Alta Ski Area decided last month to offer skiers a bonus weekend, April 23-25, and the Utah resort will likely be rewarded with great conditions to close the season. The snow should build up while the ski area is closed Monday through Thursday before the final weekend.
The National Weather Service predicts as much as 14 inches of new snow through Thursday, followed by another 4-8 inches on Friday. The current forecast calls for a partly sunny lull on Saturday before even more snow arrives on Sunday.
While Alta suffered through a relatively lean snowfall trend through the first half of season, the second half of the year has been much kinder to the powder mecca at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The ski area caught up to its annual average of 500 inches thanks to a 50-inch storm in early April. The 2009-10 season, however, will fall way short of the banner 2008-09 season that totaled 696 inches. As of Wednesday, Alta reported a settled base depth of 112 inches.
Lift tickets for the final weekend will cost $49 per day, a discount from the normal window rate of $66. The Supreme and Cecret chairlifts will not be operating. While Alta closes this weekend, neighboring Snowbird Ski Resort plans to stay open through May 30. All of the other Utah resorts have already closed for the season.
(Photo courtesy of Eric Wagnon)