Posh shops, fine din­ing? Nope. Alta is all about the ski­ing.

The Denver Post - - TRAVEL - By Jesse Paul

alta, utah» Bat­tling In­ter­state 70 traf­fic to get ski turns of­ten leaves me pound­ing my steer­ing wheel and yelling on my way to the moun­tains, then anx­ious about get­ting off the slopes in time to miss the re­turn-to-theFront Range panic.

But my love for ski­ing is un­break­able, and each year it’s re­newed dur­ing my an­nual trip to Alta, Utah, with my fa­ther. It’s a va­ca­tion from my spoiled Colorado ski life and a frus­tra­tion-free stray from the norm.

It’s not just an es­cape from the I-70 park­ing lot, though. When I ride chair­lifts in Alta and tell peo­ple I’m from Den­ver, I’m usu­ally asked the same ques­tion: “Isn’t there snow in Colorado? Why don’t you just ski there?”

It’s be­cause out of my 35-or-so ski days each year — al­most all at Colorado ski ar­eas — the best are al­ways the four or five I spend at this skier-only re­sort just south­east of Salt Lake City.

Skiers: Think the feel­ing and ter­rain of Ara­pa­hoe Basin, but on a Key­stone or Crested Butte scale. Add in Alta’s many tra­verses — like the iconic High Tra­verse to Alf ’s High Rustler and Stone Crusher — and its in­tense hike-to ter­rain on Mount Baldy. You won’t find a sprawl­ing ter­rain park here, nor the plen­ti­ful groomers like those at Breck­en­ridge or Beaver Creek.

Jesse Paul makes his way through deep snow on Ea­gle’s Nest at Alta ski area in Jan­uary.

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