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 apr├Ęs 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.