To quote a popular tale this time of year: Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! And what a merry Christmas it was for this girl. I got to spend it on skis in one of my most favorite places on Earth: Alta, Utah. Don't get me wrong: I can ski just about anywhere, but there's something special about Alta--or more my memories of it. I skied it for the first time exactly a decade ago this December (man, time flies!), back when Utah had an early season dumping--not this year unfortunately--and Alta's vast terrain felt like a true winter wonderland. The history buff in me is fascinated by its past, how it was the first of the Utah resorts to run a chair lift and how it looked back in a vintage 1974 video.
Alta always seems to have more snow than the surrounding resorts--it was only about an inch shy of the base at Brighton, one canyon over. It always seems to offer thrills and chills--and spills as I can attest to after a rather embarrassing ejection and flip out of my skis to end the day (thank goodness for helmets!). And lately it seems to always be nearly empty around the holidays--no waiting in line today and hardly any waiting in line when I skied there the day after Christmas last year.
Well, in all honesty, any spot that had snow and a downhill pitch would do (even Wisconsin, my neighbor to the north, or northwestern Illinois where I haven't skied in a looong time) because this gal was itching to buckle up those boots and click into those bindings. But if I thought that Christmas was good, there's even more in store for New Year's Eve when Alta hosts its annual torchlight parade down the mountain, complete with lights, flares and fireworks.
How did you spend your holiday?