Sierra Resorts Focus on Avalanche Control as More Skiers Hit the Slopes

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

There’s so much snow in the Sierra that ski resorts had to call in 18-wheelers to cart it away.

Monday was a skiers dream.

"Bluebird skies. You can see it all around you," said skier Zach Scute. "The snow is soft, fluffy. It’s nice and cold."

Four and a half feet of snow dumped on Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Resort over the weekend. But it came with some safety concerns.

"When you get that much snow that quickly the avalanche danger really increases," said Will Paden, the director of avalanche control for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

It’s why the resort closed down Sunday. Mountain operations teams worked through the day on avalanche control to get it back open.

"There’s a lot of options that we have," Paden told FOX40. "The most common option is to use explosives to actually start the avalanches."

They used hundreds of small bombs to set off avalanches on the slopes, sometimes throwing the TNT from above or setting it off remotely.

It was all to make sure avalanches don’t happen when skiers and snowboarders are out.

On Monday, the resort was packed with eager skiers who waited out the storm.

"We were snowed in Saturday night and couldn’t get out Sunday. Everything was sort of closed anyway," said skier Doug Gibson.

But they say it was well worth the wait.

"Any powder is worth the wait," Gibson said.

With another round of storms expected Wednesday teams will likely be out doing avalanche control again.

The good news is with all this snow they’re expecting the ski season could last well into the spring.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.