Alta goes old school for Wooden Ski and Pine Tar Classic
Alta is one of the first lift-served ski resorts in the country, yet even after mechanical chairs transported skiers to the top of the hill, people slid down the slopes of Upper Little Cottonwood Canyon on rudimentary wooden skis. To celebrate this history, Alta is hosting the Wooden Ski and Pine Tar Classic, a recreational and fun ski race put on by the Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA.)
Since the early 1930′s, Alta has been the epicenter of powder skiing in North America. With a deep history written by icons like Alf Engen, Dolores Lachapelle, Howard Stillwell, and Dick Durrance (to name a few,) images of woolen-clad skiers schussing through the lightest powder on earth with long, wooden skis and leather boots are ingrained in Alta’s fabric. So what better way to pay homage to Utah’s ski pioneers than by strapping on some antique skis, grabbing some wooden poles, slipping on rough, wool clothes, and skiing at Alta just like they did in the old days.
The event happens on Saturday, March 17th at 10:30am. Participants will meet at the upper parking lot at Alta. Although the Wooden Ski and Pine Tar Classic is described by organizers as a “largely social” event, it will be a “race” on a 5k that will be marked with arrows. During the race, all kinds of shenanigans will be encouraged. Judging will take place to award categories such as, “most authentic dress, oldest wooden skis, oldest skier, youngest skier, best Telemark turns, best storyteller” and more.
Along with the race, there will be a potluck lunch at a cabin on the east side of Albion Basin. Alta Ski Patrol will be on hand to transport your potluck dish, but just in case they bail, be sure you can pack it in yourself.
So if you’ve got a hankering to “schuss,” then grab those ancient skis off the fireplace mantle, lace up those leather kicks, and meet everyone at the Albion Basin summer road parking lot. Day of race registration will be from 9:00am to 10:00am and the fee will be $10. For more information, call Charlie Coltrain at (801)381-2515 or (801)972-3049, or send email to charlie ‘at’ iconremodeling.com