Monday, August 12, 2013


If you are hiking or walking around Alta during the summer months, you will most likely see or hear hummingbirds.  The abundance of wildflowers draws them to Little Cottonwood Canyon because In order to gather enough nectar, hummingbirds must visit hundreds of flowers every day

Male broad-tailed hummingbird
The most common species to Utah is the Broad-tailed hummingbird.  Males produce a metallic, high-pitched trill with their wings that can heard from 75-100 yards away. We seem them frequently on the deck feeders at Alta Lodge. The male has a metallic, iridescent rosy-magenta colored gorget and flashy green-colored sides, back and crown. The less colorful females, show a few rose-colored feathers on a bronze speckled throat, whitish undersides and buffy to slightly cinnamon washed flanks below their green feathered back.

Hummingbirds are not at all social and are known for their aggression.  They divide themselves by territories and will protect that territory, which are about the size of a quarter acre.  Male hummingbirds are very aggressive. They set up their territory and will chase off any male that comes near. This helps the male hummingbirds eliminate the competition for the female hummingbirds in the area.  

These bird are also extremely intelligent. Their brain is larger in comparison to body size than any other bird. They have an amazing memory and know every flower in their territory and how long it will take each flower to refill. They also remember year to year, where each and every hummingbird feeder is, both at home and along a migration path. 

Additional species of hummingbirds in Utah are:
Black-chinnedCalliope, Rufous, Costa's, Anna's, Broad-billed, Magnificent, Blue-throated. Click on the links for photos and info.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pre-season Ski Passes

Yes, it is August and that's when sales begin for pre-season ski passes and discounts.  If you are a savvy shopper, you plan and take advantage of the savings you will get by buying early. Here's a run down of what's on sale now at Alta.

  • Full season pass is now $999 but after September 25, the price is $1199, so buy soon and save $200.
  • Alta Family Season Pass Package $1,999 There are a limited number of Family Season Passes, so BUY NOW
    The family packing includes:**
        2 Unlimited Adult Season Passes
        2 Unlimited Season Passes for 7 - 17 year old children of the adult passholder
        Free Unlimited Season Passes for children of the adult passholder who are 6 & Under
        Additional Season Passes for children of the adult passholder ages 7-17 may be purchased for $99 each

    All family season pass holders receive the following benefits:
    • 3 days of complimentary skiing at: Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Report.* (blackout dates: December 21, 2013- January 5, 2014 & February 15-17, 2014.)
    • Free ridership on all UTA Ski Bus Routes and Trax.
    • 50% off day passes at the following resorts* (no blackout dates)
            Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado
            Jackson Hole, Wyoming
            Mammoth, California
            Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, California
            Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
            Durango Mountain Resort, Colorado
            Red Lodge Mountain, Montana
            Homewood Mountain Resort, California
            Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Massachusetts
      Discounted passes at Bridger Bowl, Montana (no blackout dates)
                 $36 upgrade to ski Snowbird per day. Passes can be
                 upgraded at Alta for the current  day only. Snowbird
                 cannot upgrade Alta passes

  • Alta Powder Card  $599
    10 Days of skiing, $59/day. The card is transferable but is limited to one use per day. The card can be reloaded with additional 10 days at the pre-season rate. Unused Powder Card value can be applied towards the purchase of season passes or season cards next season only. Must be purchased by September 25, 2013. Upgrade to an AltaSnowbird day pass for $36. 
There are additional types of season passes and discount cards.  For a complete listing, visit Alta's tickets and passes web pages.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Moose at Alta

During summer season at Alta, moose sightings are the norm on most days.  Albion Basin is a habitat for moose where there is plenty of vegetation for them. Being herbivores, they eat leaves, deciduous trees, plants shoots with a preference for boggy areas. We often see them from the Alta Lodge deck near the transfer rope to. 

A little tougher to see are the mountain goats which tend to be on higher elevations in rocky areas, often time in cliff areas.  I've seen a herd of goats across the street from Alta Lodge on Cardiff Pass in the evening.  They really are spectacular to watch as they run across steep, rocky terrain.