Utah's ski resorts encompass rich histories, colorful characters, and legends from the days of yore. We've collected some widely unknown and wacky facts about Utah's resorts for your enjoyment.
ALTA SKI AREA
- The Emma Mine of Alta, Utah became so famous for its rich silver deposits that when the silver vein ran out, Britain and the U.S. almost went to war.
Hamburger Hill earned its name because you could often smell grilled hamburgers wafting out of the old Watson's Shelter as you skied down the run nearby.
- Skiing pioneer, Alf Engen, of Oslo, Norway served as the Alta Ski School Director for 40 years, beginning in 1949. Alf is widely regarded as "The Father of the Powder Skiing Technique." Alf wanted the Cabin Hill area of Alta Ski Area to look just like a ski run in the Alps, so he planted trees there to replicate his favorite European run.
- The Alta Environmental Center plants 2,400 trees each summer to accelerate the process of reforestation. The vast majority of old-growth trees in Little Cottonwood Canyon were removed to support silver mining operations and the town of Alta.
- The Albion chairlift was originally named Never Sweat lift.
- The iconic High Rustler ski run got its name from an old map depicting mining claims. The map identified the peak as Rustler Mountain.
Photo: Alan Engen Ski History Collection