Monday, April 21, 2014

Another Great Season

Yesterday we said good bye to guests who stayed with us the final week of the 2013-2014 ski season.  April was a great month this year in many ways--
  • powder skiing was some of the best of the season
  • for many spring break was in April so it was another ski trip to Alta
  • we had clear sky for the lunar eclipse, which was especially spectacular in Alta
  • there were apres ski events on the deck
  • free demo day on April 12
  • kids 12 & under stayed free all month
  • picnic on the mountain for lodge guests
  • Fireside Chats in the Deck Room with the Alta Historical Society
Mountain picnic in April
Devil's Castle in the summer
Summer season is around the corner with a yoga retreat, lunch and brunch on weekends, weddings, conferences and retreats, Wildflower Festival, and hiking. Hope your ski season was great and that we see you next winter if your travels don't bring you our way during the summer.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Powder--no fooling!

--last week
Yesterday was epic powder skiing from all the Alta photos around the web and today is even better with cold temperatures and very dry powder. A rather unusual phenomena in April but non the less it makes for great skiing.  Professor Jim Steenburgh gives us a good description of things on his blog Wasatch Weather Weenies. We were in the throngs of a high pressure system earlier in the season, spring skiing last week and now towards the end of the season, a low pressure system is bringing us more snow, bringing the Alta base to 126 inches!  If you didn't know better, you would like think today was mid-January. So it looks like we will keep getting more snow through the weekend and after that, well there's two more weeks of spring skiing, which can mean just about anything--powder, corn...fun!

--today

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Powder Skiing in March

The first day of spring arrives tomorrow and the sun is shining at Alta! Yesterday we had a day of powder skiing on 12 inches of new snow and friends reported that the skiing was excellent.  And since it was a weekday, there was plenty of powder to ski run after run or as they say around here "free refills". Get a look a what the skiing was like from the video below.

 
If you haven't skied at Alta in the spring, you still have another month. With a 117-inch base at Alta, there's plenty of snow. There are even more reasons to come and stay during "spring celebration" from April 1-20, for Alta Lodge guests.
  • Complimentary receptions with wine and appetizers several days a week after skiing.
  • Lunch served on the sundeck (weather permitting).
  • Complimentary picnic lunch on the ski slopes, beverages included (dates to be announced, weather permitting).
  • High performance ski demos from Deep Powder House at a special rate for Alta Lodge guests -- 3 days for the price of 2 days (regular $49.95/day).
  • Kids' ski rentals free at Deep Powder House (140 cm and under) with adult ski demo.
  • April 7-10 and April 14-17--get three consecutive days lift tickets for the price of two--adults and children's tickets.

  • Kids Stay Free!  Kids 12 and under stay free in parents' room, breakfast and dinner included, with a stay of at least 4 nights.

    Alta's a beautiful place any time of the year and when the sun is shining, the views are hard to beat!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring has sprung!

Mt. Baldy at Alta Ski Area, viewed from Alta Lodge.
Bliss is in the air now.  Today is one of the those spring days that makes one grin from ear to ear. Fresh snow, sunshine and a blue sky--what's not to like? The beautiful weather will continue on into the weekend.  The snow is deep and most runs are wide open--the mountain presents more surface area to ski than any other time this season.  Spring break time brings more families to ski at Alta, sharing the joy of skiing together. Picnic lunches, mountain dining or lunch in the dining room are all options this time of year, as well as an afternoon nap if you really want to relax on your ski vacation. Something to consider if you are not able to make it in March, Alta in April is a fantastic time to ski as well. There will be a "free" demo day all day on April 12.  Just sign up and reps from the ski companies at the base of Collins Lift will outfit you with skis for a few runs and then you can try another pair, and another and so on.
High Rustler at Alta Ski Area viewed from Sitzmark Bar.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

100+ Inches of Snow

Storms over the past week have brought the base depth at Alta to over 100 inches.  With more and more of the mountain filling in with each storm we receive, the skiing just keeps getting better. March is a month that historically receives an average of 99.66 inches of snow, according to Alta Ski Area's Snowfall History web page. We'll keep making turns and see how March shakes out this season.

