Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT, Remains Closed With No Opening in Sight

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The wet avalanche sliding down at White Pine yesterday, filled with debris, illustrates the dangers at LCC. | Picture: Screenshot from UDOT Cottonwood Canyons Twitter Video

State Route 210 through the Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT, remains closed until further notice. The Utah Department of Transportation ‘UDOT’ advises that there is currently no estimated opening time for any travel, uphill or downhill. UDOT closed the Little Cottonwood Canyon for all traffic on Monday, April 10, 2023, after a brief window for downhill travel only that morning. The recent warm weather has made the snowpack in the canyon highly unstable.

Several wet avalanches have been near White Pine Chutes in the last couple of days, and the situation remains unpredictable throughout Little Cottonwood Canyon.

UDOT stresses that travelers need to be prepared for road closures. The unprecedented conditions in the Cottonwood Canyons are currently causing an extreme hazard. Please check UDOT Cottonwood Canyons’Twitter Account or UDOT website regularly for updates.

Monitor either the UDOT website or social media for updates on closed areas. | Picture: UDOT Cottonwood Twitter Account

UDOT uses explosives and artillery to trigger avalanches that threaten public roads as mitigation. Little Cottonwood Canyons Full North Side is closed until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, from Gate B to Grizzly. Please respect closures and check @UDOTavy for updates on avalanche mitigation measures.

UDOT explained the difference between wet and dry avalanches and why these wet avalanches are so dangerous:

“Wet avalanches occur after the sun has done its dirty work and melted the snow, increasing the amount of water in the snowpack. This dissolves the bond between the snow crystals. These slides are like lava flows, occurring during warmer periods.

Dry avalanches occur when new snow is added to the snowpack or under windy conditions where old snow has been deposited in new locations. These often occur during cooler periods and after large storms.”

Check out the incredible footage below from their helicopter of a wet avalanche at White Pine yesterday, April 11, 2023.

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