Wishing you were interlodged up in Little Cottonwood Canyon this week? Photographer Noah Wetzel shares his experience, and photos, from right after the longest interlodge in the canyon’s history was lifted.
Photographer Noah Wetzel had been trying to link up with pro skiers Rachael Burks and Megan Dingman for a while, and the opportunity had finally come. Snow was mounting in Little Cottonwood Canyon, so the trio headed up the hill around 10pm Monday night. About 20 minutes later, Little Cottonwood Canyon Road closed due to avalanche danger, and they were officially interlodged at Snowbird for the night.
Eager to get on the hill, Wetzel, Burks, and Dingman got suited up the following morning. “Everyone was by the door, fired up for it to open,” recounts Wetzel, “but continued snow and high winds made it unsafe.” After two hours anxiously waiting in all of their gear, they found out that patrol made the official announcement that the resort would not open.
It would remain closed for the next 48 hours. Everyone in the lodge hunkered down while snow continued to mount and the patrollers worked tirelessly to mitigate avalanche danger.
“Thursday morning, while looking out at Keyhole and Baldy, we saw patrol was running routes on everything,” says Wetzel. “With more snow coming, we knew patrol may try to get us on the mountain early to get some skier compaction on the trails before more snow accumulated.”
They geared up once again and waited for the call. “Conditions were just beautiful,” Wetzel recalls. “The snow was great, beautiful light. Everyone had been trapped inside for so long. It was a pretty funny atmosphere. People were ready to get their energy out. Rachael alone was getting us fired up!”
While the resort was able to open yesterday, the road remained closed, rewarding those lucky few with an uncrowded, bluebird, bottomless powder day.
“They were able to get all this terrain open,” Wetzel says. “It was a testament to the snow safety team.”