Photo: Gregg Davis
Our third Women's Ski Camp this season is underway this weekend with another scheduled March 16-20.  More women are discovering Alta skiing and the ski camps have a way of converting women to Alta "lifers".  You may have noticed there  are more women skiing Alta each season. We're happy to see them and hope the trend continues.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Looking Towards Spring?


March shows up this weekend and the following weekend we move our clocks forward an hour.  Does it seem like spring is around the corner? Hold on, not too fast,we're still savoring the powder storms and deeper snow, which from the NOAA forecast, looks like tomorrow and this weekend. Wind following the last storm made ski conditions smooth and silky in a lot of places on the mountain.  The Daily Pow's latest video shows just how smooth the skiing has been.

If you are holding out for some spring conditions, Alta in April is a great time of year to come.  The community of Alta is planning events for the month of April and we'll provide an update on those events in the next post.  If you have younger kids, April is also Kids Stay Free for two kids ages 12 & under with a four night minimum stay.  Breakfast and dinner is also included at no additional cost, which saves quite a bit of money for a family ski trip.

Hope you ski season has been great so far or if it hasn't started yet, you've still got time to ski Alta and enjoy all it has to offer.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

22 Feet of Snow...with More to Come

It's been a busy President's Day vacation week at Alta Lodge and guests have been reporting great ski conditions during afternoon tea. From staff reports, yesterday's skiing was "free refills" pretty much all afternoon, keeping skiers happy each time they got off the lift.

This week our local newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, featured Alta's Wildcat Lift as the Ski Lift of the Week. Still a two-seater, the chair provides access to runs that are often overlooked on a powder day as skiers stick to the quicker and higher elevation Collins lift.

This season, we scheduled two Women's Ski Camps and both of the them sold out quickly. In response to demand, we have added a third one--March 16-20--just in time for spring skiing.  If this is something you have wanted to do, sign up soon as we expect this camp to sell out too.


We're glad to see the days are getting longer and in another month, spring will be here!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sleepy Winter Back with a Roar

Alta now has a impressive base depth of 93-inches which means the mountain is getting more filled in with each additional snow storm that comes our way. Winter had a late start for many places in the west but here at Alta we were fortunate to have good skiing all season. The most recent weather pattern has moved high pressure out the area, bringing in some substantial storms which means deeper snow for Alta.

A busy President's weekend is in store for Utah skiers, especially with all the new snow.  We're expecting the rest of the winter and spring to be great skiing.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Update: POWDER IS COMING!

It's all the buzz......."10-20 inches with 2 feet or more possible in some locations.." Wasatch Snow Forecast
The National Weather Service is showing lots of snowflakes on their forecast for the next five days.
A winter storm watch is in effect from tonight through Friday evening.

If you've been saving up your vacation time or sick days for "powder flu", it's time to use them and head to Alta for the weekend!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mid-Winter--no blues at Alta

We've hit mid-winter here at Alta, which in this case means we've been skiing for 11 weeks and have 11 more weeks left to ski. The snowfall to date for the season is 180 inches and the base stands at 57 inches. Though not as much snow as we typically have to date, there will be more storms coming before the end of April.  In the meantime, skiers are having fun Skiing the Baldy Main Chute, and enjoying the great weather and blue sky.

Ground Hog day seems to tell a tale about winter and we're eager to hear what Punxsutawney Phil's 128th prognostication will be this Sunday, February 2. Of course at Alta, we want Phil to see his shadow so we'll see six more weeks of winter and then some. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Considering a stay at Alta Lodge?

