26 Jan 2017
What is Interlodge? This is a term most visitors to Alta have never heard before unless they have visited our area in the past. Little Cottonwood Canyon, where Alta and Snowbird are located, receives an average of 500 inches of snow each season. While this is what we all want and why we are considered to have the “greatest snow on earth”, it can also create avalanche conditions. There are many factors that contribute to create an avalanche - just the right combination of snow, wind and temperatures. The Utah Department of Transportation along with several private and public entities operate a “state of the art avalanche forecasting and mitigation program” to keep our community and roads safe in times of high avalanche danger. These people are world renowned and experts in their field.
The mitigation typically involves setting off controlled avalanches to prevent a larger avalanche from occurring. This is accomplished in a number of fashions however, when they are “controlling” an area above a road or the town they will close the road and may implement “Interlodge”. These closures can be localized and only impact portions of the road or town. During these periods, residents and guests of the impacted areas are required to stay indoors until mitigation efforts are completed and it is deemed safe. Most of the time, interlodge travel restrictions and road closures are scheduled in advance and last for a few hours. However, there are rare situations when snow conditions change suddenly and an unscheduled closure occurs.
You will be notified of road closures/interlodge by the Town of Alta or your house/property manager. During times of interlodge signs are placed across doorways and you are not permitted to exit the property. If a closing is scheduled during the ski day – notices are placed on the white boards next to the ski lifts and on signs next to the road. Alta Chalet’s guests who have downloaded our APP to their phones will also receive a text notification.
The goal of the snow safety teams is to keep you safe while allowing you to enjoy the best and deepest powder in the world. You can assist them in doing their jobs by always following instructions when there is a road closure or interlodge situation and be patient – there are times when one area of the canyon may be open while another is closed.
For more information see the Alta Marshall’s letter in your guest book or click on the link below.