At Alta, the Collins single chair takes skiers the first big step up the mountain. Starting from the valley floor it rises 780 vertical feet on a 2,750-foot cable. Rides cost 50� apiece, $3.50 for a day pass. Collins lift services Low Rustler (gentle intermediate run), Corkscrew (intermediate), Nina Curve (steep and narrow—experts only), Schuss Gulley (easier but still expert), Collins Face (tough, bumpy intermediate), Bearpaw (steep, and deep powder—expert), Wildcat (same as Bearpaw) and Westward Ho (steep, deep and through the trees).
Running up to Peruvian Ridge from the head of the Collins lift is the Collins service rope tow. This opens upper Bearpaw (a real cliff), Wildcat Bowl (not quite so bad but snow bunnies stay away) and upper Westward Ho (more powder for the experts). Straight ahead as you get off the Collins lift is the Germania double chair, rising 1,010 feet over a distance of three-quarters of a mile. Cost of rides is the same as Collins. Germania services Eagles Nest (nothing but trees until the trail widens into a chute halfway down—beautiful expert's country), High Rustler (possibly the scariest-looking run in the West—a three-quarter-mile chute with 40% slope, no trees and frequent avalanches), Greeley Bowl (open slopes, steep at top but a nice challenge for intermediates), Gunsight (narrow, steep, and best in spring when snow settles), Yellow Trail (a little steep at the top, but intermediates thrive on it), Green Trail (long and rolling, fine for novices), Sun Spot (open, good for intermediates but likely to avalanche after a storm), Race Course (steep at the top but a nice intermediate runout through the woods at the bottom), Mambo Alley (long and easy), Main Street (long and good for lower intermediates), Ball Room (same as Main Street) and Tombstone (springtime only, top expert).
Rustler Chair—open weekends only—gives beginners a 1,000-foot ride up the open slope on Little Rustler. Cost is 20� a ride, 10 rides $1.80.
At Brighton the 3,700-foot Mount Majestic double chair rises 750 feet, carries skiers at 50� a single ride, day pass $2.50. It services Totem Off, Lost Maid, Mambo and Zanes Hill, all easy, open slopes for novices. The Majestic T bar rises 500 vertical feet up the same hill, costs 20� per ride, day pass $2.10, and feeds into Zanes Hill and Lost Maid. The Majestic rope is 400 feet long, costs a nickel a ride, or all day for $1.10.
The Millicent single chair (4,000 feet long) climbs 1,200 feet into some good expert's country and a variety of lower intermediate runs. Cost of a single ride is 50�, day pass $2.75 weekdays, $3.25 weekends and holidays. Toughest runs off the Millicent chair are Millies Face (rugged headwall), Scree and Lone Pine (a little easier), Little Millie (shorter, but still for experts), Devils Dip (narrow, but a good intermediate can handle), Backbone (fine intermediate slope), Back Door (lower intermediate), Spaghetti (high intermediate, with a couple of sticky places just under Twin Lakes dam), Evergreen (intermediate but fun for experts, with rolling terrain through trees) and Wagon Road (same as Evergreen).
Most popular trail from Alta, largely because it requires only a 400-foot climb, is the Baldy Traverse into Peruvian Gulch (advanced intermediates can handle this one, but check with the Snow Rangers for avalanche danger before you go out). Easiest trail to ski is the Twin Lakes route to Brighton (1,400-foot climb and simple downhill skiing). Coming back, take Catherine Pass and swing down into the rolling powder in the Albion Basin. Possibly the most rugged trail in the area is the one over Cardiff Pass. Don't go on this one without a guide (avalanche danger in the pass and some rather vertical skiing down the other side). American Fork Pass, Dry Creek and Majestic Pass aren't particularly hard, but they're long, and you either have to walk back or take a long cab ride home. Park City trail out the Salt Lake road from Brighton, then up over Scotts Pass, is about the same—fun, but a long walk back.
The Alta Ski School, one of the best in the country on deep powder, is run by Alf Engen, U.S. Olympic ski coach in 1948. Beginners are well taught, but intermediates and experts really flourish in this school. The classes are small, move along fast, and you learn a fascinating, rhythmic technique for fast, deep-snow skiing. All instructors are serious pros, certified by the Inter-mountain Ski Association. Class lessons cost $2.50 for two hours, private cost $7.50 per hour.
The Brighton School, run by K. Smith, puts its emphasis more on beginners, with less on advanced and expert techniques. However, the school can, when called upon, do a fine job in turning out experts. Lessons at Brighton cost $2 for class, $6 private.
Equipment and clothing