Chris skiing in the Alta backcountry at dawn. Photo Credit: Cyril Brunner

What brought you to Alta?

For spring break during my junior year of college, a friend and I wound up somewhat randomly crashing at one of the cabins way up in Albion Basin near the top of the Supreme Lift. We drove up the canyon late at night, rode snowmobiles up to the house, and then woke up in an attic bedroom with giant skylights framing Devils Castle, Sugarloaf Peak, and the Backside. I grew up seeing pictures of Little Cottonwood Canyon, steep-walled and cloaked in snow, and I was instantly under the influence of Alta when I saw the peaks in person. On that trip I learned that one could get a winter job at a variety of places in town that came with room and board and a ski pass, and my fate was sealed. I graduated college in 2005 and got a job at the front desk at the Rustler Lodge, and in the intervening twelve years, I’ve worked at the Alta Lodge, on the Alta Ski Patrol, as an intern for Friends of Alta, and now I work for Alta’s local government.

What made you stay in Alta?

I became completely obsessed with skiing during my first Alta season. It snowed 660 inches, we didn’t go more than a week without a storm, and when I left town in the middle of May, there was still almost 150 inches on the ground, and my friends and I were still skiing every day at Snowbird or by hiking up to ski perfect corn snow. I really don’t think there’s another place on earth that enables, or promotes, such a pure focus on skiing as Alta. Of course, as the winters passed, I became more embedded in the community, and I came to understand how special and unique Alta is. Once you really know a place like Alta, it’s hard to imagine life without being in touch with its special energy.

Why do you love Alta?

I love Alta because it is an authentic community of people who love what they do and where they are, and because of the unfettered access to world class alpine skiing, non-resort recreation, and open space.

What’s your “can’t miss” Alta experience?

Lapping the steep terrain off the high traverse on a stormy Tuesday afternoon, when only a few people are out skiing but all of them are shout-out-loud stoked, and then going to the Sitzmark Club at the Alta Lodge while your face is still stinging from the cold…skiing perfect powder on a bluebird day in the Alta backcountry and stopping at Alta Java to lounge in the sun before the snow has melted off your goggles…feeling the cool air in Albion Basin on a summer evening after enduring the heat of the Salt Lake Valley during the day. I could go on…

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