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Ah the famed Alta Chutes.
Score a run down any of these chute on even a mediocre day and it very well could be the run of your life.
This area is highly visible as you are going up the Sublette Lift, it is on your left as you ascend out of the tree alley and runs until you are just about over Laramie Traverse.
Alta Chutes are north facing, indicating consistent snow conditions ranging from chalky to powder.
After a dry spell, these chutes will be chopped up and firm and therefore more technical.
Catch them on a powder day and basque in the glory as you descend below the eyes of bystanders on the lift above.
There are three definable chutes, Alta 3 is the easiest and furthest skier’s right (you will notice this chute first from the left), Alta 2 is probably the hardest and middle chute, and Alta 3 is wide and the most defined chute.
They are all accessed from Pepi’s Run.
Let’s review them one at a time.
Alta 1 is the first chute you will encounter as you descend Pepi’s Run.
Look for a rope line to appear on the skier’s left just as the slope begins to steepen.
Alta 1 is bordered by this rope line fencing off the area known as Alta Zero.
This crazy section is chalk full of mandatory cliffs and is almost always closed.
Hug the rope line until you naturally end up in the chute.
Watch for the rock outcropping in the middle of the chute near the bottom as well as a patch of trees and two lift towers in the runout of the chute.
Keep your speed in check as you exit the chute especially if conditions are firm.
Alta 2 is a narrow chute between trees with a dogleg about a third of the way down.
After the dogleg, the chute opens up wider but also steeper.
This chute is a little harder to find.
Continue along Pepi’s Run noting Alta 1 as you pass it.
You will soon find trees lining your lefthand side, look for the first significant opening in those trees.
This is the entrance to Alta 2.
Stay in the opening as it winds around a tree island and into the broader face.
On your skier’s left is a rock outcropping and below you in the run out is a patch of trees.
Control your speed until you are confident all is clear and the carry your speed into the bottom of Laramie Bowl.
Proper etiquette is to hoot and holler to your hearts delight! Alta 3 is shorter and much less technical than the first two, but can also be a bit tricker to find.
Descend past both Alta 1 and 2 along Pepi’s Run until the ridge has rolled over.
Slow down here and keep your eye on the skier’s left for the chute, it should be possible to see all the way down the barrel.
If you can’t see into the bottom of Laramie Bowl, chances are you are still too high.
Alta 3 is easily the most mellow, but there are significant cliffs, boulders, and trees abound so tread lightly!