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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

Alta is in the Wasatch Moun­tains of Utah, in Salt Lake County, about 40 min­utes by road from Salt Lake City air­port. More: alta.com. their last runs and snow storms com­ing in from down the val­ley. Lo­cals say Alta’s snow sea­son is bet­ter than other parts of Utah’s Wasatch Moun­tains be­cause the storms ar­rive first in their canyon. It’s a snow wrangler, they say, and usu­ally 1.3m of snow is wran­gled ev­ery win­ter.

But for vis­it­ing skiers, the beauty of the ski area is most mem­o­rable. The pines, spruce and as­pens look as though they’ve been scat­tered around the val­ley by an artist and pro­vide the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of tree cover and open spa­ces for skiers. And with lit­tle new de­vel­op­ment to jar the eye, the views are the same as those seen by the in­trepid skiers who strapped on wooden skies in their lodges at the end of World War II.

The ease of skiing is en­hanced by the com­bi­na­tion of runs, of which 40 per cent are in­ter­me­di­ate; the op­por­tu­nity for ad­vanced skiers to climb off-piste ar­eas; and the fact all lodges, ex­cept The Peru­vian, have their own lifts to ac­cess the ski ter­rain.

There are two chal­lenges to staying at Alta. One is the alti­tude, both of the lodges and the high­est points of the moun­tain. Those who haven’t ac­cli­ma­tised at, say, nearby re­sorts might get alti­tude sick­ness. The other chal­lenge comes when heavy snow­falls or avalanches spark alerts and guests are forced to stay in their lodges for hours or even a day or more. But for many, th­ese alerts are a delight be­cause they get to stay longer and they’re first out on the slopes to ski the pow­der.

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