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.
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.
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.