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New Avalanche Explosives Work Backcountry Closure Procedures Going Into Effect


Original Post
Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135

Feel free to discuss the New Avalanche Explosives Work Backcountry Closure Procedures Going Into Effect for LCC and BCC:

utahavalanchecenter.org/blo…

SLCA is aware of the procedures and are, as well as others working with the Forecast Center and UDOT to modify them as there are several parts that are clearly not going to work.

Rob T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10

Unfortunately necessary w the increase in use in recent years. In the early days most of the people touring that early knew the UDOT forecasters and where they were likely to be working on a given day.

It'll be interesting to see the unintended consequences as these crowds shift to BCC. I'm guessing parking at the Spruces and Donut will often fill up before 6 this year.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

I am new to touring and SLC. What are the consequences of this?

Boissal · · Small Lake, UT · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,315
Rob T wrote:It'll be interesting to see the unintended consequences as these crowds shift to BCC. I'm guessing parking at the Spruces and Donut will often fill up before 6 this year.
It's already impossible to park at Buttler Fork past 5:30AM on a powder day... Those Short Swing laps sure are popular.

An 8:30AM opening time is clearly pushing the definition of dawn patrol, this is going to affect a lot more people than the early-morning crowd. I imagine the number of days when the LCC line starts at the 6200S exit is going to go up astronomically.

But hey, as the UDOT post states, shit could be even worse - and probably will be at some point in the not so distant future:

UDOT wrote:If this revised plan does not work, more restrictive closures may be needed.
Guess that's what you get when WW2 artillery is used for avi control.
BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245

Grog: I think Rob is saying that if LCC is closed in the early morning it could shift the Alta dawn crowd to BCC which is typically less crowded in general. I think the unintended consequences would just be more traffic in the Mill D area. I personally don't think this will be that big of an issue I can recall several days last year where 210 was closed till 8am and I didn't notice that big of an increase in traffic in BCC. There is plenty of terrain in BCC so as long as you open your mind past Mill D you can find plenty of solitude and powder. BCC just doesn't offer as many quick tours that can be done before work so the short ones could and probably will fill up fast if 210 is closed.

Edit Note: Yesterday morning I saw several unified police to stop access to trail heads around Broads Fork when coming down from Mill D. So it appears that this could also affect some access in BCC as well. There were at least 6 Unified Police that I saw at trail heads from the S-curves down through Storm Mountain.

BigNobody · · all over, mostly Utah · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 10

Oh hell yes! Since my old bones need more sleep these days this is excellent news. I do like me some mid morning freshies!

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135
grog m wrote:I am new to touring and SLC. What are the consequences of this?
The consequences are being issued a citation by the sheriff.

BrokenChairs wrote: Edit Note: Yesterday morning I saw several unified police to stop access to trail heads around Broads Fork when coming down from Mill D. So it appears that this could also affect some access in BCC as well. There were at least 6 Unified Police that I saw at trail heads from the S-curves down through Storm Mountain.
Yesterday UDOT bombed Stairs and put into effect a closure from 8pm Tuesday to ~10am Wednesday

I should note that the original blog posting only notes LCC, but UDOT is applying the time closure period 8pm-10am for specific locations like that mentioned above.
Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,772
Boissal wrote: It's already impossible to park at Buttler Fork past 5:30AM on a powder day... Those Short Swing laps sure are popular.
Hey, newb, I think Short Swing is out of the Mill D North parking lot.

Consequences? I'm more of a dusk patroller, but, it would mean, since I live and work in Sandy, a longer drive in those mornings where I'm inspired to get out of bed early.

The parking lots for Little Cottonwood will see less action especially the White Pine trailhead. I'll have to wait until 9am to make sure that up track is already broken...(ha ha).

From the Chuting Gallery:

straightchuter.com/little-c…

Funny pic of B-rad...!
Boissal · · Small Lake, UT · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,315
Brian in SLC wrote: Hey, newb, I think Short Swing is out of the Mill D North parking lot.
Zing!! I meant Circle Awl. Fortunately neither of these piles is worth getting up at 5AM so I don't plan on losing much sleep over the increased traffic.

I'm more concerned about big pow days in LCC and not being able to get started early though. I'm rarely at the trailhead past 7:30AM if I plan on getting after it and that extra hour coupled with the fact that the canyon traffic really blows up around 8AM is going to create some interesting bottlenecks. I imagine showing up 5 minutes late in this situation can mean getting stuck at the 7/11 instead of the turnoff to La Caille and the last parking spot at the WP trailhead being gone before you get there.

