Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ring in the New Year with Skiing

With over 100+ inches of snow last week and the week before, Alta now has a base of 58 inches and all lifts but Albion are running. The connection to Snowbird is open and the skiing is great!

If you are planning to turn in at a reasonable hour on Thursday evening, you'll be all set for a day on the slopes of Alta Friday morning and have the ski slopes almost to yourself.  Most New Year's parties go into the next morning with people celebrating 2016, sleeping in and/or nursing hangovers. Or you can opt to be in the clear mountain air on a sunny day, enjoying the feeling of the wind in your face.  If early is not in the cards for you, stop by Alta Lodge for lunch and then head out for the afternoon and back for apres ski at the Sitzmark Bar--ranked in The Manual as one of the "Best Mountain Town Bars"

Wishing you the best for the New Year in 2016!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Solstice! 50-inch Storm Last Week, 2-3 Feet This Week!

There were many snowy days last week and when it all added up, the storm total from Monday-Thursday was 50-inches--an Alta storm by any standard!

Winter season is here and starting with more storms this week. It looks like another 2-3 feet through Wednesday and then another storm coming in Christmas--exciting stuff if you've been holding out for powder skiing.

Evening light is special at Alta and here are a couple of images from last week. As you can see, it is full on winter at Alta.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy Monday--11 inches of snow in 13 hours!

The first big storm of the winter season is here!  We don't know what took so long but we're happy it's snowing and it is supposed to keep snowing through tomorrow.

Don't have any ski plans yet? It's time to make some and here are some tips.

A ski vacation is a winter highlight for many skiers.  Whether it is your only ski trip for the winter or one of several, being ready for that trip makes a big difference in the experience you will have.

One of the big decisions people have to make is when to take that vacation.  Some prefer after the holidays while other want to go earlier.  It used to be ski vacations were for seven days with visitors more likely to arrive on a Saturday and leave the following weekend.  Now more people take an extended weekend of if they have flexibility, they check when the conditions are mostly favorable and book a few days out. The advantage of planning ahead is a secured reservation and if it's planned, one is more likely to go rather than waiting until the last minute. Usually a week day ski trip will provide you with greater lodging options and less skiers on the slopes.

Another important part of your ski trip is to be in good physical condition. If you haven't already, now is the time to start your training program.  Ski Utah offers some valuable conditioning tips if you're not sure what to start.

So get on board and make some plans--ski season is here!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's Great to be 75!

75 years..really? Yes! Alta Lodge first opened the doors to skiers in 1940, two years after Alta Ski Area opened.  According to Alta Historical Society President David Davenport, “When it [Alta Lodge] opened, it was the epicenter of the social culture at Alta. The love of skiing, powder and après ski were all aspects of a tradition where the focus was skiing. The Levitt family, who own and operate the Lodge, are dedicated to the traditional lodge style, which exemplifies an approach to skiing that gained its roots in Europe and New England—breakfast and dinner included with stay, no televisions, a common dining area and an opportunity for communal social engagement between guests."
Still owned and operated by the Levitt family, the Lodge continues today with the same traditions it started with. A couple of wings have been added to the original 12-room hotel, along with some updates but the ski lodge principals that started it all are still intact.  Fine food, great service and a warm and friendly environment are all part of what makes skiers return year after year to Alta Lodge.
Forbes.com has a nice write up about Alta Lodge, "America's Most Iconic Ski Lodge"

Margie of the Wasatch was filmed in 1946.  It provides a glimpse of skiing in the early days of Alta Lodge and Alta Ski Area. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Early Season Skiing at Alta

Skiing at Alta in December before the holiday season is a great time of year to get back on skis.  For one thing, the slopes are virtually empty and it seems like you have your own private ski area. The snow quality at Alta is consistently great and if there hasn't been a recent powder storm, the groomed runs produce a corduroy or velvet-like surface which is sweet for smooth, silky turns.

Today at Alta the sun is out and Wildcat, Collins and Sunnyside lifts are open, with nine groomed runs.  Area days passes are currently $59. Relax before heading home and join us for après ski at the Sitzmark Club beginning at 4pm.

Monday, November 23, 2015

More Snow is on the Way!

