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May 12, 2005
For the more adventurous and more experienced skiers, they offer heli skiing, which is where they take you up in a helicopter and drop you off in remote areas - the rest is up to you. They also offer snow cat skiing, where you go up the mountain in a custom snow cat and, once again, are left to your own devices.
This was NOT an option for me, as I am not that adventurous or that good, so I was left with the more boring skiing, which suited me just fine. If it is your first time skiing, they have one of the very best ski schools; it costs $42, which gives you 2 hours of instruction. But, if you just want to polish up on your skills, they have a school for that, too, which is also only $42 for 2 hours of instruction. They have numerous runs for the beginner and intermediate skier. The lift tickets are very reasonable, only $47 for a full day of skiing and $42 for a half-day. There are seven chairs, with over 2,000 acres of ski-able terrain. I loved skiing Alta. They always get tons of snow, and if the resort starts getting too full, they close it off so the crowds don't get overbearing.
There are three choices when ready to eat, we chose Albion, as it was at the base, so it was easy to meet at. There are always crowds at the cafeterias, so no big surprise there. The food is reasonably priced, but I don't know if it was really good or if I was just really hungry from the skiing. I loved the experience of skiing at Alta and would highly recommend this resort to skiers of all levels.
From journal Winter Wonderland
February 24, 2001
We established ourselves at the Albion Base that includes the children’s day care and ski school. Holiday skiers had filled the parking lot, but we unloaded the car first and used the lockers before making the trek from the car. On this late February day, the sky was clear, the sun provided good contrast and warm temperatures allowed bare knuckle skiing. In other words: perfect conditions.
At Alta, it’s all about skiing (exclusively, snowboarders look elsewhere)…great for the skier, but not so great for the non-skiing spouse. My wife camped out at the Albion Day Lodge. Seating is picnic bench style, and there is no place with comfortable couches to cozy up with a book (that we found, anyway). Lunch was swift given the crowds, and the costs were relatively low. We lucked into a rare event…a raw oyster tent. The operators said that they only sold raw oysters on a few days each season. I skied down the slope to find my wife and friends with a half dozen oysters, and I had to try one even though I am generally not a fan of raw shellfish. Wow! After the exertion of skiing and with fresh mountain air in my lungs, the ice cold, briny oysters were fantastic. This is a real treat…if you even think that you might like oysters, you should try them this way. Raw oysters in the middle of land-locked Utah are predictably expensive, but it is one luxury well worth the splurge.
We elected to spend our day in the Point Supreme/Sugarloaf valley. Alta has another ski valley and many more slopes that lead to the Wildcat Base. The Sunnyside quad lift is good for beginners, and it is the jumping off point to a much longer intermediate run, Devil’s Elbow, from the Sugarloaf triple. Supreme is another connecting lift with intermediate options such as Rock-n-Roll and Big Dipper. I found none of the intermediates especially challenging, but they provided good comfortable cruising.
Our Apres Ski time was spent at nearby Alta Lodge which is located between the Albion and Wildcat base areas. After a descent down several flight of stairs to the inn’s lobby, we then went back upstairs to the membership club where we were "sponsored" by friends of our skiing companions. This intimate club is tucked under the roof with windows looking out to the slops and along the valley. Seating is comfortable and a fire place adds warmth. Prices were steep, but a complimentary meat and cheese tray helped cut the edge of post-skiing hunger.
From journal Salt Lake City – Headquarters for a Ski Weekend