A view of Mt. Superior view from 
the Alta Lodge dining room.
You're in for a treat when you stay at Alta Lodge. For starters, Alta Lodge is at Alta, Utah, one of the most celebrated ski areas in the United States. Located at the base of Alta, you get to ski out the back door to the lifts.  You get up in the morning and walk down the hall in your slippers to fresh coffee and a newspaper before you are seated for a hot skier's breakfast.  As you ponder your day, your view from the dining room is the stunning Mt. Superior. Lift tickets can be purchased at the front desk so you can head straight to the lifts. Mid day, you might return to the Lodge for lunch or opt to eat on the mountain at Watson's Grill or Alf's.
                                                                                                                 You might be in for a surprise too it it's a day
Hot cocoa on the slopes.
we serve hot chocolate on the mountain in a secret location.

When your ski day draws to a close, it's time for informal afternoon tea in the Deck Room with freshly baked treats and tea, coffee and assorted fruit juices.

The Sitzmark Club at Alta Lodge.
There's still time to enjoy a hot soak in the hot tubs or a relaxing sauna. Après ski wouldn't be complete without a stop at the Sitzmark Club, one floor up from the lobby.  The "Sitz" received praised from SKI Magazine in 2012 as "America's most venerable ski-hotel bar has lured the powder-sated to its unpretentious slope side environs since 1939." Local favorites include the party margarita, hot cider and bourbon, bloody Mary and the boomerang.

Photo: Tyson Bradley
Let's not forget the kids! The Kids' Club shuttles kids back and forth to ski lessons, provides afternoon activities and there's even a special kids' dinner at 5:30, followed by a movie.

Before you know it, you're hooked on the casual ease and comforts of a relaxing ski vacation where you truly can "get away from it all."




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What a Storm!

Did it ever snow January 8-13! Just ask the people who were here skiing when 41 inches of snow fell over a five day period. "The BEST skiing ever!", "bottomless...", "it's hard to see, but who cares when the skiing is this good", were some of the comments made by guests and staff.  Tired skiers lamented they had to come in for lunch just to recoup from all the powder they were skiing. 

Powder Tracks participants were especially pleased with the conditions they had and for having instructors who took them to secret spots at Alta.  Today is final day of the clinic and they are skiing Snowbird with a crystal clear blue sky.

The next week several days the weather will hold steady and although the fresh powder will be gone, the groomed skiing is going to be great. As we hear it from a couple of locals, the groomers at Alta are pretty fun to ski.
video

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's Snowing in Alta

It's getting deep outside
Alta Lodge.
If you have been waiting for powder skiing, this is the weekend you should be skiing at Alta!  It's been snowing since Wednesday and since 8 am today, Alta has received 10 inches of snow and it is still snowing hard. Another 12-20 inches could come our way before the end of the weekend. Today at lunch time I spoke with a dining room staff person who has the day to ski and he said it is probably his best day ever with snow the feeling bottomless. The great news for Alta Lodge fans is that we have openings this weekend and next weekend if you are ready for your powder fix.

Before the storm, a friend of ours was skiing the backcountry and shot some video January 6-8...it was skiing beautifully!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Alta Snow

It's been said (and trademarked) that Utah has the "Greatest Snow on Earth". When it comes to snow quality, the prevailing sentiment at Alta is that you would be hard pressed to find better powder skiing.
Attempting to understand the reasoning behind these beliefs, authors W. James Steenburgh and Trevor I. Alcott from the Department of Meteorology at the University of Utah set out to examine the meteorological findings that would support these beliefs. In their paper published in the September 2008 issue of American Meteorological Society, the authors cite their review of 22 years of snowfall with water content, air temperatures and elevation and the conclusions they came to.

Then there are Alta snowflakes. Alta Ski Area and a team of researchers have partnered to capture images of individual snowflakes.  The process involves the use of a custom made, high powered camera referred to as a Multi Action Snow Camera or MASC.  Picture This, a story about the process appeared in the Winter 13/14 issue of the Utah Adventure Journal.

