SNOWBIRD, Utah (ABC4) — Avalanche danger in the Wasatch Mountains is expected to rise through Wednesday, and sometimes the danger is so high that ski resort guests are required to stay indoors. 

The requirement usually comes in the form of an interlodge event, where guests and employees are confined to resort buildings as avalanche mitigation work is being done.

An email was sent out to Snowbird‘s guests this morning informing them that an interlodge event may happen tonight.  

The communications manager of Snowbird, Sarah Sherman, explained that interlogde happens when there’s so much new snow, leading to elevated avalanche danger to the point it is too dangerous to let guests out of the resort.  

“We expect that danger to ramp up to high overnight, and that means that both human-triggered and natural avalanches are going to become likely,”  said Craig Gordon, an avalanche forecaster with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center. 

When interlodge is in effect, it is illegal to leave the building. Interlodge is typically only in place overnight while avalanche mitigation is underway, and it will lift sometime the next morning. 

“It sounds scary, but it’s actually pretty fun,” Sherman said. “You hunker down in your hotel room, watch the snow falls, and then, when the mountain opens again, you are up here and among the first to get skiing and riding afterward.”

“I think really as a skier, interlodge and the Country Club Day are what we dream for,” said Steve Heicklen from southern New Jersey. “They lift the interlodge at 9 a.m. The road stays closed and we’re up here with only a couple hundred of our best friends skiing some of the best powder in the World.” 

Heicklen was up at Snowbird during an interlodge lockdown in the past year.

Interlodge has already happened earlier this year with one of the bigger snowstorms. It ended up being a multi-day interlodge event. 

“If for some reason the road does not open, and interlodge is still in effect in the morning, we will have straight-line travel periods where you can go and get food, do things that you need to do before Interlodge goes back into effect,” Sherman said.  

On the bright side, the avalanche danger should moderate quickly after the storm. 

“We’re going to move past this pretty quickly, so patience is definitely going to be the ticket over the next few days,” Gordon said. 

He also says that you should always check the latest avalanche forecast for the zone you are traveling in as it is not a one-size fits all forecast. You can check the latest forecast at the Utah Avalanche Center website.