Alta Ski Area hits 500 inches of snowfall


Hope remains for an above-average season even as temperatures climb and resorts begin setting their closing dates.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) People walk down the driveway at the Wildcat base at Alta Ski Area, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. Alta received the storm it needed Wednesday, March 13, 2024 to crest the 500-inch mark for the season.

Skiers and snowboarders worried this season would feel lackluster compared to the last one — which shattered records — can officially put those concerns to rest as of Wednesday.

What was forecast to be a small, midweek storm dropped more than a foot and a half of snow on Alta Ski Area in 24 hours. That, in turn, pushed the snowpack for the state’s snowiest resort above a major watermark — 500 inches for the season.

Over the past 43 years, Alta has averaged 543 inches per season. That includes last season’s whopper of a season, in which a record 903 inches of snow dropped on the resort. The 10-year average is 518. That average increased nearly 40 inches when last year’s totals were figured in.

Temperatures are expected to rise into the 60s around the Salt Lake Valley in the coming days and some resorts have begun announcing their closing dates. Still, plenty of time remains for Utah’s resorts to achieve an above-average year. Another storm appears to be on the radar late next week for the Wasatch Mountains, according to OpenSnow.com. Plus Evan Thayer, OpenSnow’s Utah forecaster, pointed out that April averages about 60 inches of snow.

“There will be plenty of additional opportunities for snow,” he wrote in a text to The Tribune.

Don’t want to wait that long? Utah’s southernmost ski resorts are expected to see a heaping of fresh snow this weekend.

OpenSnow predicts Brian Head, near Cedar City, could see almost a foot and a half of fresh powder this week, including 6 inches Friday. Brian Head was scheduled to close April 14 but announced Monday that it is now targeting May 5 and expects to continue daily operations until then. Just up Interstate 15 near Beaver, Eagle Point is forecast to get about a foot of snow between Friday and Sunday. Eagle Point, which only operates on weekends, is scheduled to close April 7.



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