The opening weekend at Alta was hard to beat--beautiful blue sky, warm and sunny, and the skiing was great!  Smiles were everywhere with an upbeat mood prevailing.

Thanksgiving skiers will enjoy fresh snow with a storm moving into the area starting on Wednesday.  According to local meteorologist Jody Saeland, storms are stacking up into next week which bodes well for early season skiing.

El Nino has been the talk for several months now and we've got crossed fingers that it plays out  favorably in terms of snowfall in our neck of woods.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Winter's Arrived at Alta Lodge!

It's been snowing at Alta for the past 12+ hours and we've received 11 inches of snow.  With Alta's scheduled opening on Friday, November 20, the timing of this snow storm is perfect!
New snow on the deck of Alta Lodge

This season Alta Lodge is celebrating 75 years as Alta's first hotel.  We're offering an anniversary lodging special to commemorate this special event. From November 29 - December 13, anyone who books a four-night stay during this time period will pay the 1940 rate for the fourth night. That rate is $18.32 for a room for two, full breakfast and four-course dinner for two and tax and services.  In addition to this special rate, we'll also have some special events.

If you haven't made your ski vacation plans yet, this is a great time to ski Alta as the mountain has snow, the conditions are usually good and there aren't as many skiers so you feel like you have your own private mountain to ski.    

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Plan Ahead & Save on Tickets

Lift tickets can be a major expense of a ski vacation, especially so if it is a family vacation and you don't have a season pass. If you know when you will be coming to ski Alta, you can purchase your lift tickets in advance on line.  The further ahead you buy the tickets, the greater the savings.  Keep in mind there are a limited number of tickets available at the advance purchase price.

With ski season approaching in 30 days--Alta opens for skiing on November 20--now is good time to start your planing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Special Deal for Our 75th Anniversary

Alta Lodge first welcomed skiers in 1940 and to celebrate our anniversary, we have a special offer from November 29 - December 13.  If you book a four night minimum stay during that period, the fourth night will be the 1940 room rate. Rally with some friends and take advantage of this sweet deal and get in some early season skiing.  Find out the latest in our Alta Lodge newsletter.

Alta's schedule opening day is Friday, November 20--will you be in line when the lifts fire up for the season?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wildflowers are Everywhere!

Alta's had quite a display of flowers the past few weeks and if you have not had a chance to check them out, you're in for a treat.  The best area for a wide variety of flowers is in Albion Basin.  It is also the most popular location so going early in the morning is important if you want to avoid the crowds.  The best thing to do is drive to the Albion Basin Day Lodge and take the free shuttle. By doing this you skip driving on a dusty dirt road and looking for limited parking spaces.  The shuttle stops at the trail head for a hike to Catherine's Pass, which is a three-mile round trip hike.  The hike offers great views in both directions.  Another hike is the Cecret Lake trail, an easy 1.8 miles round trip to an alpine lake in Devil's Castle. Numerous other trails dot the area and descriptions and details can be found on the Wasatch Hiker web site.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Summer Season

We're rapidly approaching the start of our summer season which kicks off with Sunday Brunch on May 31. And although it snowed last weekend, the weather and temperatures can change overnight and bring warm, sunny days.  The aspen trees now have their leaves at the White Pine trail head which is an indicator of summer arriving soon.

In recent weeks, a young moose was grazing on a daily basis near Snowbird and a coyote was strolling along the roadside.  Before we know it, wildflowers will start to show up too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ALERT: Last Chance Powder

In case you haven't heard...the drums are beating for a big powder storm in Little Cottonwood Canyon that arrives this evening.  It will be the last one of the season as Alta will close this weekend. 

The excitement has rousted skiers to head to Alta for the two-day powder fest that starts tomorrow.

Some of the buzz out there--
SO, plan your sick day, make a reservation, keep your snow tires on another week, start driving or flying so you make it here by tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Alta in April!

April fun for everyone in Alta!  April 3-19 is Alta in April!

Lodging specials, apres ski events, live music, on-mountain Easter egg hunt, demo day, sunshine, great skiing, great friends and more! Help celebrate another great year of skiing in Alta!


