Photo by Mary Prince/age fotostock
At the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, above the town of Sandy, Utah, the Alta Resort offers 2,200 skiable acres and an average of more than 550 inches of snowfall a year. While the steep slopes of the Wasatch mountains draw expert skiers, there is plenty of terrain for intermediate skiers and a number of programs within the ski school to get beginners and first-timers out and enjoying themselves. As for families, even those with little ones as young as two months old, day care is available all day long and into the early evening through Alta Children’s Center, and on Fridays and Saturdays until 6:30 p.m. with its Après-Ski Care. To get tykes skiing and on the slopes, Alta partners with the ski school.
By Cameron Martindell, AFAR Local Expert
I am a minority. Everywhere I go skiing, I get the looks. And the labels. Pinhead, freeheeler, threepinner, doglegger, toedragger and televangelista. I can live with that. But when I come to Alta, I thrive. Here is a ski resort that only allows skiers, fancy that, leaving the boarders to slide down canyon at Snowbird. This leaves a ski area catering to the discriminating tastes of the folks hurtling downhill on two boards, or what I like to call a "full deck." Not to disparage those mountain enthusiasts playing without the full deck, I can honestly say they are not missed when it comes to the ambiance of Alta. The place is magical from the parking lot, so when you add the solitude of the skier only crowd, it makes it hard to beat. I was up in Little Cottonwood Canyon on what I call a "free refill" day. That's when the glorious Wasatch White is floating in a windless stream of powder all day long. It makes the runs in the late afternoon as fresh as the ones first off the lifts in the morning. And being a telemarker, there is nothing more special than to make that "original ski turn" in Alta's steeps and deep. I skied the whole mountain and never once felt the smile leave my face. It is just a different way of ski life every skier should experience. All part of the Alta-ed state I find myself in the moment my boards hit the snow.
By Jay Rymeski, AFAR Local Expert
10230 E Hwy 210, Alta, UT 84092, USA