Little Cottonwood Canyon reopens after avalanche

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LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON — State Route 210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon reopened Friday afternoon after an avalanche earlier in the day, authorities said.

According to the Utah Department of Transportation, the avalanche occurred near White Pine Lake Trail just before 11 a.m. and the mouth of the canyon was closed for several hours.

The avalanche covered the road with six feet of snow and debris, UDOT spokesman John Gleason said.

Westbound lane had remained open to let drivers down the canyon, but drivers weren't let into the canyon until about 3:15 p.m., when both sides of the road were reopened. Officials lifted a restriction allowing only vehicles with four-wheel drive and chains heading into the canyon 30 minutes after that.

Snowbird Ski Resort tweeted that it had closed its Little Cloud and the Aerial Tram lines.

Big Cottonwood Canyon was also closed for nearly an hour as crews plowed state Route 190. However, that reopened just before noon.

Little Cottonwood Canyon has received more than three and 1/2 feet of snow up at the top canyon — with more Friday.

Friday's road closure left skiers and snowboarders stranded at the mouth of the canyon for hours.

"Every once in awhile we'll have to wait 30 or 45 minutes but we've never waited four or five hours," said Iva Williams, a Cottonwood Heights skier.

Most made the best of it by tailgating and making new friends until the road reopened.

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