Slopes were ready for the 650 students participating in the 43rd annual Deseret News Ski School.
Crews had worked with snow that had fallen on the resort in past weeks and there was more than enough covering to service skiers' needs on Saturday.This was the second of four classes scheduled. Students will take the Thanksgiving weekend off, then return for the final two classes Dec. 1 and 8.
According to ski school director Alf Engen, Saturday's class gave students a good introduction to skiing.
After learning a few basics last week on the grassy slopes of Sugarhouse Park, students applied these new-found moves on the snow.
It was, as one student said, "A little more difficult when you have to worry about slidding."
What students learned at the Alta session were some simple moves like walking, side-stepping up a hill, making a stationary turn and get the feel of moving without having to move the feet.
Instructors from the University of Utah ski school walked students to the gentle slopes around the base of the upper lifts, then spent two hours working with their respective groups.
Engen pointed out that personnel from Alta had put in a lot of time to make sure the snow was packed, firm and able to accommodate the slidding edges of skis.
Reactions from students on their first day on snow varied.
Some said that moving about on snow was a lot easier than on the grassy slopes at the park. Still others said it was a lot harder. Most, however, said they felt comfortable with what they were doing and were anxious to move on to the next steps.
When the class ends on Dec. 8, most of the students will have learned enough of the basics of skiing to be able to negotiate beginning slopes.
Skiers Saturday were also treated to a slight dusting of new snow that fell in the morning hours. It wasn't enough to help the resorts, but was enough to give the students the feeling of being in a snowstorm.