Alta Ski Area has cleared a critical hurdle in its effort to enlarge parking and restaurants, and to upgrade lifts to improve flow around the mountain – including a tram to the top of Mount Baldy.
The U.S. Forest Service recently OK’d five years of plans for the improvements, triggering a 45-day comment period that will run into late May. Save Our Canyons environmental group has already said it would file an objection to the plans.
Highlighting the project is a proposed tram to run from the top of the Collins Lift at Germania Pass to the 11,068-foot summit of Mount Baldy that overlooks the frontside of the skiers-only resort. Officials say the tram, which can haul 150 skiers an hour, would serve to get ski patrol to the summit quickly and allow them to use the latest avalanche control devices from that vantage point.
In that same area, the oldest Utah resort proposes to replace the venerable 33-year-old Wildcat chair with a high-speed quad to get skiers out of the base and into the famed treed powder stashes more quickly.
Also on the mountain, the plans call for combining the side-by-side Cecret and Supreme chairs into a single detachable quad. This new lift will streamline loading at Sugarbowl and get skiers into the trees and gullies off the old Supreme lift.
Also out of the backside, a new chair will deliver skiers from Alf’s Restaurant to the top of the Collins lift – eliminating East Baldy Traverse and improve access into Greeley Bowl. Below that, the iconic Albion beginner lift will be removed and its companion, the Sunnyside chair, will get an upgrade.
For hungry skiers, Alta proposes to expand both Alf’s Restaurant on the backside and the popular Watson’s Cabin at the Collins midstation.
To ease parking and bus flow, the resort will trade about 50 spots out of the Wildcat lot over to the Albion lot.
To read the USFS decision, click here.