The information is convincing that experiencing skiing on Utah snow is not to be missed, especially at Alta!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

What is the Interconnect?


Can you imagine skiing four to six ski areas in one day? You can do that in Utah with the Interconnect Ski Tour. Now in the 30th season of guiding skiers, the tour is more popular than ever. You don't need to be a backcountry or expert skier to do it but you need to able to ski off trail with confidence and a willingness to do some side stepping and carrying your skis on your shoulder for short sections of hiking.

Alta Lodge guests start the tour from Snowbird and can tour to Alta, Brighton and Solitude and then back to Alta.  The additional ski areas for an extended tour are Park City and Deer Valley.  The return to Alta for the extended tour requires a one-hour shuttle ride for an additional fee. If you have a "bucket list", it is worth adding the Interconnect Tour to the list. You can find additional information, including  a FAQ on line as well make your reservation for the tour.




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Women's Skis: Deciding What to Buy

Before there were women's bikes, women's backpacks and women's skis, women just bought the same bikes, backpacks, and skis as the guys.  Now not only is there gender specific gear, there is a wide assortment to choose from.

When it comes to skis, if you can demo skis, many ski shops will apply the rental fee towards the purchase price of skis. Another way to go about the decision making process is to read some of the ski tester reviews on the new equipment. Having one pair of skis for all conditions is ideal if you are skiing on snow that presents all types of conditions.  However, a lot of skiers are primarily on slopes with snow that is extremely hard and in some areas, it is actually icy.  For those types of conditions, the best ski would be one specific to those conditions. In the west and northwest, the snow conditions can be quite varied and those that ski a lot often times have more than one pair of skis.

If you are a destination skier, you might consider just bringing your ski boots with you and renting demo skis for your trip.  You'll have the latest equipment and eliminate the hassle and extra baggage fee of bringing your own skis.

The Alta Women's Ski Camps provide participants with demo skis and the option to switch out to different ski types while they are in the camp.  Not only does this give the skier the latest ski they also can evaluate others and designate a preference.

Having choices is great and if you come to Alta on April 12, there will be a free demo day that is open to everyone. (Lift tickets are not included.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Deluxe to Dormitory

slope facing cornber room with two beds at Alta Lodge
Alta Lodge large corner room
Alta Lodge has an assortment of rooms that include slope-facing corner rooms, rooms with a balcony and wood burning fireplace, rooms with views up canyon and down canyon and smaller, cozy rooms in the original wing of the lodge. There are also two one-of-a-kind rooms--the Swiss room and the Tyrol room. A hot breakfast, four-course dinner and afternoon tea are included.




each dorm at Alta Lodge is gender specific
Alta Lodge dorm rooms
The lodge also has dorm rooms, with the meal plan included, afternoon tea and access to the hot pools and saunas.  While dormitory accommodations may not appeal to some, for budget minded skiers who want to stay at Alta, they are great bargain.  Dorms also work well for a group of friends who want to be in the same room but don't want to share a bed.The dorm rooms are gender specific with each bed space having storage space and a safe. A shared bathroom is across the hallway. Keep in mind, no car is needed when staying at Alta Lodge and access to the lifts is out the back door.







Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Now Serving Fresh Powder

The toe-tapping, weather watching and anticipation is over--powder skiing is here! With blue sky and sunshine for nearly a week, skiers were getting their legs in shape by skiing laps on the buffed runs. 
Yesterday's storm total brought 15 inches of snow to the Alta and cold temperatures will keep the snow fluffy for a few days until the next storm comes in. 



Speaking of cold weather, afternoon tea at the Lodge takes off the chill at the day's end, followed by a nice dip in the hot pools to relax tired muscles before dinner time or a visit to the Sitzmark. The Sitzmark--a local favorite for après ski--has been getting "spruced up" for our guests and there will be some pleasant changes by the end of the week. Be sure to stop in the next time you are skiing Alta.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Alta is Open!

