4:12 p.m. … I sit down for a pint and nachos at the famed Goldminer’s
Daughter Lodge, at the base of Alta Ski Area after a superb day of skiing.
On the stage sits a long time professional ski patroller with his avalanche
dog, answering questions from a jam-packed lounge about snow safety, and
how the dogs help create a safe environment
for skiers.

Chatting with the bartender, Shelly, I ask
what brings her to Alta. A nurse practitioner
from the East Coast, she looks at
me like … ‘really?’

She pours me an Alta 75th anniversary
beer from Wasatch Brewing and says,
“It’s all about the powder.”

In 75 years of operation, Alta’s spirit
hasn’t changed much. This skier’s-only
mountain will forever be known for its
abundant snow, spectacular terrain and
rustic charm.

I skied the iconic High Rustler six times
in eight inches of fluff that day, enjoyed a slopeside coffee from Alta Java,
après at the Goldminer’s, and finished with a nightcap at the Alta Lodge’s
Sitzmark Bar. Not a bad day at all.

Where to stay

Editor’s pick: The Alta Lodge

Walk into the lobby of the Alta Lodge (at left) and you’ll know right
away you’re there to ski. The lodge’s traditional charm defines
the Alta experience. Since 1940, this gem in the mountains has
provided premier ski-in/ski-out access to the main base area and
offered lodging/dining packages to guests, many of whom return
every year. Enjoy an après ski beverage in the Sitzmark Club,
then savor a four-course meal in the dining room. Finish the
night off with a hot tub, and repeat the next day. altalodge.com

Local’s pick: Alta Peruvian Lodge

Since 1948, the Alta Peruvian Lodge has provided its guests the
traditional ski lodge experience, mountain ambiance and firstclass
amenities. Have an after-ski-day beer, and then share stories
in the heated outdoor pool. altaperuvian.com

Gear

The Powder House Ski Shop

Are your ski boots more of nuisance then a tool?
The Powder House Ski Shop in Alta specializes in
boot fitting, and can take care of the rest of your
equipment needs, as well. With three prime locations
on the slopes of Alta Ski Area and one in Salt
Lake City, Powder House’s knowledgeable and
friendly staff is there to get you equipped and looking
good for an amazing day on the slopes. powderhouseskishop.com

Watering holes

Editor’s pick: Eagle’s Nest Lounge

With a view of its namesake ski run, the Eagle’s
Nest Lounge in the Rustler Lodge is perhaps Alta’s
most upscale spot to enjoy a cocktail after skiing.
Sit at the granite-topped bar, warm up around the
fireplace, or snuggle on one of the couches. It doesn’t
get more romantic than this. rustlerlodge.com

Locals’ pick: Sitzmark Club

Sitzmark is a German word that means ‘an impression
made in the snow by a skier falling backward.’
Many a tired skier has made such an impression
at day’s-end in this classic upstairs bar. A locals’
favorite, this kicked-back joint in the Alta
Lodge was nominated as one of “10 great places
for après-ski nightlife” in North America by USA
Today in 2011. Don’t miss a game of cribbage or
backgammon.

Where to eat

Base area: The Alta Lodge

The dining experience at the Alta Lodge is nothing short of spectacular—the
food is just as mouth-watering as the views of Mount Superior. Chef Sam Wolfe
has paired fine local foods with wines ranging from Napa to Oregon to France.
The hot breakfast buffet will get you going in the morning, and the four-course
dinner menu shows just how much dedication the Alta Lodge puts forth to make
guests feel at home.

On-mountain: Collins Grill at Watson Shelter

If you remember the original Watson Shelter at mid-mountain Alta, you might
remember its classic ski lodge flair accompanied by friendly staff, the smell of
burgers on the grill, and a light draft of cold air breezing through the walls.
Well, things have changed a bit with the new mid-mountain location. The
Collins Grill, located upstairs by the Collins Lift angle station, is a must-do if
you’re skiing Alta. A European bistro-style menu offers fresh, local food items,
an extensive wine list and daily chef specials. It’s also equipped to handle large
parties and business meetings with a private dining room and customizable
menus. alta.com/pages/colinsgrill.php

To do’s

Alta is for skiers and is known for its quality snow, challenging terrain and diehard
mentality. The area offers a number of ski camps for a range of abilities.

Ski with the Girls: Get to know the mountain with just the ladies.
Ski with friendly Alta locals in a non-competitive and fun environment. For all
abilities. Contact: girls@alta.com

Steep Skiing Camps with Kim Reichelm: Rip
the bigger lines, traverse to new stashes and hike to the most challenging terrain
on the mountain. For advanced-intermediate to expert skiers. Check out
skiwithkim.com for scheduled camps in 2013.