Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dreams of Powder Come True

The weekend holiday was one that will linger in memories for awhile.  The snowfall total was 20 inches over the two-day weekend.  Split between the two days, it was dreamy powder skiing.  Snow was easy and fun to ski without feeling the bottom.  The sun came out on Monday with a little left over powder here and there. Skiing has continued to be good all week long and today is another sunny day.

Skiers return to the Lodge after a day of skiing.
With the New Year just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about that ski vacation.  To make it easier to plan, we've put together a package: the Alta Lodge Ski Week. This is an all inclusive package with lodging, meals, transportation to and from the airport, ski rentals and lift tickets. If you've always wanted a week of skiing, this is the way to do it. If you want to branch out a little, you can upgrade your lift ticket to an Alta Snowbird day pass, allowing you to ski the best of both worlds.
View of Snowbird from Baldy

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

White Christmas and Happy Holidays

Holiday decorations at Alta LodgeHoliday season 2016 at Alta Lodge
As holidays skiers arrive throughout the next two weeks, the tree trimming, poinsettias and wreaths around the Lodge create a festive feeling. 

With all the snow that has fallen the past couple of weeks, (season snowfall of 131 inches so far) Alta now has a base of 58 inches with all lifts open. The National Weather Forecast is showing there will be a white Christmas at Alta with more snow coming in the days following.

The staff at the Kids' Club have been having fun with the children staying at the Lodge.  Fun and games, sledding and making cookies.  This week the group had a good time making gingerbread houses which are on display in the lobby of the Lodge.

Bells are heard in the halls before breakfast on Christmas morning when St. Nicholas comes to the Lodge. It's a fun time for young children and families--being in the mountains and skiing over the holiday season!

Monday, December 12, 2016

100+ inches of Snow & All LIfts are Open

To date, Alta has received 102-inches of snow this season and we npw have a 46-inch base.  Powder skiers had a storm to ski in on Saturday and the sun came out mid-day on Sunday. The mountain coverage just keeps getting better and there is plenty of terrain to ski. It's that bonus time of year to ski when most skiers are getting ready for the holiday season, trimming their trees and shopping while the die hard skiers practically have the slopes to themselves. 

More snow is coming in later this week and the base building skiing is great.  Check out the video below from the Daily Pow to get an idea of what the skiing was like yesterday at Alta. If winter hasn't made an official appearance at your local ski area, head to Alta where winter fun is in full force.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Skiing's Great with More Snow This Week

Alta opened on December 2 with great conditions, blue sky and sunshine and lots of powder skiing!
All lifts were open except Cecret and Supreme, which start running on Friday, December 9.

Now if you are a powder skier, here's some information that ought to get you excited.  It's called an "atmospheric river" (AR) and can translate to lots of snow. The talk is circulating next week's storm system could be a whopper.  There's still time to plan to be at Alta and stay at Alta Lodge when the storm hits.

If you have not had the experience of being at Alta and staying at the Lodge when the road is closed, it's something special. It feels like you've got the mountain to yourself with other Lodge guests and the powder seems endless. It's something you never forget.

Pay attention to the weather and start making some plans; you'll be glad you did. Of course we acknowledge weather forecasting is not an exact science...but there sure is a lot of excitement in the air for this storm.

For more information on this forecast, visit Wasatch Snow Forecast.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Alta's New Opening Date: December 2

Alta Lodge deck November 21
Mother Nature is finally shifting gears! We had a storm come in last week, more snow last evening and it is snowing now.  With a change in the weather pattern, more storms are coming in the next couple of weeks and we are expecting "winter as usual" at Alta.  An 8,600 foot elevation certainly plays to our advantage!

To get excited for your Alta ski vacation, you may be interested in checking some of our favorite weather resources. The national weather service has a Cottonwood Canyons forecast that is good for a 24 hour period.  Their weather synopsis late this afternoon showed:
.Winter Weather Advisory in Effect Until 4am Tuesday...
A pacific storm system will cross the area this evening, before moving east later tonight. High pressure will follow Tuesday, with another system expected Wednesday afternoon and evening

A couple of other local sources popular with skiers:
Professor Powder's Blog  Wasatch Weather Weenies is the product of University of Utah's meteorologist Jim Steenburgh, author "Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth".

