Overview: “Nobody Cares You Ski Alta,” is a popular bumper sticker in the Beehive State. Why the negativity? Alta has been so idolized by so many generations of skiers that the affection—typically displayed with an Alta snowflake sticker—can get a little overdone. Get over it, haters. For those who love skiing steep powder, no other lift company in the country and perhaps the world quite matches up. Hit High Boy or High Nowhere for first tracks and you’ll be a convert, too.
What’s New: Look for a supersized and revitalized Snowpine Lodge to open in mid-January. It brings some modern flair to a hill steeped in tradition. Oh, and Alta is still an easy 40-minute drive from the Salt Lake airport. They didn’t change that.
Local’s Take: Brenden Cody, a bootfitter at The Lift House in Salt Lake, offers sage advice to first-time Alta skiers: “For those looking for jumps and a wide-open playground head to the Wildcat chairlift where the locals and freeriders go to put lines together.” And for skiers looking for more solitude, “hike off the top of Summit Chairlift to Catherine’s for backcountry access.” But, he adds, be aware this is expert level uncontrolled terrain so stay alert and wary of what the pourover looks like. alta.com —S.P. | | skier Kalen Thorien | photo Lee Cohen