Utah Department of Transportation – First Wyssen Tower in the USA

Protection of Highway 210 to secure access to the ski resorts of Alta and Snowbird


Project: Protection of Highway 210 to secure access to the ski resorts of Alta and Snowbird
Place: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
Country: USA
Year: 2017
Customer: Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT)
Protected Objects: Road and town
Installed systems: - Wyssen Avalanche Tower 12 shots
- Automatic weather station
- LIA® Laser Scanner

Initial Situation

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is responsible for protecting Highway 210 from the threat of a multitude of avalanche paths. The popular ski resorts of Alta and Snowbird are located in the Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) and traffic from eager skiers can be a challenge particularly where large avalanche paths endanger the highway. The UDOT avalanche control team for the LCC has their hands full every winter and employs the use of artillery and remote avalanche control systems (RACS) to mitigate avalanche hazards.

Our solution

The first Wyssen tower in the United States was installed in November of 2017 in Cardiff Bowl, on the other side of the highway from Alta Ski Resort. UDOT has made a commitment to move away from artillery use in the canyon and move toward remote systems as a safer alternative for avalanche control. RACS such as the Wyssen Tower, promote safer working conditions in Little Cottonwood Canyon and decrease exposure of the public to avalanche hazard All denotations can be initiated remotely without the need for any personnel onsite and the airblast of the charge, which is suspended on a cord below the tower, ensures a very large effective range.

Future in Alta

The incorporation of RACS into UDoT daily operations will significantly decrease the need for artillery use for avalanche control over the town of Alta and promote safe conditions for all recreationalists and personnel in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Residents, Tourists and guests can drive on the street safer and more reliable to the ski resorts in future.

A Project of:

Wyssen USA Inc.

3550 Frontier Ave, Suite A2
Boulder, CO 80301
Tel.: +1 208 891 95 43


Jamie Yount
Tel. + 1 720 826 8529