ALTA, Utah (ABC4) – Another winter season record has been broken after Alta Ski Resort reached a historic 800 inches of snow this season.
The “endless winter” has been particularly kind to Utah ski resorts. Earlier in March, both Alta and Brighton reached 700 inches. The Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Salt Lake City celebrated the occasion by unfurling a banner, showing Utahns just how much 700 inches is.
Now, after receiving over 200 inches of snow in March alone, Alta becomes the first Utah ski resort to surpass the 800 mark. Brighton is not that far behind, however, having reported 798 inches total at 5 a.m. on March 31, with snow still dumping early Friday morning.
The heavy snowfall caused closures to both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon on Friday. According to the Utah Avalanche Center (UAC), the northern Utah mountains including the Salt Lake area where Alta sits are at high risk of avalanche danger. The UAC warns natural avalanches are likely while human-triggered avalanches are very likely.
As a result, Alta Ski Area didn’t open on Friday after surpassing 800 inches, putting an interlodge in effect while avalanche mitigation efforts are undertaken on the mountain.
On average over the last 10 years, Alta Ski Resort has received just over 475 inches of snow total during the winter season. The 2022-23 season has nearly doubled that number and puts Alta within reaching distance of an incredible 900 inches over the winter season.
Alta’s previous snowiest season came during the 1981-82 winter season when the ski resort recorded 748 inches of snow.
According to Alta’s monthly snow totals, the ski resort has averaged about 66 inches of snow through April since 2013. This season’s winter snow totals have surpassed all expectations as snow continues to dump on Utah mountains and break records.
Utah’s statewide snowpack set a record of 28 inches of water in the Snow Water Equivalent as of March 31, surpassing the previous record of 26 inches set in 1983. The impressive snowfall record has helped Utah out of ‘extreme’ drought levels statewide for the first time since June 2020.
Should the endless winter keep coming the way it is, Alta may because the first Utah ski resort to break the 900 mark.