Salt Lake's Devil's Castle is Heaven on Skis

[caption id="attachment_5073" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Eric Balken at Alta, Photo: Chris Shifrar"][/caption]

 With the arrival of the 2011 New Year, there’s been a lot to celebrate in Utah.  In the last two months, we’ve been hit with about three feet of snow every other week. 

Brighton Resort and Alta Ski Area have already received 307” and 296” of snow respectively, while Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort have received 296” and 303” respectively. 

Alta has already reached a settled snow depth of over 100”, which is something us locals don’t usually get to brag about until March. I’ve even heard a lot of old-timers on the mountain claim this is the best season we’ve had in 15 years. 

Aside from the satisfaction of skiing deep powder week after week, this season’s awesome snowfall also means resorts have been able to open up special areas. 

[caption id="attachment_5086" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Devil's Castle, courtesy of Alta Ski Area"][/caption]

One of these is the famous Devil’s Castle at Alta Ski Resort. Accessed directly off of Sugarloaf chairlift, Devil’s Castle is only opened when the snow pack is deep and stable enough to safely cover the huge stretch of mountain. When the gates open, skiers shuffle across a short traverse to access an open bowl stretching 1,500 feet across. With hardly any trees and over 500 feet of open, steep, terrain, a run down “The Castle” has led many to utter the words, “best run of my life.” 

Alta has an even spread of beginner, moderate, and advanced terrain to explore as well as a 5 km groomed Nordic track. Consider the size of 2,200 acres and 2,000 feet of vertical terrain, and you’ll see why skiers of all levels come here year after year and never get bored. 

Plus, food always tastes better after skiing, so when you’re done hitting the slopes, check out one of Alta’s 10 unique restaurants. They have everything from burgers at the new Watson Shelter to fine dining at the Shallow Shaft restaurant. 

[caption id="attachment_5075" align="aligncenter" width="210" caption="Dimitri Littig at Alta, Photo: Chris Shifrar"][/caption]

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