Skiers of all ages enjoy Alta ski area’s opening day

SALT LAKE COUNTY - Skiers waited in line Friday morning to be a part of Alta Ski Area's opening day.

"It’s the best feeling. I love it. I’ve been looking forward to it all morning," said Alta season pass holder Jaime Hirsh.

Skiers say they've been counting down the days until they could buckle up their ski boots for the kick off of Alta's 81st season.

"I love Alta," Hirsh said. "I moved here for Alta like, 20 years ago, and it’s always my favorite place to be, so super stoked."

The mountain was packed with skiers of all ages, from season ticket holders to out-of-towners.

"We're from New England. We have some skiing, but nothing like this, so being out here, especially opening day seeing everybody out here; nothing better," said skier Andy Bernard.

Staff was also just as excited to get to work.

"We have lots of tools to get the mountain ready and keep it safe for our skiers, and one of those is our (avalanche) dogs," said Andria Huskinson, communications manager at Alta Ski Area.

Staff says one thing guests don't have to worry about at Alta this week, is the amount of snow.

"Right now, we have a 24 inch base mid-mountain of natural snow, and then on the main runs, we have probably a foot to two feet of man-made snow under that new show that we just received," said Mike Maughan, general manager at Alta Ski Area.

Alta says this season there is a new lift at Snow Pine Lodge; the mountain offering 15 beginner, 30 intermediate, and 55 expert runs. Not all the lifts are running yet, but that didn't seem to bother anyone.

"If you haven’t skied Alta," Maughan said, "I’d say you haven’t skied yet.

"Does Utah have the greatest snow on earth," asked FOX 13 news reporter Amanda Gerry.

"I would have to say it does," Bernard replied.