Avalanches Shut Down Little Cottonwood Canyon

Avalanches Shut Down Little Cottonwood Canyon

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Sam Penrod ReportingTwo avalanches shut down Little Cottonwood Canyon for about two hours today, one near Alta where authorities searched for the possibility of a person trapped under the snow.

Avalanches Shut Down Little Cottonwood Canyon

Two separate avalanches, one near White Pine, the other near Alta at Hell Gate. Both happened between about two and three o’clock this afternoon. The warm temperatures combined with all of the snow over the weekend made the canyon very unstable.

The Hell Gate slide prompted a search because a skier reported he thought he saw another skier trapped in the snow as the avalanche hit. No one was reported missing at Alta, but authorities took no risks.

Sgt. Rosie Rivera, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department: “What we’ve done is called out search and rescue. We also have different crews from Alta and Snowbird that have been out searching. They’ve done a avalanche beacon search. Tests have not found anything negative, telling them there may not be a skier buried.”

Searchers looked for several hours, but found no signs anyone was trapped. The search was called off after no skiers were reported missing.

The canyon was closed for about two hours while authorities conducted avalanche control further down the canyon. They’re warning anyone planning on going into the back country in the next couple of days, to check with the avalanche forecast center to be sure the snow is safe.

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