Photo: Alta Ski Area
The long awaited opening day of Alta's 2013-2014 ski season has finally arrived! It was a beautiful, sunny day for the opening and it continued throughout the weekend.  We're anxious for snow but can't complain about the beautifully groomed slopes here at Alta.

This week the sun will continue to shine and skiing on Thanksgiving day should be a fun reason to skip cooking a turkey and have dinner instead at Alta Lodge.  Hope to see you on the slopes or in the dining room!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Countdown

November 22 is Alta's opening day this season and skiers are counting the days.  In the meantime, let's get ready for ski season with a check list.

1. Skis: check the base of your skis since more likely than not, when you finished the season last year, you just stashed the skis.  Do they need to be cleaned from gunk if you were spring skiing a lot?  How about filling in any scrapes? And, a nice base wax is always good to start the season with.  If you don't tune your skis, get them into the shop soon because when it snows, everyone will take skis into the shop, kind of like trying to get your snow tires on put when the first snow storm hits: there's a long wait.

2. Bindings: it's a good idea to get them checked out at the start of every season.

3. Boots: check out your buckles and make sure all the adjustments are working okay.  It's no fun to have a boot buckle come off or break when you're on the hill. If you have boot heaters, make sure they are working and the batteries are charged.

4. Clothing: collect all your ski clothing in one place so when it is time to go skiing, you're not scurrying around the house trying to figure out where you put your stuff six months ago.  Check all your zippers, see what's in the pockets--maybe you'll find some cash or treats you forgot about.

5. Goggles: clean or replace those  lenses!

6. Other accessories: how does that hydration bladder smell? do you need to replace those gloves with all the duct tape? need any new ski socks?

You get the picture--so get started and we'll see you soon at Alta (and don't forget your ski poles!)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Enthusiam Overflowing

Caroline Gleich at Alta
It's been pretty fun over the past week to see so many photos and videos of people skiing Alta before opening day.  One super star Alta female athlete posted on Twitter she has already skied 10 days! Mind you, that is all hiking too.

We're amazed at some of the powder shots that have been showing up.  One came out yesterday that was shot very early morning near Catherine's Pass.  Hard to believe it's the first week of November and skiers are getting such good powder!

Photo: Joe Whale

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's Happening--SNOW!

The month of October brought in several storms and then some warmer weather.  Just a little snow seems to be all it takes for some to head to the canyon for a few turns as is evidenced in this video.

This week the weather has shifted in our favor and another storm brought in over a foot of snow in places on the mountain.  With the storm came a lot of wind and a slab avalanche in High Collins on Tuesday.  Early bird skiers need to use extreme caution when venturing out in the new snow.  Another cold front is moving in on Sunday and we are glad to see there is more snow in coming in the weeks ahead.

Some additional updates:
Alta/Snowbird boarding pass.  Sign up on line before you leave home and bring your printed boarding pass to the ticket window the day you arrive for a half price Alta/Snowbird lift ticket.  See details here.
If you plan ahead, you can buy your lift tickets in advance on Liftopia.
Thanksgiving Package:stay any four nights over Thanksgiving for $900 per person, double occupancy, and two kids ages 12 & under can stay in your room and eat for free!
Alta's First Sleep Around is December 5-8, 2013. For $898, double or single occupancy, you get to stay in a different lodge each night, all your meals, lift tickets, ski equipment, mountain tour, mountain photo and airport transfers.
If you did not receive our annual newsletter, you can view it our on our website.


We're getting geared up for guests who will be arriving for Alta's opening day on November 22.  If we miss you then, we hope to see you later in the season!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Winter Teaser

Alta Lodge deck September 28
If there's one thing you can count on, it's early season snow and last week did not disappoint.  Although most of the snow we received last week has melted, spirits were none the less "up" upon seeing the fluffy white flakes.  We expect to receive another storm this week and it could even snow in the Salt Lake valley!