The Wasatch Snow Forecast blog is a fun one to follow, especially today as Evan tells us about Storms #1, #2, #3 &'s that for some promising news?

Now you've got some resources to check, you'll have a better idea of what's happening with the weather in Alta and the Cottonwood Canyons.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ski Conditioning Tips

Are you still thinking about getting in shape for the ski season? Doing a little training before the season starts is invaluable for a more enjoyable experience during your first days on the slopes. Starting the season that way is what most professional and recreational skiers do.

If you need some guidance and encouragement, in the Salt Lake Valley, the University of Utah offers ski conditioning classes that are taught through the orthopedic center. Friends who have participated in these classes have commented on their effectiveness and the quality of the instructors. Their web page also has ski-related articles and tips.

Bosu ball
We're sharing some tips from pros if you want to train on your own but need some ideas on where to start for skiing specific exercises. Burn SLC has some tips you can follow either at home or your local gym.

Ski Utah's fitness blogger Active Alyssa has an article with a focus on using a Bosu ball.  She has photos and instructions for these basic exercises that will give your lower body a good workout.

Budget some training time and you'll enjoy that first day of skiing!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Thanksgiving at Alta Lodge

It's the first day of November and the next holiday, Thanksgiving, is coming soon. Alta is one of the
few ski areas that is open early enough to take a Thanksgiving ski vacation. Many local skiers have a tradition of skiing on Thanksgiving, something that is easy to do if you live in the Salt Lake valley.  Skiers who are not as close to Alta have their own tradition of spending the extended Thanksgiving weekend skiing at Alta and staying with us at Alta Lodge. It's a nice kick-off to the ski and holiday season. The choice to relax in front of the lobby fireplace after a day of skiing or to go grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner, isn't a tough choice to make.

Chef Sam Wolfe and his staff prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Guests have the option for a private table or they can join a table with other guests. We have several multi-generation famlilies that have established their annual trip during Thanksgiving as well as couples and singles who enjoy the comfortable lodge setting and social atmosphere. 

For families with young children, we offer Kids Stay/Eat for Free with a four-night stay. The offer is for two children age 12 and under who stay in the same room with their parents. It represents a savings of over $200 per night.

Alta and Alta Lodge open November 18. Will you there on opening weekend?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Skiing in 32 Days....

Is it really that close to ski season? We're feeling like it is at the Lodge with fresh snow this morning and some more on the docket for tomorrow. As you can see from the photo, the trees have now lost their leaves and the colder weather is keeping the snow we've received so far.

Alta is scheduled to open on November 18 so there is still time to do some early season training, locate your ski gear and get your boards waxed for the big day.

Ski films are a fun way to get pumped up--check out your local events calendar for listings.

In addition to that, if you are in Utah, the University of Utah Marriot Library's Ski Affair is an annual fundraising event for the ski archives collection at the library.  Guests attend a reception and silent auction, followed by a buffet dinner and recognition of honorees who helped to make Utah a thriving world-class winter sports and recreation capital. The November 1 event is at Little America in Salt Lake City.  Tickets and information are available here.

Alta friends in New York City have a rare opportunity to attend a Friends of Alta benefit at the Explorers Club on November 15.  The event is from 6:00-8:30 pm. There will be presentations on Friends of Alta's work, an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and plenty of time to mingle and reminisce. Tickets and information are available here.
Thanksgiving plans? We've got our annual Kids Stay/Eat for Free if you book a four night minimum stay over Thanksgiving weekend. Details are available here. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Alta's Baldy Gets a Dusting of Snow

The red and gold colors surrounding Alta had an added plus this morning with a dusting of snow on top of Baldy.  It's always a fun site to see when the first snow shows up at Alta. As the seasons shift we can expect to see cooler temperatures and more moisture--both welcome to eager skiers.

