Typical opening day for most resorts is a complete flail-fest.
You've seen it... perfectly green mountains with that one white ribbon of death staring back at you. The line to ski that icy slope is a few hundred deep. Not exactly the ski trip worth writing home about.
That was not the case at Alta Ski Areaopening weekend. The resort at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon had artillery and avalanche charges thundering as we arrived Friday. It was clear that Alta wasn't messing around. Conditions wouldn't be hampered by the 14" of snow that would fall over the weekend either.
The first day of the season for most resorts is also pretty limited in skiable terrain. Usually a couple of the lower elevation lifts are open, and that terrain has the tendency to be pretty lame. Of course, that gets better over time... but at Alta it starts strong on opening day. It looked like 60% of their terrain was already available. Sure there are still rocks, sticks and stumps you have to avoid, but at least Alta gave us the right to ski the terrain we love... right off the bat.
So kudos to the entire Alta staff and especially Alta Ski Patrol. You folks have done a wonderful job of making an opening weekend worth remembering.