Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ski House in Tons of Alta Snow

You can tell you're in some serious snow country when your ski house is constructed with an Avalanche Hazard Analysis as part of its design engineering.  The Ski House of the Day is located in Alta, Utah...which sits at the end of Route 210 / Little Cottonwood Canyon Road.  According to the town of Alta, this road has the highest avalanche hazard rating of any major highway in America.  In fact, I'm told by the locals that the town of Alta is the only place in the country where the local government has the authority to require people to remain indoors (which they do regularly) when they feel the avalanche threat is high and/or when there is dangerous avalanche control work underway.  They call this an "Interlodge Alert" and although it usually only last for a few hours, it happens with surprising regularity in this town which is nestled between the canyon walls at an elevation of 9,000 ft.

Sitting past the end of the road, above the town of Alta, the Ski House of the Day is specifically made to stand up to the force of an Alta avalanche...and is built to last under the weight of "tons" of snow:

This beautiful custom ski house is a reinforced concrete home (engineered by CTS Engineering) which, according to what the engineer has told me, has been designed to withstand a snow-load of over one thousand pounds per square foot to protect against the impact of avalanches!  Any way you do the math, that's a load of snow!

Perched on the mountainside in the Grizzly Gulch area of Alta (the off-piste area in which Alta offers their expert-only snow-cat skiing at an elevation of 10,500 ft), this house is in a sweet spot for some exclusive skiing!

Inside, the great-room has a towering stone fireplace, skylights (to look straight up the mountain), and a walkway above....

....which leads to the third floor bedrooms:

The 28 ft tall windows across the front of the great room provide a magnificent view of the mountains, Alta and the canyon below... beautiful no matter what the season:

The house has a perfect setting for skiing, inviting living spaces, and stunning mountain views...

...but here's a look at this ski house's invisible yet most important feature: an abundance of strength...
 ...this is what it looks like after an avalanche struck the house.  There was no damage to the structure, and no one inside was harmed -- because this ski house was designed for tons of Alta snow! 

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