In the meantime, Alta Lodge is open for Saturday lunch through the end of the month and Sunday Brunch until October 9.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fall is in the Air

A photo of a past fall season at Alta.
It's the tail end of August and fall is already showing colors in Little Cottonwood Canyon and on the hillsides above the Salt Lake Valley.  Daytime temperatures at Alta range from 60-70 degrees, ideal for hiking. The free shuttle service from Albion Day Lodge to Albion Basin will continue to run through Labor Day Weekend.  For weekday dining the Albion Grill is open from 10am - 7pm. Alta Lodge is open for lunch on Saturday from 11am - 2pm and on Sunday for brunch from 9:30am - 2pm.

September, especially Labor Day weekend, is great time to hit sales of ski great, clothing and to get your Alta Season Pass!
The best pricing on season passes is now until the end of September. Many Alta Lodge guests make several ski trips each season to Alta and quite a few purchase a season pass, which saves money and is more convenient.  You might consider this option if you are one of our guests who stays with us frequently during ski seasom.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Summer Weddings at Alta Lodge

Our summer wedding season is as busy as ever this year. Most wedding ceremonies take place on the patio with Baldy mountain as the backdrop--a gorgeous setting any time of day. The natural colors and lighting work wonders for photographers.

There are an array of dining options available,
from a more formal full service sit down dinner to a mountain barbecue.

Guests dance the night away under twinkling lights.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Recent Hikes in the Canyon

Albion Basin
With the recent blazing heat in Salt Lake City, Little Cottonwood Canyon has provided relief from the heat for those of us that dwell in the valley. Being closely situated to the mountains, it is easy to head to the canyon after work or on the weekend and enjoy a leisurely walk or hike.

Mineral Basin
Here's something different to try if you are up for a more ambitious hike. Walk up to Sugarloaf Pass from Albion Basin and drop into Mineral Basin.  There are multiple trails there and some fantastic views of the Timpanogos mountains. Last Sunday we walked to the tunnel that goes from Mineral Basin to Peruvian Gulch and rode the Peruvian chairlift down to Snowbird. The hike was beautiful with many lupine and bluebells on the hillside. The intensity of the colors will only increase over the next couple of weeks as flowers begin to come into peak season.  We rode the chairlift down at no cost on Sunday. Normal operating hours are 11am - 8pm in summer and 11am - 6pm during fall.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wildflower Festival - July 29, 30 & 31

Alta is home to more than 300 varieties of wildflowers that typically reach their peak in late July.  A brilliant carpet of color spreads across the meadows and hills of the Cottonwood Canyons, especially in Albion Basin at Alta. Each year the Cottonwoods Canyon Foundation puts together a Wildflower Festival to share viewing the wildflowers as well as identifying them.  The three-day festival includes hikes for different level hikers as well as shorter walks. 
Stop in for Saturday lunch or Sunday Brunch and enjoy the peak of wildflower season!

The day's events at Alta are as follows:

Saturday, July 30th  (Entry 2, Albion Grill)

Beginner Walks
    • Lower Albion Meadows Trail
    • Walk takes place along gentle terrain along base area, through willows, meadows and along stream side to allow for excellent variety of wetland wildflowers and other species.
    • About 1 hour
    • 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm
    • Hikes depart as groups fill.
Intermediate Wildflower Walks
    • Albion Meadows Trail at a gentle grade. This walk allows for wonderful variety of flowers blooming in habitats including meadows, shaded spruce-fir stands, nears streams, and sunny, rocky slopes.
    • About 1 1⁄2 hours.
    • 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm
    • Hikes depart as groups fill.

Advanced Walk
    • Twin Lakes Pass trail. Trail is very steep and rocky in sections.
    • North-facing slopes allow for wildflower viewing through a variety of habitats. About 1 ½ hours.
    • 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm
    • Hikes depart as groups fill.

Kids Wildflower Walks
    • Walks along the base designed with kids in mind, fun and interactive wildflower activities along the way! Discover what wildflowers need to grow!  We’ll look for wildflowers and wildlife of Albion Basin.
    • Approximately 45 minutes
    • 9:30am and 10:30am
    • Kids walks depart as groups fill. Kids should be accompanied by an adult.
    • Ongoing Art and Entertainment activities at base from 9 am – 12 pm

Live Music by Bobo of the Weekenders
    • 8:30am-12:30pm