, and then UDOT has all the time and space they need to continue doing the work in the canyon,” he says. “If you had an existing reservation, we would certainly extend that through the interlodge time, and we do have some of our restaurants open. We do have all of our facilities open so, everybody have food, water, and drink.” 

Officials giving a word of caution Friday, stay out of the backcountry because of high avalanche danger.

UDOT does not have a time table on when they will get the Little Cottonwood Canyon open. All hope is that it will be Saturday morning.

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