Insider’s Guide to Snowbird


With 2,500 skiable acres, Snowbird is the biggest of the four Cottonwood Canyon ski areas. The majority of the runs (38 percent) are blue, 27 percent are green and 35 percent are black runs. As for other resort stats, they’ve got 3,240 feet of vertical, a high point elevation of 11,000 feet, and 500 average inches of snowfall at the resort. Not bad. But to give character to those digits, we’ve asked Mimi Dahlin, a senior at  Alta High School planning on attending the U, to give us the inside scoop as a junior ski instructor at the ‘Bird.

Q: What made you want to work here?

A: A neighbor of mine told me her son had gotten a job up at Snowbird and I thought, “Well dang! If I can do one of my favorite activities and be able to get a job out of it, I’d love to do it.”

Q: So, is the job as good as everyone thinks it is?

A: I honestly had no idea it would be as fun as it is. The environment and all of the other co-workers are super awesome. It’s nice you get to be around people the same age as you and it’s super fun to work with the kids. By the end of each session when you see these kids and how much better they get, it makes you happy. You’re able to have fun with them and make sure they’re having a good time. They just look so happy whenever they’re done. Especially when you go out there and you see the kids skiing that you had before out with their parents. It’s pretty fulfilling.

Q: What has been your favorite day at the resort?

A: I love spring skiing — it’s probably my favorite. The best is at the end of the year when you’ll see people all the time coming out in shorts and stuff like that. Closing days, when they’re playing music, you just hang out with everybody.

Q: What’s been the sketchiest situation you’ve got yourself in?

A: Um, (laughs) I’ve definitely gotten into a few sketchy trails with friends. I remember one time we started down some double black diamond that was full of trees and cliffs, and I bet we were up on that run for two or three hours trying to find the best way down. You never know when you’re going to get into stuff at Snowbird; you just drop in and don’t see it coming.

Q: What kind of people go to this resort?

A: I’ve kinda seen it all. I know we’ve got regulars that are retired, tons of friends my age — high school and college — but I think I see more younger people than older people.

Q: What are some secrets to the resort?

A: If anyone comes to visit Snowbird, I’d say to visit that back bowl. It’s an entirely different type of skiing there, to try something unique to Utah. The views down there are amazing.

Q: What’s your ideal day at the resort?

A: I would spend the morning of the day on the front of the mountain to let the snow warm up. For lunch, I’d go to the top of the tram for the views or to Tram Car Pizza for the amazing pizza. When I went in for work, I got a slice there every single day. Then I would hit the back of the mountain at the end of the day when that snow warmed up. The Mid-Gad Restaurant is super fun to go to near the end of the day. They have lawn chairs where you can sit out in the sun and watch people ski by. They play some really good old rock. You just kinda hang out and watch the day end, winding down and relaxing your legs after skiing all day.

[email protected]

Photo courtesy of Mimi Dahlin