Friday, April 3: Alta Gala (La Caille Restaurant 7:30-11:00 PM)

Saturday, April 4: $10 Beer & Brats at Alf’s Restaurant

Sunday, April 5: Easter Egg Hunt at 11am SHARP! Meet in front of Alta Java at the Albion Base. Meet the Easter Bunny and find some hidden treasures in the snow! Three age groups: 4 & under, 5-8 years, 9-12 years.

Thursday, April 9: FREE Yoga sponsored by Alta Community Enrichment. Enjoy the last class of the Winter Yoga Series! Thursday, April 9th at 5:45pm at Our Lady of the Snows Center.

Friday, April 10: Friends of Alta Social. Join Friends of Alta for an evening of wine, appetizers, socializing and short discussion on their efforts to protect and preserve the unique environment and character of Alta. The evening will begin with a presentation by Bryan Olsen of Tracy Aviary at 5:30pm at Our Lady of the Snows to learn more about Alta’s Bird Survey Program.

Saturday, April 11

  • Powder House Ski Shops and Alta Ski Shop Spring Demo Day. Test out next year’s skis for FREE.
  • Enjoy live music on the deck of Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge from 10:30am – 4:00pm.
  • Patsy Marley Day at the Albion Grill, $12 Chuck Wagon Lunch: BBQ Ribs, Corn, Chili, Baked Beans, $4 Draughts of 801 Pilsner (supports Utah Avalanche Center) and Wasatch Rescue Dog Ale (supports Wasatch Backcountry Rescue)

Goldminer’s Daughter Deck Live Music Lineup:

10:30-11:30 Eric Anderton

12:00-1:00 Real Sly

1:30-2:30 Tim Jindra and Friends

3:00-4:00 Michael Gofik

Friday, April 17:
Alta Earth Day. All Day FREE event! Join Alta for its 6th annual community Alta Earth Day. This event encourages environmental stewardship, responsible recreation and awareness of the relationship between climate change and the future of the ski industry in Little Cottonwood Canyon and beyond. The day’s event will feature: Eco-Friendly Vendors, Naturalist Tours, Birding in Alta, Ski Gear Recycle Drop-Off  and Après Earth Day & Film.

Sunday, April 19
: Alta Ski Area first closing day

Sunday, April 26: Alta Ski Area final closing day

*Alta Ski Area will be closed from April 20-April 23, re-opening April 24-26.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's Time for Spring Skiing at Alta!

The days of spring have been upon us early this year and the skiing has been great. With the Daylight Saving Time change on March 8, we've been enjoying the longer daylight hours and lovely canyon sunsets.  Next month we'll be on the deck for apres ski and lunch, host a mountain picnic and some fun receptions.  Alta in April is a fun time of year--with free demo skis to try all day on April 11 and lots of other things will be happening, including the Alta Gala on April 3. Need a family vacation? Kids Free makes is easy for a four-day family ski trip. It's a great break for mom--no grocery shopping or cooking or cleaning up since breakfast and dinner's included! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March: On Time Snow Delivery

As we said in our last post, March could be a snowy month and so far, March is delivering!  Skiers couldn't be happier with 25 inches of new snow since March 1.  An exciting photo of the storm coming up the canyon was posted on Twitter and no doubt powder videos will be coming soon from the Daily Pow. Alta now has base of 90-inches which means good coverage all over the mountain. Some great descriptions of the storm from weather observers told the tale that many of us were feeling or experiencing with the abundance of snow. Our friend Professor Powder (Jim Steenburgh) said on his blog that this week is "Official Call in Sick Week" and from the amount of traffic trying to get to Little Cottonwood Canyon this morning, I think everyone in Salt Lake City who skis took his advice!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snowing at Alta!

Pleased to report it is snowing (see actual photos on link) at Alta and it will keep snowing through the weekend. We'll get a little break at the first of the week and then more snow again next week.  If you have been itching for your Alta powder break, March looks like the month to go; historically, it is the snowiest month of the ski season with an average 99 inches!

If you need a reminder on the thrill of skiing powder, here's a video taken last weekend at Alta.

