LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — New snow on the Spring Mountains is seemingly presenting more driving dangers while heading up.
Jim Seely, Director of Marketing for the Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort, said 36 inches of new snow was received within a recent 48-hour period.
Several surrounding mountain areas reported gains of 17 to 24 inches by Wednesday night.
“We’re starting off March correctly,” Seely said with a grin at the resort’s base Thursday.
Earlier that morning, Nevada State Police reported a one-hour closure of the SR 156 after a single-vehicle rollover and multiple cars slid and were stuck on or next to the road.
As 8 News Now drove the route after it reopened, several feet of snow were seen plowed onto the road’s shoulder, leaving narrow driving paths en route to the resort.
A Clark County representative says its snowplow crews were working to widen the roads Thursday afternoon.
“The quick snowfall that we had, it’s really important to continue that mitigation: checking the snowpack, seeing how stable it is, and doing the necessary mitigation,” Seely said.
These driving conditions and road closures are not uncommon following snowstorms, an NDOT representative told 8 News Now, but more visitors are expected to endure them in the coming weeks.
Friday begins the first “Feel Good Friday” at the resort this season, where every Friday in March, day passes are sold for $25.
They typically sell from $68 to $82 on other weekends this month, according to its website.
$5 of each discounted day pass is donated to the High Fives Foundation, which benefits athletes with life-altering injuries and adaptive sports. It historically has brought large hoards of visitors up the mountain, Seely says.
But, is there enough space up there for everyone? Southern Nevada Conservancy, also known as GO Mt Charleston to those who frequent the slopes, has this concern.
Program Manager Rosa Prasser says capacity along SR 156 and 157 are increasingly hitting weekend capacities by 9 am.
“It is so crowded. It’s a very limited space up there,” Prasser said inside the BLM Southern Nevada District Office Thursday afternoon. “There ends up being no place to park. That’s the biggest issue.”
With limited shoulder space from snow plowing, 8 News Now also witnessed visitors parking on what little space was available on the roads before the resort, which typically left the parked vehicles mostly in the travel lane.
Prasser expects more road closures if icy conditions continue.
“We call it fishtailing, where your back end of your vehicle will start to move and you can spin out,” Prasser said. “(NHP) will close down the road if there are too many people up on the mountain and not enough space for people. So, you may see turnarounds at the roundabouts.”
NDOT urges anyone planning to head up the mountain to check the latest driving conditions beforehand by visiting nvroads.com or calling 511. Prasser additionally urges drivers to keep their cars full of gas, food, water, blankets, and tools to help get out of stuck situations, which can all be found on the group’s website.