Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Alta Lodge, Utah: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Just got back from six days skiing at a women's ski clinic in Alta Lodge in Utah. The top of Alta is 12,000 ft high (no, doesn't mean anything to me either...) ski-in ski-out and best place in the US, I reckon. Very DownHomey, more duck tape on boots than fayne dining and shoppes.  That said, food is superb and weight will not be lost (buggah!)

Ski shop at top of Alta Lodge
Desserts are slimming if eaten at altitude
Ready for the Rodeo?

Chips are slimming if eaten with apple at altitude
Venison and blackberries with brussels
Happy with ski ensemble,  I'll have it for 20 years
Mimi's (owner of Alta Lodge) father took all those famous photos of Frida Kahlo. 

Skiing to Snowbird next door
Looking down the valley at 5.30pm from Alta Lodge


It was Carson's birthday (52!) and her husband organised a cake and champers

Carson, Cameron, Melinda and Me sky larking around in the Sitzmark Club (the attic) where you're allowed to drink. You can be carded if you look younger than 36 years old! 


Entry of Alta Lodge
View from my room
Alta Lodge deck

My ski group

Us ten years ago (what the heck's going on with my hair?) We started going to Alta Lodge because it had kids' dinners, kids' club and babycare next door.

Day starts with breakfast - from fruit salad to cornbeef hash (are you a morning person? I'm not, breakfast and chat is not in my repertoire) lunch has best fries ever with portobello mushroom burger, dinner choices like venison with blackberries and halibut with mango sauce and a cornucopia of desserts including freshly made brownies and ice cream. And the trousers go swish swish.

I came with four friends this year but I've been a couple of times by myself and felt very comfortable. (Last year's trip here) The average age of our clinic was about 50 and we even had one 75 year old,  a former ultra marathoner.  Felt quite spring chickeny.

When I'm skiing there are loads of other things I'm doing too. There is the lavatory crouch, then the rodeo and then... the yard sale (skis and poles everywhere.)  Our instructor Jen said after we rodeoed one run: "Everything about skiing is counter-intuitive. Job security."

In my group were A, a Brit living in Florida and working in publishing, M, a top clearance army solicitor, and K, a former 20-20 TV producer.  C, a finance person, fractured her rib and then we were four. A. told us she'd banned her staff from describing things as nice, awesome or good so following her example our runs became exquisite, superlative, vile or just bloody awful.

Love finding out what it's like living full-time in a resort town, don't you? In a socio-anthropologist rather than annoying, nosy way, obviously. Thinking our Harley, 16, should do a gap year here after high school so I asked one of the ski shop guys about jobs: "Be careful" he said "I came here for a gap year in 1999."

Alta is known as Neverland for guys; the women tend to be more like Wendy, getting promoted and taking on responsibility.  One woman said she could name 50 men who were over the age of 40 and single. Not sure whether I should tell my single girlfriends or not? As someone else said: "Maybe good for a mini-break, not for the long haul..."

Good old Kevin held down the fort and all was well and tidy when I arrived home - I've learned to arrive home after the cleaner's been through. (When the kids were tiny I got home once and they were sipping milk out of margarita glasses.) Cy, 10, was puzzled when I hugged him and said: "I thought you came home yesterday."

Cy's big news is that he's got an alarm clock which is set to 6.40am. Two mornings he slept in and nearly missed Pardon The Interruption (obnoxious telly show, two men yelling at each other about sports). Alarm found, crisis averted.

All right in the world with you, then?


38 comments:

  1. Looks like you had loads of fun! I will keep in mind your tips regarding dining at altitude. ;)

    Please enter my giveaway here.

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  2. I think there should be more concern with Harley's hairdo than your's - what is that? A cross between a bob and a pudding bowl???

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    1. I know, it's sort of an extended mullet, business in front and party in the back. Frightening to think this, but it was actually cut by a hairdresser

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  3. Jody- The pic of you and the young kids is so nice! What memories the place must hold for you. I haven't been downhill skiing in years - will have to try it again! I can still hear those big boots klunking on the floors moving towards the fireplaces!

    Loretta

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  4. Sounds like brilliant fun, away with girlfriends, and what gorgeous (nice??) scenery! And arriving home just after the cleaner sounds like a perfect plan, but I don't have a cleaner!

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    1. Jay - that means you never have to come home!!!! I did do my own washing last night (yay me!) all whites in together including my ski stuff - then Jackson stuffed all his black lacrosse gear in and washed it again. You guessed it, ski ensemble is grey.

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    2. But grey is so 2014 darling! (or 1994? what do I know?!)

