We’ve told you before how much we value our guests, all of you both repeat guests and new visitors hold a special place in our hearts. Over the years, we have had the chance to form special relationships with several of our long-time repeat visitors, and we are excited to feature some of you on our blog and introduce you to our readers. If you are interested in being featured please let us know!

Storm Chaser: Jim McGrath

Jim’s first visit to the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge was 40 years ago. Yes, 40 years ago. For the last 20 years, he has been visiting annually (actually multiple times each year). Jim is what we call a Storm Chaser; he may even be one of the original Goldminer’s Storm Chasers.

In 1994, Jim was lucky enough to become self-employed. One evening, while watching the evening news in Dallas the weather girl called out the storms lining up to hit Utah, “like jumbo jets lined up at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, she exclaimed.” Jim casually mentioned to his wife, “this is the time to go skiing,” to which she responded, “why don’t you?” Yeah, why don’t I thought Jim? And, Storm Chaser Jim was born. Every year since then, as soon as the storms are lined up like the jumbo jets at O’Hare Jim books a flight to catch the storm. The 2012-2013 season treated Jim to 32 days in Alta. He caught a total of 130 of the 460 total inches of the season.

He’s got it down to a science. Take an early 2 1/2 hour flight out of Dallas, hop on the Alta Shuttle and you are on the slopes by 1:30 p.m. Spend the afternoon getting acclimated and the next day you are ready for first chair. Ski bell to bell during the storm and on your departure day make sure you have an evening flight home. Jim takes the 6:00 p.m. to Dallas and is home by 10:00 p.m.  It gets better. Jim leaves his skis and gear at the Lodge. The night before he is scheduled to head back to Dallas, he spends the evening doing his laundry and packing up. On the plane, he travels with a small carry-on and a briefcase. Pretty simple.

Jim comes to Alta, Utah for the snow and terrain, which rival that at any mountain in the world. Over the years he has become a member of the Alta and the Goldminer’s communities.  He has created 40 years of memories and relationships at Alta with everyone from ski patrollers to bartenders and service staff.  Good food, great people, the most qualified ski patrol in the business, and a well-run mountain with an unbeatable culture are a few of the reasons he keeps coming back. That, and of course the storms lined up like jumbo jets at O’Hare.

Storm Chaser Jim McGrath

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