I'm also confused by the blanket closure on the S side. If this is really about opening the road on time while ensuring no BC skier is exposed to the Howitzer you could just keep Scottie's off limits and let people tour further West out of White Pine...

Bottom-line: it costs a lot less to fuck over a hundred BC skiers a day than it does to delay the opening of Alta-Bird. Decisions were made accordingly. Pretending that anything else is at play here is pure hypocrisy. It if were really about safety UDOT would also close BCC instead of lobbing shells at people sitting on top of Bonkers while trying to get Stairs to release. Same goes for anything on Kessler. Having seen what real avy control looks like in Europe this situation is equal parts amusing and depressing...
Rob T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10
Brian in SLC wrote: Hey, newb, I think Short Swing is out of the Mill D North parking lot.
Damn straight, the Butler TH is overrun bc of the always safe Butler Trees(if it's too dark to see the terrain trap on the approach it doesn't exist, right?)

I pointed out the other lots bc they're the bigger ones that are likely to take more of the load in the future. Butler, Argenta, Bear Trap and the other small pull outs are a crap shoot regardless of time of day. As for current crowding, my 6 mo only allowed one early morning last season but I got one of the last spots in the spruces at 6:15 that day. Happy to hear if that's not generally the case.
Austin Baird · · SLC, Utah · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 95

The Alta marshal can't enforce this outside of Alta city limits, so it would fall to the county. Going through the county's code, I have a hard time seeing how UDOT can be empowered to close the areas. The code doesn't authorize state agencies to close off areas.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,772
Boissal wrote: I'm more concerned about big pow days in LCC and not being able to get started early though. I'm rarely at the trailhead past 7:30AM if I plan on getting after it and that extra hour coupled with the fact that the canyon traffic really blows up around 8AM is going to create some interesting bottlenecks.
Yeah, for days you want to skin up to Flag, Days Fork, Silver Fork, Cardiff, Cardiac...etc...gonna suck. Welcome to the red snake.

White Pine is still upcanyon from Little Pine, White Pine, Maybird Coulor and Tanners though. What about Y Coulior?

Of more interest to climbers...what's the conga line on the Great White Icicle gonna do? I don't think they control that far down canyon, but, if there's a closure at the bottom, will folks be able to send Cold Duck when it comes in (like, once every 18 years?). How you gonna scratch up Beckey's in your 'pons, brah?

Good times here in the Wasangeles...
Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,772
Austin Baird wrote:The Alta marshal can't enforce this outside of Alta city limits, so it would fall to the county. Going through the county's code, I have a hard time seeing how UDOT can be empowered to close the areas. The code doesn't authorize state agencies to close off areas.
Note pic on Andrew's site of B-rad gettin' a ticky from the Sheriff. Edit to add...I guess he was ordering a latte. Still...bummer to have that confrontation.

I got threatened with an arrest for skiing the Microwave face. Ugh. Created a public hazard I did. Such a menace. I think daytime heating and point releases were the bigger issue but who was I to argue?
Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135
Boissal wrote:I'm more concerned about big pow days in LCC and not being able to get started early though. I'm rarely at the trailhead past 7:30AM if I plan on getting after it and that extra hour coupled with the fact that the canyon traffic really blows up around 8AM is going to create some interesting bottlenecks.
I think you are misunderstanding some of the closure. If UDOT puts one of these closures in place the goal is to keep people out of the BC before the road is closed at 6am. Currently, if one wants to beat the road closure and the Alta Marshall one needs to at the trailhead by ~5:45am. (IME if the Marshall see's ya with 15 minutes of the closure they will order you inside.) So unless you are heading up at 5:30 am or so yer gonna get stuck in line regardless.

Of course one could drive to White Pine before the road closes and hang out in the parking lot until 8am. Which would technically not violate the closure.

Boissal wrote:I'm also confused by the blanket closure on the S side. If this is really about opening the road on time while ensuring no BC skier is exposed to the Howitzer you could just keep Scottie's off limits and let people tour further West out of White Pine...
Because people park in White Pine and go across the Hwy to ski the big south facing shots which do get shot. So the goal is to keep anybody from parking in the lot. Of course that does not address those that might be camping up high or even those napping/camping in their vehicle.

