Monday, January 28, 2013

January ending

The end of January wrapped up with a full house of skiers at Alta Lodge, a lot of them here for the 7th annual Women's Ski Camp.  January brought some chilly days but also some very warm days with lots of sunshine.

It's hard to believe we are coming to February in just a few days.The winter season has a way of flying by pretty quickly at Alta with day after day of skiing.  Still, there are two and half more months of skiing and there is lots of snow still to fall.

This week looks like it is shaping up to be a week with some good storms headed our way. If you are one of those skiers that follows the storms and gets on plane when a storm comes in, this would be the week to make that plan.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Alta's 75th Birthday Party

January 15, 2013:  The sun had dipped well below the horizon, plunging Little Cottonwood Canyon into near darkness. Guests, employees, and locals alike crowded in front of available south-facing windows throughout the Lodge, eager to reserve a position for optimal viewing of Alta’s 75th anniversary torchlight ceremony. In unison, five dozen neon red torches came to life. Hundreds of pairs of eyes gazed up to Alta’s high rustler as a giant, glowing “75” formed atop the famous ski run.      

On Sunday, January 15, 75 years ago, Alta Ski Area opened its slopes to the public, unveiling a newly constructed single Collins Chairlift. On opening day, a day pass cost $1.50, a single chair ride 25 cents. The chairlift was constructed out of a refurbished formed mining tram and was the second chairlift to debut in the U.S., opening within a year after Timberline’s groundbreaking “Magic Mile”.

As Alta commemorates the 75th season, it is important to appreciate what has and has not changed about this place we love. Alta has kept up with advances in chairlift technology, upgrading outdated chairlifts and expanding into new terrain to enhance our skiing experience. Likewise, Alta has embraced grooming technology, providing skiers with fresh corduroy to complement its plethora of off-piste terrain.

But what makes Alta so special, so unique is that it has been able to upgrade and enhance the skiing experience without sacrificing its soul. No, there is no “ski-village”, no expanse of looming condos or elaborate private homes in Albion Basin. And yes, if you want to access some of North America’s best terrain, you will have to traverse and maybe even side-step to it.  

Happy 75th Anniversary, Alta! To 75 more amazing years.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Girls at Alta

Even though the ratio of men to women skiers at Alta is 4-1 (so we're told), you'll find a lot of ladies out there on the mountain. If you're a woman looking for some new female ski buddies, Ski with the Girls meets every Tuesday at 9:30 at Badly Brew on the lower level of Watson Shelter.  Some of the group will ski off trail, others on the groomed slopes around the mountain.  It's a great way to have fun and meet new ski friends.

Our two Women's Ski Camps for intermediate-advanced skiers have become so popular and successful that we needed to add one for advanced-expert skiers.  Many women come back every year to reconnect with friends they met at a previous camp. The three-day/four-night immersion camps are fun with groups quickly building camaraderie while learning to become better skiers. Instructors join in for  apres ski and dinner.

See you out on the slopes!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kurobuta Pork Osso Buco

Chef Sam Wolfe has been showcasing some new items on our own nightly menu this season.  Kurobuta Pork Osso Buco is one of those items.  When most people think of osso buco, they think of veal shanks, so pork is a different twist.  But this isn't just any pork, it's "Kurobuta" pork.

Kurobuta pork is a Japanese name for Berkshire pork that comes from a rare breed of pigs, dating back over 300 years to the English House of Windsor. Korobuta means "the black pig" and probably refers to the darker color of this pork. It is the highest quality of pork and, like its beef analogue Wagyu beef, it is known for its meat marbling.

Kurobuta pork is not something that you are likely to find in your local grocery store.  It is a specialty item that is challenging to find. Which means it is all that more special when you see it on a menu and more so when prepared osso bucco or braised. The meat really does fall off the bone and practically melts in your mouth with each bite.

Chef Sam Wolfe and his staff really bowled us over this week with this new item and the memory of the taste is still lingering...