‘All hail the Whale’: How the 9th and 9th sculpture became a mascot for Utah’s snowiest winter ever

The multicolored whale sculpture in Salt Lake’s 9th and 9th neighborhood has become the unofficial mascot of Utah’s epic winter, with tongue-in-cheek devotees crediting the creature for an unprecedented ski season.

The whale’s put in this winter’s lore started with a dry spell.

The beginning of last winter seemed love it would be a snowy one. December 2021 saw new snowfall near 130 inches in Salt Lake City, with other areas love Park City, Heber Valley, Heber Valley and Ogden hovering between 75 and 90 inches, per Ski Utah historical data.

But after the year turned to 2022, Mother Nature turned the snow tap almost completely off. In the next two months, no area got higher than 32 inches of average new snowfall. It was similar in March, although Salt Lake reached 70 inches, per Ski Utah.

Meanwhile, the 9th and 9th neighborhood prepared for a whale sculpture named “Out of the Blue” to be erected at a traffic circle. It went up on April 1, and soon after, snowstorms were on their way again.

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