ALTA ADVENTURE

After a week of skiing in Utah, Tex and I were really skiing at out best. Nothing could be better than ending our trip with a couple of days of skiing at Alta. W knew that Alta has outstanding runs to challenge even experienced skiers like us with 35% rated as “Expert”. They also provide many trails (40%) for intermediate skiers and even lots of trails (25%) for the beginner. There are a dozen lifts that service the 115 trails at this world-class mountain resort with a 2,020 ft. vertical. They have 50- acres of snowmaking to augment the 500 inches of annual snowfall.

 

Alta is often rated as having the best snow in America. When a storm moves over the desert, the moisture is sucked out, so the snow is that blow-away powder that we all dream about. With 2,200 acres, you can ski forever at Alta without ever encountering a snowboarder. Sorry shredders, no snowboards allowed.

 

Accommodations
We were staying at the City Creek Inn, a very reasonably-priced motel situated in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City with easy access to great restaurants, tourist attractions, landmarks, and city night-life. We were only a mile or two from the highway, so we had the best of two worlds . . . big city amenities and more world-class skiing than you will find within an hour of any city in America. Our room wasn’t fancy but it was big with two beds and very clean and comfortable. They even use a photo of the room we had their web site. It was an easy walk to great restaurants, we were near everything. I would recommend this motel to anyone visiting this city who is on a moderate budget. With rates ranging from $48 for a single to $58 for a double, It’s a REAL BARGAIN. Call toll free (866) 533-4898 for a reservation.

 

Tex and I strolled over to a Brazilian Grill that I found in a brochure htt was in the room. I had eaten in a similar restaurant in the D.C. area and knew that to expect. If you like all-you-can-eat restaurants, Brazilian Grills are great. They featuring a parade of waiters holding 3 foot skewers stacked with a variety of rotisserie grilled meats carved tableside by Brazilian Gauchos. There was also a sumptuous salad bar but the big attraction is the unending supply of grilled meat. Tex and I are both carnivorous and like to pig-out once in a while. The fried banana were so good that we kept asking the Gauchos to bring them back to our table so we could have a few more. We were really stuffed when we headed back to our room.

 

Skiing
Tex and I had both skied Alta before. Once again, the sun was shining, the weather was warm and we were riding great skis. The boys at the Alta ski shop fixed us up with Atomic Metron M:EX skis that were ideal for the conditions. These skies were great in the bumps, handles the powder well and really tracked well on the hard-pack. They were very heavy which allowed them to ignore the heavy spring snow and crud that we sometimes found at lower altitudes late in the day.

 

For my money, Alta offers some of the best skiing in America and Tex had to agree. We rode up the new Collins chairlift at Alta and the trails we could see from the chair confirmed our assumption of another spectacular day of skiing. We warmed up on Devil’s Way to Glory Gulch and rode up the Sugarloaf chair to sample the snow on the Sugar Bowl. Alta had received over 300 inches of snow this season, and although we were not there on a powder day, all the slopes had excellent coverage. Back East, a day like this would be a “10” bu at Alta, it was only a “7”. After a few runs on the trails and slopes off the Sugarloaf chair, we began to explore the rest of the mountain.

 

Every place we went, the slopes were in excellent condition and we were smoking them. It’s not often that I’m able to ski that well on world-class expert trails. We ate up the bumps on Extrovert and were forced to ski them a number of times. We were having a real blast. Nothing could be better than looking good barreling through the bumps on Glory Gulch. We sampled the snow on Amen and dropped over the edge of the Collins return trail into the bowl that includes Little Dipper and Waldron’s Run and Devil’s Way.

 

We had lunch at Alf’s Restaurant up on the mountain and then headed over to the Supreme Chair where we found some of the most challenging trails at Alta. Challenger was covered with frozen hard-pack and had just enough bumps for keep two guys from Killington happy, so we were forced to do it a couple of times. We skied trails like Big Dipper, Rock ‘N Roll, Upper Sleepy Hollow, and the White Squaw area, even venturing into the trees a little before heading to easier terrain and then calling it a day.

 

We drove back to the city and as it was Saturday night, I decided to go dancing. I found the only country bar (excuse me, private club) with live entertainment in Salt Lake City and spent the evening two-steppin at the Westerner with the local beauties on the biggest dance floor in the West.

 

The next day, it was off to the slopes for some more skiing. It was a magic day, sunny and warm and we could do no wrong. We skied all the trails that we knew were fun from the day before and checked out parts of the mountain where we had not skied. We skied down Stimulation to Meadow and hit Lower Rustler we rode the new Collins Chair and even checked out the trails off the Sunnyside Chair. We took runs down Mambo and Main Street and even took High traverse to Annie’s and Jake’s. We got over to Hourglass Chute and did some bumps on Regal Chute. We skied Greeley Bowl and at 3 o’clock, we took a final “victory lap” that concluded with a run down Eagle’s Nest before we headed to the car and drove to the airport for the long flight home.

 

I’m convinced that when ski bums die (if they’ve been good) they wind up at a place in Heaven just like Alta!