by Paul Maraschiello

Every time I ski at Alta, there is a ton of GREAT snow. When I arrived at Alta, it was another powder day and someone said that they had received over 400 inches so far that year. The guys at the Alta Ski Shop once again fixed me up with a great pair of skis that were ideally suited for the all powder that had fallen. I had a great time skiing all of my favorite trails at Alta. I rode up the new Collins Chair that now has a sensor that will read your lift ticket in your pocket, eliminated the necessity of someone visually checking your ticket or scanning it.

Alta has outstanding runs to challenge the most expert of skiers 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 their 500+ inches of annual snowfall.

Alta offers some of the best skiing in America and the view isn't bad, ether. The snow-covered trails I could see from the chair confirmed my assumption of another spectacular day of skiing. I warmed up on Devil's Way to Glory Gulch and rode up the Sugarloaf chair to sample the snow on the Sugar Bowl. I skied all my favorite trails and slopes that were services by Sugarloaf and had a great morning. I skied steep trails and slopes covered with SOFT bumps and had a real blast. Expert trails like Sugarbowl were in great shape and Amen had bumps which were just my size. I really enjoyed intermediate trails like Razor Back, Devil's Elbow and Rollercoaster.

I had lunch at Alf's, overlooking the Sugarloaf chair and then went back for some more skiing and after a couple more runs on the trails serviced by the Sugarloaf chair, I skied over to the Supreme chair and checked out trails like Upper Big Dipper and No.9 Express. I decided to ski to the bottom and enjoyed an easy run down Rabbit to Home Run. I was pretty tired, so I called it a day.

I was staying the Anton Boxrud B&B in the heart of Salt Lake City. I had stayed there before and really like staying at this old Victorian B&B. It is just half a block from the Governor's Mansion in downtown SLC and convenient to ski areas including those in Little Cottonwood Canyon like Alta. This B&B has rich

woodwork, beautiful fireplaces and is filled with antiques. They put out a sumptuous breakfast that is very fancy. The owner Jane is very friendly and my room was very nice. I stayed a single room with a private bath. They have fancier room and the one next door had a jacuzzi. The prices at this lovely B&B are very reasonable, ranging from $69 to $140. All rates include a gourmet breakfast, private off street parking, hot tub out back under a gazebo (if you are there is warm weather), snacks and beverages. The B&B is smoke free and the friendly Scotch Terrier loves to be petted. There is an office for the guests that has fax, phone, copier and a plug in for your modem. A large TV with VCR and DVD is in the middle living room with a large selection of films available for guest use. For reservations call: (800) 524-5511 and tell them that the Ski Bum News sent you.

More Skiing
I was back at Alta early for more skiing. I played all morning in the slopes serviced by the Sugarloaf chair and then had lunch at Collins Grill. This is a new building that they put in when they replaced the old Collins and Germania chairs with the new Collins chair. After a quick lunch, I skied the moguls on High Main Street and took Main Street down to Meadow and Lower Rustler. I spent the rest of the day skiing those trails serviced by the Collins chair and at the end of the day, I headed to the bottom. When I got to the base of the mountain, there was some excitement. A helicopter was landing to pick up an injured skier and take that person to s hospital for treatment. I was glad to see that if you are hurt, they get you to a treatment FAST if you need it.

For anyone intending to ski in Utah, put Alta on your "MUST SKI" list. They consistently have great conditions and the best snow in the world. One local told me that when the weather comes in, the storm circles around the mountain that Alta is on and keeps dropping snow. I have a theory that the desert sucks the moisture out of the snow and that is why it is always light, fluffy "champaign powder". You can purchase a lift ticket for $59 or for $84 you can get one that also includes Snowbird. Season passes are only $725, so if you have decided to become a ski bum for a season, get a season pass at Alta and ski your brains out. You will find that the terrain is fabulous but they do not allow snowboarders.