Utah resorts close after storm dumps 7 feet of snow – watch lucky skier get first tracks when they reopen

Powder skiing in Verbier
Two Utah resorts were affected by the emergency measures, which place a ban on going outside (Image credit: Craig Paterson, Justbefilms)

Skiers in Utah who have been praying for powder this winter might have got a little more than they bargained for when a massive storm cycle brought so much snow that a ban on going outside went into effect.

The mountain town of Alta went into so-called Interlodge restrictions on Sunday, which means that guests and employees of ski resorts are legally banned from leaving buildings while avalanche mitigation takes place and in this case, it also meant road closures blocking access. Alta Ski Area and Snowbird both closed temporarily as a result, meaning powder hounds had to wait to chase the 84 inches of new snow that has fallen since January 4.

However, after 34 hours, Alta reopened yesterday, posting a video of lucky one skier enjoying some very tasty looking turns. The video, which you can watch below, shows skier Ross Tester apparently in need of a snorkel as he floats down the slope under welcome blue skies.

If you're skiing in Utah, you might be tempted to hike up the mountain and catch yourself some freshies during an Interlodge, but these measures are not a suggestion; it's a legal requirement and failure to comply may result in a hefty fine and prison time.

In-bounds avalanches do happen, and just last week a skier was killed in one at Palisades Tahoe Resort in California, so it's important to give crews time to make the mountain as safe as possible.

If you are heading out into the deep stuff, read our pro tips for powder skiing confidently, undergo avalanche training and always carry (and know how to use) and avalanche beacon, shovel and probe.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.