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Alta: A Photographic Exhibit

Text by Janell Tuttle
photographs from the Utah State Historical Society

Aerial of Alta and Snowbird

Aerial of Alta and Snowbird

Alta is nestled in the Wasatch Mountains of Little Cottonwood Canyon. When silver was discovered in 1864 people moved to the area and the area grew until the 1880s. At this time the value of silver declined and the population of the town decreased to approximately 300. In the 1930s Alta experienced a rebirth. A group of businessmen and skiers raised money for the construction of a ski lift at Alta. Alta's first ski lift began operation in January 1939 and in 1940 the first international downhill and slalom competition was held there. After World War II more ski lifts were added, along with two new lodges and several rope tows. Alta's ski resort has undergone several expansions and upgrades through the years. It continues to be a beautiful area that can be enjoyed by all.


Skiing. USHS Photo #10235

Skiing. USHS Photo #10235

#2 Spring skiing at Alta.


Albion Basin View of Sugar Loaf

Albion Basin View of Sugar Loaf

#3 Skiers touring in the Albion Basin pause to admire the view of Sugarloaf Mountain.


Alf Engen at Alta. USHS Collection C 314.

Alf Engen at Alta. USHS Collection C 314.

#4 Sequence photo of Alf Engen running the slalom gate at Alta.


Alf Engen and Robert Kennedy. USHS Collections C 314.

Alf Engen and Robert Kennedy. USHS Collections C 314.


Alf Engen. USHS Collection C 314.

Alf Engen. USHS Collection C 314.

#6 An excellent skier who was recognized all around the world for his skiing accomplishments.


Early Spring Fashion. USHS Collection C 314.

Early Spring Fashion. USHS Collection C 314.

#7 An early version of a spring ski outfit, Alta, Utah.


Koziol and Mayor Watson. USHS Collection C 314.

Koziol and Mayor Watson. USHS Collection C 314.

#8 F. C. Koziol and Mayor Watson at Alta. Felix.C. Koziol, left, forest supervisor of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and George Watson, mayor of Alta.


Mount Superior in foreground at Alta. USHS Collection C 314.

Mount Superior in foreground at Alta. USHS Collection C 314.

#9 A skier on the Wildcat run on Peruvian Ridge stops to admire Mount Superior.


Rope tows. USHS Collection C 314.

Rope tows. USHS Collection C 314.

#10 Skiers of all ages using the rope tow at Alta, Utah.


Setting lift tower at Sugarloaf, Alta. USHS Collection C 314.

Setting lift tower at Sugarloaf, Alta. USHS Collection C 314.

#11 Helicopter setting ski lift tower on Sugarloaf lift in the Albion Basin.


Skiers at Old Watson Shelter. USHS Collection C 314.

Skiers at Old Watson Shelter. USHS Collection C 314.

#12 Old Watson Shelter, ca. 1953, was a shelter named after Mayor George Watson. It was constructed near the Collins lift to provide warmth and food to skiers.


Shaft. USHS Collection C 314.

Shaft. USHS Collection C 314.

#13 This shaft led down to Mayor Watson's cabin when the snow was deep. Mayor George Watson is in the shaft.


Skiing. USHS Photo #9876.

Skiing. USHS Photo #9876.

#14 Rustlers Mountain at Alta, Utah.


Skiing. USHS Photo #26054.

Skiing. USHS Photo #26054.

#15 Going to ski at Alta, March 19, 1939.


Skiing. USHS Photo #9882.

Skiing. USHS Photo #9882.

#16 An Alta Ski Patrolman adjusts sign warning skiers to fill the holes they leave in the snow when they fall.


Skiing. USHS Photo #26129.

Skiing. USHS Photo #26129.

#17 Spring skiing at Alta, March 19, 1939. Photo by Shipler.


Skiing. USHS Photo #10236.

Skiing. USHS Photo #10236.

#18 Skiers pause to point out the figure eights on Rustler's Mountain at Alta Ski area.


#19 A snow jeep, one of Alta's first snow vehicles.

Snow Jeep at Alta. USHS Collection C 314.

Snow Jeep at Alta. USHS Collection C 314.


 

 

Rail Bus. USHS Collection C 314.

Rail Bus. USHS Collection C 314.

#20 An early mode of transportation to Alta was the rail bus.


Tom Foley. USHS Collection C 314.

Tom Foley. USHS Collection C 314.

#21 Tom Foley, member of the Alta Ski Patrol, is shown jumping the slopes at Alta, ca. 1948.


Weekend Patrolmen. USHS Collection C 314.

Weekend Patrolmen. USHS Collection C 314.

#22 Weekend patrolmen at Alta sometime in the late 1940s. Left to right is Larry Davenport, Frank Ford, and an unidentified person.