Alta and Snowbird installed multiple avalanche mitigation towers from Swiss company Wyssen Avalanche Control over the summer. The towers house 12 prepared explosive charges that can be remotely detonated. Take a look at the product description from Wyseen for more info on how it works:
“To trigger an avalanche, a coded command is sent from the control centre WAC.3® to the control system of the deployment box to initiate the blasting. The deployment box contains 12 prepared explosive charges, which can be individually deployed by remote control. When the explosive charge is dropped, two igniters are pulled and the explosion is set off after a time delay. The charge remains hanging from a cord at a pre-set height above the snow cover, which is completely dropped after blasting. To reload explosive charges the complete deployment box is lifted from the tower by helicopter and brought to a station building or warehouse respectively.”
UDOT, Alta, and Snowbird are currently using 13 of these towers in Little Cottonwood Canyon to mitigate avalanches. The new towers might be called into use for their first time as snow is currently dumping on LCC.
Check out the video by FOX13 below on LCC’s new towers.