Austin Baird wrote:The Alta marshal can't enforce this outside of Alta city limits, so it would fall to the county. Going through the county's code, I have a hard time seeing how UDOT can be empowered to close the areas. The code doesn't authorize state agencies to close off areas.
Closures will go through the Sheriff ...
Boissal · · Small Lake, UT · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,315
Brian in SLC wrote:White Pine is still upcanyon from Little Pine, White Pine, Maybird Coulor and Tanners though
Agreed. The closure makes sense to protect people sitting in their car below these slide-paths, not to protect a BC skier from artillery shells. But really, when you're driving up there at 5AM before they do their control you're not at higher risk than when you're driving back down in April after the S facing chutes have baked in the sun all day.
It's unfortunate that people can't police themselves otherwise touring out of White Pine in certain areas could be allowed.

Brian in SLC wrote:What about Y Coulior?
Closed. No more Instaspray of 4AM ascents. The closure extends to the mouth basically. I imagine if Lisa Falls went really really big you could be screwed when parked across the street for the Y.

Brian in SLC wrote:Of more interest to climbers...what's the conga line on the Great White Icicle gonna do? I don't think they control that far down canyon, but, if there's a closure at the bottom, will folks be able to send Cold Duck when it comes in (like, once every 18 years?). How you gonna scratch up Beckey's in your 'pons, brah? Good times here in the Wasangeles...
No more idiots pummeling each other with ice while soloing the GWI? They certainly don't control anything below Lisa Falls but why bother with thinking before enacting a blanket closure?
Boissal · · Small Lake, UT · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,315
Allen Sanderson wrote:Closures will go through the Sheriff ...
I wonder how the sheriff is going to handle people who enter the ridgeline buffer zone from BCC. Ticket everyone who's parked at MillB / Mineral / Cardiff if one person pops up on the ridge anywhere between the top of the Twins and Superior??
Granted they did snowmobile up to Cardiff to ticket people skiing the Hallway onto private property a few years ago so anything is possible. I can't wait for more motorized patrols in the canyon on top of having to listen to the braaaapers and the heli...
oldfattradguuy kk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 170
Allen Sanderson wrote:Feel free to discuss the New Avalanche Explosives Work Backcountry Closure Procedures Going Into Effect for LCC and BCC: utahavalanchecenter.org/blo… SLCA is aware of the procedures and are, as well as others working with the Forecast Center and UDOT to modify them as there are several parts that are clearly not going to work.
I am sure this is a really big problem for all of the rock climbers out there on 15 degree dark cold snowstorm mornings......
Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 1,546

Just wait until they install the toll booth in LCC and start charging for parking in BCC...

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,772
oldfattradguuy wrote: I am sure this is a really big problem for all of the rock climbers out there on 15 degree dark cold snowstorm mornings......
Sending temps, duder.

You haven't see the tarps and portable space heaters by the boulders in the winter? Or helped someone unstuck their car at the Gate?

Dawn patrol on the Scruffer? No big as the hike is short from the park-n-ride. But any other climbable ice in the canyon? If LCC is closed at the bottom...it would effect climbers and last I checked ice climbers are climbers too. Yay that the SLCA is involved.

Cheers.
paintrain · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 75
Brian in SLC wrote: Sending temps, duder. You haven't see the tarps and portable space heaters by the boulders in the winter? Or helped someone unstuck their car at the Gate? Dawn patrol on the Scruffer? No big as the hike is short from the park-n-ride. But any other climbable ice in the canyon? If LCC is closed at the bottom...it would effect climbers and last I checked ice climbers are climbers too. Yay that the SLCA is involved. Cheers.
If it has snowed so much that they have to do control work, then why would you go ice climbing?

Priorities people.
Boissal · · Small Lake, UT · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,315
Allen Sanderson wrote: I think you are misunderstanding some of the closure. If UDOT puts one of these closures in place the goal is to keep people out of the BC before the road is closed at 6am. Currently, if one wants to beat the road closure and the Alta Marshall one needs to at the trailhead by ~5:45am. (IME if the Marshall see's ya with 15 minutes of the closure they will order you inside.) So unless you are heading up at 5:30 am or so yer gonna get stuck in line regardless.
Hum... No. The closure begins at 8PM the night before. There's not going to be any beating the closure in that case and I'm not that psyched about spending the night in my car in the WP lot.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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