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Feb 24th Alta

This post is a day late, but better late then never. When I think back on Saturday, Feb 24th I’ll think of one thing and it won’t be powder or blue skies. It’ll be TRAFFIC. I have never seen the canyon as full of people and cars as it was yesterday. From what I understand, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office closed the road to Alta at Superior. Our little hamlet at the end of the road was packed to the gills. I’ve fought this notion for several years (ever since the dual pass between the Turd and Alta came into play crowds have been exploding), but now I’ve come to accept the harsh reality of the situation in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

The Alta many of us remember is gone forever. You know, the place where you could ski a bus run and hitch hike back to the lift with the first pickup truck that passed by. Or how about the place where on a Wednesday mid-week in February after a two foot dump you could still get a place to park half way back in the lot at noon. The terrain will always rule, the snow will always be the lightest; but the thing that has changed is that anytime there is a foot or more of snow, the Goldminer’s Daughter parking light at the Wildcat base is packed and over flowing.

Not to press this too much but here are some other points of interest in regards to the traffic situation on Saturday:

  1. Traffic was backed up on the Exit 6 off ramp from I-215. I even heard at one point cars were lined up on the interstate waiting to get off Exit 6. The off ramp is about two miles from Big Cottonwood and around six miles from Little Cottonwood for those that aren’t familiar.
  2. The other way into Little Cottonwood, via 94th South in Sandy, had traffic backed up four miles. Cars were stopped in line with skis on roof at the Smith’s grocery store on 9400 S and 2000 E.
  3. I got on the road to head up at around 10:30 am and I was in a 15mph crawl the whole way up.
  4. I left the canyon at 6pm and it took me over hour to make it to the mouth in a reverse order traffic snake from what I saw going up.

Now for the skiing report :) As you can imagine Collins was packed, so I took an inordinate amount of Ho laps off Wildcat. The Wildcat chair’s line was pretty much non-existent compared to Collins. I skied Keyholes and four runs to Powder Ridge and walked back to Wildcat. The powder was real nice and real deep. Although I didn’t get to my favorite terrain for the majority of my laps, I did get a couple of Highboys and a couple off Eddies. Also skied one run in West Rustler on the spine. So all in all, the skiing was pretty damn good but I wouldn’t sit in the traffic I sat in both ways for it again.

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2 comments to Feb 24th Alta

  • jen

    Your car was part of that traffic wasn’t it? Be part of the solution not the problem ;)

  • GBM

    Jen, Thanks for post. Actually, I have been advocating lift access to the Cottonwoods from Midway/Heber. It’s a lot of terrain to cover but I am sure they can handle it! Please help ;)

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