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Outa Bounds

January is off the charts with powder dropping weekly at rates not measured in decades. The 136 inches recorded in December is the highest total in 40 years for Little Cottonwood. Today the canyon was closed again with Highway 210 blocked by avalanche debris in multiple slide zones. And the howitzers of Alta and Snowbird serve as siren calls to every powder skier within earshot in the pre-dawn hours. But the avalanche artillery is a story for another day… No, faithful readers of Canyon Blog, this month’s installment is all about the pristine powder that lies tantalizingly just beyond the [...]

First Tracks

If you’re a reader of this space then you know that happiness can be found at ten thousand and 12, feet and inches that is. Your loyal correspondent is pleased to share that if you’re one of those then the 2022/23 ski season is well under way. To commemorate the first 50 inches of snowfall, and in the interests of thorough investigative journalism, Canyon Blog spent the past week in pursuit of first tracks at both Snowbird and Alta. As you can see, the base is not only enough already to establish a great foundation, it excludes any artificial snow [...]

An Interview with Alta’s Lift Operations Supervisor Shannon Corey

Your correspondent had the opportunity to sit down with the most important person on Alta’s mountain if you’re here to ski. What got him thinking about this interview was Alta’s splicing of cable on the Collins chairlift this summer. More on that in a moment. But first, our interview subject. Shannon Corey is a fourth generation non-LDS Utahn who learned to ski from the Albion lift when she was seven. In addition to the usual mountain upbringing she played the piano from an early age (hold that thought because we’ll come back to it). After completing a degree in anthropology [...]

The Perfect Oktoberfest Day

Snowbird’s tribute to the German festival has entered its 50th year. To celebrate half a century of beer and brats and, lest we neglect, the polka, and what's become truly a Little Cottonwood institution, one must come up canyon. The question becomes, how does one experience Oktoberfest to the fullest while simultaneously dodging the largest crowds? It’s a good question, and one your correspondent has spent years in crafting his response. First, there’s the parking consideration. Oh wait, that doesn’t apply to you because you’ll be enjoying the best digs in the canyon thanks to your reservation with Canyon Services. [...]

Alta’s Six Pack

Summer 2022 is a season of significant change or so it seems. First there was the excitement (and drama) of Snowbird’s tram car swap, which is up and running thankfully. Now it’s Alta’s turn to crank the improvement competition up a notch. Your correspondent sat down with Alta Ski Lift general Manager Mike Maughan to learn just what’s up in the upper reaches of Little Cottonwood. He started big. “Covid highlighted a number of things for us in the past two years. One being lift congestion especially on Sunnyside. Even when we’d run Albion chair it didn’t disperse the crowds [...]

Something Old, Something New; Something Broken, Something Blue

As the saying goes… The new tram cars have arrived at Snowbird. New Red Arrives! In late May, after traveling all the way from Olten, Switzerland by way of exotic Port of Houston, both cars were on hand and waiting to be swapped out. Unfortunately, on May 29th amidst a dusting of late season snow there was an incident and “New Red” was damaged during the first car swap, permanently removing it from transporting happy skiers to the top of Hidden Peak. Old Blue sitting above New Blue Canyon Blog sat down with Snowbird general manager [...]

2022-06-18T18:14:11+00:00Local Flavor, News, Outdoors|

Porcupine Pine Party

This month Canyon Blog thought he’d touch (gently for reasons soon to be obvious) on one of his favorite and most overlooked Little Cottonwood residents, the porcupine. The idea occurred to him last week while skinning up Albion basin between the summer road and Catherine’s area on a sunny and uncrowded day. Minding his own business and generally enjoying the quiet mountain solitude your correspondent stumbled into the forest havoc remnants of erethizon dorsatum (the scientific name for the north American version). As you can see, when a porcupine decides it’s time to party pine style, they mean business. What [...]

2022-04-13T18:47:05+00:00Local Flavor, Outdoors|

Interlodge: A History

Ever wonder what Interlodge actually means? Wonder no more. This month’s blog is dedicated to providing answers to all your questions and to help you not only weather that term’s storms but to enjoy your mountain experience to the utmost should you find yourself a part of the Little Cottonwood Canyon experience known as Interlodge. What the term means: It actually refers to the limit placed on residents and guests when inside  town limits (or Snowbird properties) with regard to traveling between lodges, homes and resorts. In other words, you cannot travel between them. The word inter literally means between. [...]

Welcome 2022!

The holidays have ended, and with them the crowds that converged in Little Cottonwood. Venturing out after self-imposed exile, because he’s writing another book, Canyon Blog emerged into the sunlight on January 3rd to check conditions at Snowbird. He’s happy to report (and share photos) that there were zero lift lines to be found anywhere in the resort. Even the tram had no waiting for those interested in walking onto the first appearing car. Do note that Snowbird still requires double layer face coverings to ride the tram and also anywhere indoors or dining. However, on the chairs you can [...]

2022-01-04T01:03:45+00:00Local Flavor|