Wyssen Towers Open Ski Slopes earlier at Snowbird

The installation of 9 Wyssen Avalanche Towers in 2021 and 2022 will allow the ski slopes at Snowbird to open earlier. Along with Alta Ski Area, the two ski areas are the first in North America to install Wyssen Avalanche Towers.

Initial Situation

Mineral Basin, on the backside of Snowbird, is a popular spot for skiers and snowboarders. Snowbird and Little Cottonwood Canyon have a rich history of avalanche risk and mitigation. Previously, Mineral Basin avalanche risk was mitigated by avalauncher and hand charges. Though this is a popular spot to ski and ride, oftentimes it was left closed during snowstorms while ski patrol concentrated on opening other parts of the mountain. Snow safety leaders began looking for an option to shorten the time spent on avalanche mitigation and decrease exposure to ski patrol personnel. Because of this, Snowbird considered installing remote avalanche control systems (RACS) as a solution.

Our solution

The first Wyssen Avalanche Towers at Snowbird were installed in 2021, and they were strategically placed in Mineral Basin. With the installation of four Wyssen Avalanche Towers, avalanche control is now performed in a more efficient and safer manner. With the ability to remotely release avalanches Snowbird ski patrol can minimize closure times, perform their missions at optimal moments, and conduct mitigation without the need to handle explosives in challenging conditions. This enables ski slopes to open sooner for ski area guests. In 2022, five more Wyssen Avalanche Towers were installed in Mineral Basin to complete the ability to perform avalanche mitigation in the area remotely. Wyssen Avalanche Towers have proved to be an effective and efficient solution that can replace existing forms of mitigation used at the ski area.

First Ski Areas in North America

Snowbird, along with neighboring Alta Ski Area, were the first North American ski areas to install Wyssen Avalanche Towers. Due to the success of this project, Snowbird plans to expand their Wyssen Avalanche Tower program for operational efficiency, worker safety, and modernization of avalanche mitigation techniques. With the completion of this project the Little Cottonwood Canyon avalanche mitigation programs of Snowbird, Alta Ski Area and Utah Department of Transportation now operate a total of 31 Wyssen Avalanche Towers.

Press contact

Wyssen USA Inc.

Jasper Thompson
+1 505 699 9912