Monday, February 16, 2015

More Weeks of Winter Season Ahead

If you think about how long winter will be depending on what groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees when he comes out of his hole, it looks like more winter is in our future. (Not that we don't want more winter at Alta...) We're missing our winter storm cycles and are hopeful some will come our way soon and maybe make up with extra storms.  The Wasatch Weather Forecast post for today is titled "Patience Needed", which certainly is applicable if you are hungry for Alta's powder skiing.

In the meantime, four inches here and there have been lapped up pretty quickly.  If you're here at the right time, those four inches can be pretty sweet, as is evidenced in the Daily Pow's recent video.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Spring-like Conditions in February

Wacky weather at Alta recently has made for some nice spring skiing in February.  Sunny days and warm temperatures were the norm over the weekend and will continue through the extended Presidents Weekend. Minus recent snow for a bit, Alta has a 69-inch base, with four inches of new snow overnight.  Mix it with a little bit of wind here and there and the skiing is good.

What to make of this weather? Hard to say but we have a tradition at Alta that some are saying we need to do--Stabutic! Here's how it works:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Backcountry Adventures

The enthusiasm amongst skiers for venturing out on new terrain is growing more each year. Backcountry skiing is the fastest growing segment in the winter outdoor sports category.  As the equipment has improved over the years with lighter skis and binding and more technical boots, more skiers are keen to give it a try.

The Wasatch range provides easy access to world-class backcountry skiing terrain. Alta Lodge's location is across the street from terrain that locals--from Salt Lake City and Alta--ski early in morning before heading to work.  Coined the "dawn patrol", it's a unique phenomena that you would be hard pressed to do from another large metropolitan area.

If you're interested in trying backcountry skiing, Alta Lodge has teamed up with Utah Mountain Adventures guide service to offer a three-day backcountry clinic based out of Alta Lodge. The clinic will teach you basis skills on how to travel with skins, use an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel, avalanche awareness and more.  Ski
rentals are available for first timers.

If you aren't quite ready to take that first step, another approach would be to try the Interconnect Tour through Ski Utah.  It's a great way to see the backcountry while on your alpine skis and with a guide. As Ski Utah says, "This one-of-a-kind European ski tour can be had right here in the heart of Utah's Rocky Mountains."

Try something different on your next trip to Alta and ski beyond the slopes of the ski area.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunny Days at Alta

One thing that's hard to beat is a sunny day after an Alta storm.  And several sunny days are even better. Last week and the weekend were days of great skiing and beautiful weather.  First time skiers at Alta were supercharged with the magnitude of the mountains.

Aleisha is from Chicago and this was her first visit to Alta. A beginner skier, she skied runs accessed from Sunnyside and Cecret lifts.

Great views of Greely Hill in Albion Basin with Baldy Mtn. in the background. Sugarloaf chairlift takes skiers to the pass where they can ski down to the lift again, go over to Collins or Supreme lift or ski to Snowbird if they have an Altabird lift ticket.

Beginner skiers Grant and Esteban were practicing turns and stopping on the rope tow hill. Once proficient at those skills, it was off to the chair lifts!

           Here's a video from last Monday's Alta Storm

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's an Alta Storm!

There's something special going on at Alta today: snow at 3 inches an hour! That was earlier today and the University of Utah just reported that Alta received 11 inches of snow from 9am-1pm! It's still snowing and is supposed to continue through the evening. 

When it snows that hard, you have to consider dropping everything and head to Alta.  Every run will be fresh tracks--they fill in that fast.  Here's are some links to go to keep up with how much MORE snow Alta will be getting -- Alta Ski Area Twitter , Alta Ski Area Facebook  and  Alta Snowfall Observations.

Keep smiling and hope you ski some powder tomorrow!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Wish You Were--

                                                          Skier: Aaron Rice, Photo: Joey Campanelli
The past week has been one of the best holiday seasons in recent memories.  Not only did we get a "white Christmas" with 13 inches of snow, it then continued to snow for several days bringing in several more feet of snow. The holiday season was indeed jolly for skiers at Alta.

We're happy to report there is a long-term forecast from the National Weather Service that winter snowfall could be "above average". For those skiers who don't start their ski season until January, there's plenty of time to make your Alta Lodge vacation plans and remember Alta stays open for skiing until the end of April. Whether it's winter powder or spring skiing, plan now so you will be here instead of wishing you were!
Photo: Aaron RIce