A Snowbird snowday.
Located on Highway 210 (known locally as Little Cottonwood Canyon road), Snowbird is known for its amazing snow and steep terrain. Snowbird averages over 500" of snowfall a year and Highway 210 holds a Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Highway Avalanche Hazard Index of 766, the highest in North America. Because of the avalanche challenges that Little Cottonwood Canyon faces during large snowfalls, it's important that Snowbird Ski Patrol and UDOT perform mitigation work on the resort and highway to keep skiers and visitors safe.
What is an Interlodge Event?
An Interlodge event is when snow levels are so great and avalanche danger is so extreme that patrons and employees of Snowbird are confined to resort buildings while avalanche work is being done. During Interlodge, road access to Snowbird is shut down as well while UDOT performs avalanche work on it. An Interlodge situation, while a rare occurrence, is performed in the interest of everyone's safety. During an Interlodge event, travel outside of the buildings at Snowbird is illegal. This includes being in your vehicle.
Depending on snow conditions, an Interlodge event can last anywhere from an hour to an overnight stay. Most Interlodge events last only a few hours and are pre-planned, controlled situations between Snowbird and UDOT. Much of the pre-planning for Snowbird involves notifying guests so that those who need to leave the canyon have time to do so. Snowbird has multiple systems in place to notify guests of an upcoming Interlodge.
Staying Updated During an Interlodge
- @SnowbirdAlerts Twitter: Up-to-Date news and alerts for Interlodge protocol, road conditions and lift openings/closures.
- Mountain Report: The Current Conditions section will report on hazardous road conditions, closures and Interlodge proceedings.
- Under the Alta town ordinances, violating Interlodge is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail.
Although many Interlodges are planned ahead based on incoming snow forecasts, massive storms and rogue avalanches have resulted in multi-day Interlodge conditions. During overnight Interlodge events, Snowbird will still work to resume normal Tram and lift operations for the next morning. A small convoy of key resort personnel may be allowed to travel up the canyon at this point, but chances are the greater public will be delayed from arriving at Snowbird as Highway 210 is prepared for safe travel.