Alta and Snowbird opened today for the first time since a 60+ inch storm tore through the Wasatch earlier this week, leaving them closed for days due to high avalanche danger. With Little Cottonwood Canyon still closed for avalanche mitigation, the lucky souls already there were treated to their own private resort with 60″+ of fresh powder to play in.
However, around noon a natural avalanche on neighboring Mt. Superior broke outside the Snowbird boundary and crossed inside, coming to a halt near the resort’s open Chickadee trail.
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Immediately, ski patrol began combing the debris pile with probes and avalanche dogs in search of any potential burial victims. At the same time, Snowbird and Alta went into interlodge, meaning everyone in the vicinity was moved indoors and prohibited from going outside. After a thorough search, Snowbird later reported that no one was buried by the slide, writing in a social media post describing the ordeal:
“A naturally-occurring avalanche that started on the south facing, lower section of Mt. Superior (outside of Snowbird boundaries) ran across SR-210 and onto the western edge of Snowbird’s Chickadee trail.
The Chickadee lift and trail were open at the time of the avalanche. We are taking every measure possible to confirm that no guests or employees were impacted, including the use of Avalanche Rescue Dogs, RECCO technology and a probe line.
The Snowbird Village is now in Interlodge.
3:24 pm UPDATE:
Snowbird teams have completed a full search of the incident site and have confirmed that no guests or employees were caught in the debris caused by an avalanche that was triggered outside of Snowbird’s boundaries.”
Snowbird’s quick responsiveness by its ski patrol in this scenario was impressive. Thankfully, no one was caught in the avalanche.