Intermediate Guide

SUNNYSIDE, SUGARLOAF, SUPREME, COLLINS, and WILDCAT

Key:

Mountain Areas

Lifts

Restaurants

Trails: Beginner, IntermediateExpert 

Overview – From Albion Base – Sunnyside – Sugarloaf – Coffee @ Alta Java – Supreme Bowl ––Lunch @ Alf’s Restaurant – Sugarloaf Peak – Ballroom – Collins Lift – Wildcat Lift – Return to Base

1. 9:15 AM – Warming up on Sunnyside

Alta is divided into two main zones. The bulk of Intermediate and Beginner terrain is near the Albion Base Area (at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon); while the Wildcat Base Area (Alta’s lower parking lot) primarily has access to steeper, more difficult terrain.

Begin the day at the Albion Lodge and load the Sunnyside Lift for a few warm up laps. For one of the most scenic runs in skiing, pick the well-groomed Crooked Mile. Get the blood flowing in your legs, but try not to tumble as you peer up at the looming granite peaks and classically U-shaped glaciated canyon. To complete the warm up process, take a hard right off of Sunnyside and follow the groomed cat track to either Race Arena or Blue Bell - both are typically groomed.

2. 9:50 AM – Cruising some of Alta's best groomers on Sugarloaf

Groomers at the top of Sunnyside

From the top of Sunnyside, cruise down Sunnyside to reach the Sugarloaf high-speed quad. This lift quickly whisks guests to the saddle between Mount Baldy and Sugarloaf. (Note, the connection gate to Snowbird is also located here). Sme of the best groomers at Alta lie beneath the Sugarloaf Lift. They swoop, dip, drop, and wind through stands of mature pines. Runs to sample here include Little Dipper to Devil’s Elbow and the aptly named Roller Coaster. If it’s been snowing and you’d like to try some powder on a gentler slope, give Razor Back a go.

3. 10:50 AM – Quick break at Alta Java

Covering terrain off Sugarloaf will likely whet your appetite, we reccomend heading back down to the Albion Base Area for a quick break and a visit to an Alta institution: Alta Java. Here you’ll find locals mingling, bacon stuffed waffles, hearty empanadas, amazing coffee, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll spy ski patrol partners taking a break and sipping some joe while one of Alta’s adorable avalanche pups romps in the snow nearby

4. 11 AM – The best of Supreme

After fueling up on caffeine it’s time to experience the terrain around Supreme. Board Sunnyside once more and take Dipsy Doodle to the newly upgraded Supreme Quad, just upslope from Alf’s Restaurant. While riding up, be sure to glance right and take in the views of the Devil’s Castle and East Castle. As you’re riding the lift, all the terrain to the left is black diamond terrain and all of Supreme’s groomers or blue-rated trails are sprawled out to the right.

 

If Catherine’s Area is open and you are a confident skier, this black-diamond zone is chock full of tree skiing and somewhat less steep, off-piste, powdery terrain. It’s just a quick 2 to 3-minute hike to some of Alta’s best powder stashes—well worth the toil. For groomed terrain, don’t miss Upper Big Dipper, Upper Sleepy Hollow, or Rock N’ Roll.

5. 12:45 PM – Lunch at Alf's Restaurant (see more on lunch options)

From Big Dipper or Rock N’ Roll off Supreme, catch the Rabbit cat track and head for Alf’s Restaurant. If it’s sunny, enjoy one of the most beautiful patios in Little Cottonwood Canyon. This cafeteria-style eatery has been newly remodeled for the 2020 season and features standard ski resort fare like chili, soups, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, and salad. There is no need to rush through lunch here as the Collins Lift keeps spinning until 4:30 PM.This black diamond zone is steep and in low light conditions, it offers some of the most sheltered skiing on this side of the mountain aside from the slopes off of Wildcat.

6. 1:30 PM – Sugarloaf to Collins

Roll out of Alf’s to board the Sugarloaf Lift and take the Collins Return (EBT) to navigate to the other side of the mountain. This cat track terminates at the top of the Collins Lift and provides convenient access to Alta’s famed Ballroom on the flanks of Mount Baldy. Take the Ballroom Traverse through the red gates and pick a line. Ballroom terminates along the widely spaced Main Street run. This trail takes a circuitous route through stands of pines and is typically groomed. Pass the Collins Mid-station and aim for Meadow to make your way back to the base. Keep your wits about you in the infamous Corkscrew zone, this narrow and steep choke can become clogged with skiers navigating back to the base area.


Strong intermediates will not want to skip the black diamond shots off the iconic High Traverse. As you ride Collins, look left and determine if these beautiful, perfectly sloped, off-piste runs along the ridgelline match your skills. Christmas Tree, No Name, and  Annie’s are all classic runs off West Rustler. If these look too step, spend some time lapping blues like MamboSaddle Traverse to the Race Course Saddle and Strawberry. If you crave tree skiing, don’t miss Fred’s Trees (labeled as Fred's Slot on hte trail map) along the lift line near the top of the Collins Lift. Prevailing winds often whip the snow in here to delightfully edgeable chalk. 

Fresh tracks on Ballroom

This black diamond zone is steep and in low light conditions, it offers some of the most sheltered skiing on this side of the mountain aside from the slopes off of Wildcat.

7. 3 PM – Traditional Alta goodness on Wildcat

Wildcat Base Area

If your legs can handle it, it’s time to ride the clunky old Wildcat Double  for a taste of traditional Alta goodness. Enjoy the slow ascent and the jaw-dropping views of Mount Superior behind you. Strong intermediates can bag Stimulation or Johnson’s Warm-Up, crossing underneath the lift. These ungroomed slopes can be mixed snow, moguls, or powder, depending on conditions.

 

For less of a challenge or for tired legs, Aggie’s Alley is the easiest way down. From here, make a line for Taint, a fun, swooping path through stands of pine trees. Wrapping past the Collins Mid-station you can either return to Corkscrew via Meadow or head to the left for the exceptionally steep yet often groomed Collin’s Face trail. Ski on to the Wildcat Base and head for Goldminer’s Daughter.

You’ve just completed a full circuit of classic Alta lines, time for Après. Consider a celebratory Alta Bomb from the Slopeside Café in the Goldminer’s Daughter (a shot of espresso and a pint of PBR). If the weather is foul or you aren’t up for a bomb, climb the stairs and order a huge plate of nachos and a pitcher of beer in the Goldminer’s Saloon. 

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