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Frustrated Brighton snowboarder exhausted after hours long trip home

Girl is jumping with snowboard from the hill

BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON — It took Maribeth Jones over five hours to get by car from a day of snowboarding to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon on Friday.

Her journey began when the winds started kicking up at Brighton, so she decided to pack it up and head home.

She says it didn’t take long before she came to a complete stop, inching along at times, then long periods of not moving at all.

“There were lots of slide-offs and wrecks, just trying to dig those out took time, and then clearing the road as people continued to slide into the ditch, I think, was the main problem,” says Jones.

She says she saw some things, including two streakers passing by her car.  She says seconds later, they came running back as a snowplow rolled by.

Snowboarders and skiers got out of their cars and got in a couple of impromptu practice runs.  She spent time listening to the radio for updates, and checked Twitter, so she was able to keep up with what was happening.

Jones says her trip started at 2:30 p.m.  At 7:50 p.m. she finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, otherwise known as the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

“We were skiing this morning at Brighton, and when the winds picked up around two we decided to head out, and ran into the longest traffic jam we’ve ever been in,” according to Jones.

When she finally saw the mouth of the canyon some five hours later, she was relieved that she was nearing the end of an all day journey.  Big and Little Cottonwood canyons were closed off and on all afternoon on Friday.

Congestion alerts were issued for I-80 through Parleys Canyon and at one point, Highway 189 was closed through Provo Canyon.  There were no major injuries reported despite all the problems caused by a mid-afternoon dumping of snow.

According to UDOT, snow showers were expected to continue across the mountains through Saturday morning, with areas of additional road snow expected.

Valley snow showers look to mainly end by Friday evening.  Ice along roads is the main concern for the Wasatch Front/canyons through the overnight.