In our opinion, Veronica “Roni” Asmus has reached local status at Alta.
- She grew up in Santa Cruz, California but began skiing here as soon as she could walk.
- Both of her parents worked at the Peruvian Lodge for a few seasons.
- Her dad researched and wrote a ski guidebook on Alta (The Powder Hound’s Guide to Skiing Alta and The Powder Hound’s Guide to Skiing Snowbird).
- Alta Ski Area featured her “On the Lift With” last April, and she can frequently be spotted in the Alta Ski Area’s Picture of the Day.
- This is her seventh season living and working up at Alta.
We’d say that counts as an honorary local. Ya know!
Last spring, we sat down with Roni, who serves as the Assistant Manager at the Goldminer’s Saloon when she’s not skiing. We learned more about her background and history in this fair town.
As we mentioned above, Roni has quite the background in Alta. I started the conversation asking Roni to share her earliest Alta memory. She shared a story dating back to her first season living here that featured a flashback of a much younger Roni just as she was learning to love Alta.
She recalled being at the top of Supreme, freaking out, screaming and crying to her dad about how terrible Alta was and how much she hated it. She had yet to learn to ski powder and had had her fill of tumbling down the mountain and wallowing in snowbanks taller than her.
Roni also shared the day she fell in love with Alta, coincidentally the same trip. She remembers her dad leaving her and her sister on Supreme, where they ducked into the trees and discovered powder skiing. They spent the day lapping Supreme, only meeting up with their dad at Alf’s for a healthy lunch of Kit Kat bars. The freedom and the feeling of powder- young Roni was hooked.
As Roni began to think about colleges, she went on a school trip to Squaw Valley and fell in love with the mountain lifestyle. She did what any alpine aficionado would do; she only applied to colleges in the mountains, eventually enrolling at the University of Montana. Upon receiving her dual Bachelor’s Degrees and a subsequent semester with the National Outdoor Leadership School, she followed her passion to Alta.
After two years working at the Rustler, she spent a year at Stevens Pass, WA before heading back to Alta and starting her time at Goldminer’s Daughter where she’s been for the last four years. All total, she has spent six out of the last seven years in the Canyon.
Her favorite part about working in the Saloon is Trainer (also recently featured on Alta.com – http://www.alta.com/blog/on-the-lift-with-trainor-mahon) “He’s just so great. He’s a really good person to have in your life. He picks a great team.”
Roni particularly values the way Goldminer’s management encourages interactions between guests and employees, which fosters a sense of belonging. To Roni and the rest of the staff, guests are much more than visitors at a hotel- they become friends. She is proud of the connections she has made in Alta and among the extended GMD family; to her, this community has become family.
What does someone so enamored with this lifestyle do in the off-season? Easy- she doesn’t stop. Each spring, Roni spends some time skiing the volcanoes in the Pacific North West, heads to California to see her family, and then travels to Wanaka, New Zealand to continue skiing. She works as a Ski Tech at Base2, a ski shop in town and skis at Treble Cone, a resort tucked into the Southern Alps of the South Island. She and her mates venture to huts out in the different ranges, hiking and skiing all over the South Island.
You can find Roni behind the bar in the Saloon this winter. We highly recommend chatting her up! She may even share a few of her favorite tips on how to ski Alta.
Photos included run the mid of skiing Main Chute last year, celebrating on top of Mt. Baldy, hanging out with our Moab Brewery-sponsored race team last year, and a few from heli skiing in New Zealand. Photo credits go to Ted Battesh and Brent Leyerle.