This is the third installment of my 2011 Utah ski odyssey. Alta was absolutely the finest ski resort that I have ever had the pleasure of carving turns at, and I will certainly be skiing there every year as long as my legs will hold me up. This place is old school, and it shows. Built in 1939, it has that authentic feel and not the Disney on snow feel that so many resorts like Solitude have. From the panoramic views, rough hewn furniture in the lodges, and a million other little things that are reminiscent of a European ski resort, this is what skiing is meant to be. Other resorts may have 5 star hotels, wonderful spas and shopping, etc., and if that is what you are after, fine, go to Vail or Deer Valley, but if you want the best possible overall skiing experience (sorry snowboarders, you'll have to go 2 miles down the canyon to Snowbird) this is the place to be. I never believed in love at first sight, and then I saw her, and her name was Alta. Unbelievably Ski Magazine ranks this jewel at #28th overall, but let's break down those numbers:
Terrain variety- #8
Well, there you have it. Not in the top ten for on mountain food, lodging, dining, terrain parks (they don't have or need one), off hill activities, or family programs. This is a skier's mountain, and this is what they do: provide the best skiing experience in America. End of story.
Getting ready for my first run near the base lodge.
Here I am at the top of the Collins lift. It had been sunny most of the day, but as the lifts were getting ready to close the sun hid for a little while behind the clouds.
It began to burn through again just in time for my last run.
Even the parking lot had spectacular scenery.
The deck of the Alta Lodge.
This cozy little bar is called the Sitzmark. It was very intimate, holding no more than 20 or so guests. It made the top ten Apres-ski hot spots recently in USA Today. It was like traveling back in time to 1939. I had two beers here, the only drinking that I did for the entire trip.
The top photo was the right window next to the fireplace, this is the left. I am guessing the entire room is no more than 20 by 20 feet.
The Sheriff of Alta.
Alta trail map. the skier's map to Heaven (Nirvana, or Mecca. choose your own word for paradise).
Anyone lucky enough to ski here will attest to the wonder of this magnificent skier's mountain.