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  5. That looks a fab place, and the food looks fantastic. Love the ski suit. I bought mine (fluo pink) in 1990 from Leclerc supermarket so I know what you mean about yours doing for the next 20 years. :)

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  6. Looks like a fun fun time!! You look marvellous xx

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  7. This looks like so much fun! "more duck tape on boots than fayne dining and shoppes" - my kinda place!!

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  8. Looks like you had some fun and maybe learned a bit. I have some great ski stories but have not been in years...four knee surgeries amongst three people in my family(not me), doubt I'll ever go again.

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    1. Sounds like teddy with his double knee surgery would fit right in to your family!

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  9. Looks like quite the spot
    duct tape can do lots
    haha thought you were already home
    Maybe confused you with a garden gnome? haha

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  10. I've never skied but now that I'm aware of the altitude's effect on calories, I'm all in. I do like the idea of hot chocolate and fireplaces, too. Love your stories. Had to go back and read a few older ones.

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    1. Hi there, gosh just scrolled down this post - it's interminable! Way too long...sorry! My husband read the par re single men and said: "You've just been on a mini-break - should I be worried?"

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    2. Tell hubs next year there may be a guy from Chicago setting up shop in the Sitzmark.

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    3. GSL - its a great place to be of an eve! And they even have decent cocktails. If you head out of the "club" i.e. the attic, one of the bartenders has to take your drink on a platter.

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    4. We'll have to see about that; I only surrender my flask at airports and that's only after they call in back-up.

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    5. Good policy, keeping it old skool. Hope airport security have issued nationwide GSL flask clearance?

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    6. I'm from the skool they tore down before they built the old skool

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  11. What a fabulous trip and altitude definitely agrees with you.

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    1. Helps to have goggles and helmet on in photos to disguise a myriad of details

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  12. Wow, I haven't been skiing in so long I can barely remember what it feels like. I need a vacation. Like this one.

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    1. i do find constant eating to be very relaxing

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  13. Someone has to tell me what corn beef hash actually is.
    What a trip, I haven't seen snow for a few years.

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    1. Tabs, it's chopped up corned beef, potatoes, onions, parsley, butter, salt & pepper fried up in a pan.

      Oh, just remember you always give me the 'google ahoy' while GSL throws his slicker over the mud puddle for his Tabitha.

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  14. Even though there is something exhilarating about snow and ski trips, for some reason, ever since I lived in London - I can not bear to spend money to be cold. Can't do it...Although last year I did go to Austria in the fall and it was outrageously refreshing. Hot tubs and saunas have that effect. PS I love that pic of Kahlo - can't believe it as a live shot!

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    1. There was a huge book of photos he did of her (and he photographed many many old Hollywood celebs too). Gosh she was beautiful even though she eschewed the brow and upper lip wax.

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  15. Glam ski bunnies! Love the ski attire. The no calorie at high altitudes thing clearly works. Sadly, I am skiing locally at low altitudes and the calories are sticking to my hips.

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  16. This looks like a superlatively fabulous place to go! There is woefully bad skiiing here (what a surprise!), and J, who is an Austrian mountain boy, moans no end about being so far from good snow.
    Eating non stop and boozing apres ski are my favourite things about skiing. Back in the days before we left the old continent, I would ski all day and then sit happily in an Alpen Hutte drinking Gluhwein and inhaling Schnitzel and Cake. Heaven!

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    1. Everything is so fabulous with extra "e" isn't it?

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  17. Sounds wonderful! I never got to ski in the Rockies after all. Maybe one day. We're off to the Alps in a few weeks, can't wait...

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  18. You are so lucky not to have a camel's foot.
    The photos make everything - especially the nosh - look sooo attractive.
    Here is the geography bit: 12,000' is 3 to 4 times higher than the highest mountain ( Ben Nevis ) in the UK

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  19. Hi Pat, that's put's all into perspective, not wonder I was so knackered when got back and huffy puffy up the stairs. Speaking of camel bits, have you seen this video of the prancercise lady? videohttp://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/30/prancercise-creator-on-her-wacky-workout-and-being-too-famous-to-prancercise.html

    there is a gay dance troupe who do take off but now I can't find it?

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  20. Looks like so much fun. Doctor put her foot down and said no more skiing now that bones are breaking so easily. (Found out the hard way too.) Graduated from High School in one of those towns - more going on than you would ever imagine.

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  21. Jody, I so admire you for doing this! What a great way to have fun and get away a bit. You probably come back in good shape, even with all those goodies to eat. More moms need to do this. Love that story about the margarita glasses! Lol. x

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  22. I remember your post from last year--- I can tell this place is a favorite! MY sister is currently in Utah skiing… I haven't been, but I know she loves it.

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