By Bart R. Liechty
"Whistler/Blackcomb is bigger, but Alta and Snowbird have far better snow," said Skiing writer Steve Casimiro in an October Salt Lake Tribune article. "The snow's the thing in Little Cottonwood Canyon, and the Utah license plate slogan rings especially true here. It really is the best snow on Earth."
Skimag.com reports Alta and Snowbird have 4,700 acres of skiable terrain, 500 inches of seasonal snowfall and 25 total lifts, it's enough to make Vail look like a bunny hill. One of the unique things about the Alta and Snowbird combination is that skiers will be able to enjoy two distinctively different resorts.
"Alta and Snowbird are like oil and water," said Telly Longhurst of Mendon. "From the terrain to the atmosphere they are completely different, but that is what makes them so good. You have the best snow on earth combined with two unique experiences."
Beyond the overall top 25 ski areas in North America, Skiing magazine ranks resorts for other areas, with Alta and Snowbird ranking No. 1 for best powder.
Beaver Mountain ski patroller Mason Smith said, "The best skiing I have ever had was at the bird." Smith has been to Vail, Jackson Hole and many other resorts and through his skiing experiences prefers Alta and Snowbird to all the rest.
"To be able to rejoice in the moguls of Alta's High Rustler and then revel in the wind buff on the far rim of Mineral Basin at Snowbird transcends the everyday ski experience," said Jackson Hoger of skimag.com.
Tom Emmett, owner of Norda's, a ski shop in Logan, said, "My favorite resort is Deer Valley because they have the best food, but if you are looking for pure powder and killer runs, Alta and Snowbird are the best I've seen."
Joel Draxler, ski technician at Norda's, prefers Jackson Hole because it is so steep, "but after Jackson I would choose Snowbird."
Myskitrip.com recognized Alta and Snowbird for their wide variety of terrain, breathtaking scenery and unparalleled snow conditions.
Justin Cox, a Utah skier for 15 years, said, "My favorite is Sun Valley because it is so big, but as far as extreme skiing and 'freshies' are concerned, I'd cruise to Alta or Snowbird any chance I could get."
Alta and Snowbird may not be everybody's No. 1 choice for a variety of reasons, but according to the reports it is a steep fresh powder experience you won't want to miss.