Some enthusiastic local skiers had fun with the new snow and were on skis for "first tracks", documenting it on video. Got to hand it to them for getting out there.


Meanwhile, we remain open for overnight lodging and Sunday Brunch for a few more weeks.  From October 18-20, our annual three-day/ two-night Fall Yoga Retreat returns with Kim Dastrup and Thomas McKonkie. 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Snowing This Week

We've primed the pump for the ski season with talk about ski gear, 100 words for Snow and now we'll prime it even more with an Alta snow storm.  There's plenty of buzz when this happens and with web cams, Twitter and Facebook, you can get nearly by-the-minute reports when it starts snowing. If you want more details, check out weather professional Jody Saeland's post about this storm.  If the change in seasons over the weekend didn't have you thinking about getting ready for ski season, the first snow storm should.  Check our social media sites tomorrow for pics of what the storm brought overnight and remember Alta opens in less than 60 days!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

100 Words for Snow



Yes, We Do Have a Hundred Words for Snow
The popular belief that there are a hundred words for snow in the Inuit language has led to some
Photo: Nick Rice
  controversy, and has even been called urban legend by some doubters.  Alta, however, is the world mecca of powder skiing, and our language really does have a hundred words for snow.  The rules of our game allow nouns, verbs and adjectives, for conditions, features, terrain, etcetera, of the white stuff… and so here are our hundred words for snow, in the Alta language.  To add your own word to the list, please make a comment below, by November 1, 2013.  We’ll update the list weekly on our Facebook page, and we’ll have an Alta Lodge ball cap for every friend who contributes a word that makes the list!


  1. Bed Surface
  2. Blizzard
  3. Blower
  4. Boilerplate
  5. Bony
  6. Bottomless
  7. Buffed
  8. Bulletproof
  9. Bumped Out
  10. Butter
  11. Carvy
  12. Cement
  13. Chalky
  14. Champagne
  15. Chunder
  16. Cold Smoke
  17. Concrete
  18. Corduroy
  19. Corn
  20. Cornice
  21. Creamy
  22. Crud
  23. Crust
  24. Crystals
  25. Dank
  26. Death Cookies
  27. Debris
  28. Deep
  29. Dendrites
  30. Depth Hoar
  31. Drifts
  32. Dumping
  33. Dusting
  34. Dust on Crust
  35. Facets
  36. Firm
  37. Flakes
  38. Fluff
  39. Flurry
  40. Freshies
  41. Gnar
  42. Grabby
  43. Granules
  44. Graupel
  45. Groomer
  46. Hard Pack
  47. Heavy
  48. Hero
  49. Ice
  50. The Kind
  51. Lake Effect
  52. Mank
  53. Mashed Potatoes
  54. Metamorphic
  55. Moguls
  56. Needles
  57. Névé
  58. Nuking
  59. Orographic
  60. Pellet
  61. Pillows
  62. Pounding
  63. Pow
  64. Powder
  65. Puffy
  66. Puking
  67. Rain Crust
  68. Recrystallized
  69. Rime
  70. Ripples
  71. Roly Poly
  72. Rollerballs
  73. Sastrugi
  74. Scratchy
  75. Showery
  76. Skied Out
  77. Skiff
  78. Slab
  79. Sleet
  80. Slick
  81. Slide
  82. Slippery
  83. Slope
  84. Sludge
  85. Sluff
  86. Slush
  87. Snow (hello)
  88. Soft Pack
  89. Spindrift
  90. Stellar
  91. Styrofoam
  92. Sugar
  93. Sun Cups
  94. Surfy
  95. Surface Hoar
  96. TG Crystals
  97. Trace
  98. Wind Buff
  99. Wind Crust
    100.Wind Slab


Photo: Billy Haas

Photo: Billy Haas
Photo: Nick Rice
Photo: Nick Rice