A full- or half-day ticket doesn't always make fiscal sense for a beginning skier who, more often than not, may end up in the lodge long before the day is done.

So, Alta Ski Area has a solution: Beginners ski free after 3 p.m. on the Sunnyside lift. No ticket or pass is required. All novice skiers have to do is show up at the base of the triple chair as the clock strikes 3, and they get an hour for no charge at all.

The Sunnyside lift is a detachable chair, which should eliminate much of the beginner's fear and uncertainty that comes with getting on a lift at full speed. The lift serves a host of gentle, green-rated runs, including Home Run, Crooked Mile, and Patsey Marley.

What's more, beginners and their companions can ski free all day on Alta's three rope tows that serve the base area between the Collins lift and Albion Basin.

Rental equipment for free skiers can be fitted starting at 2:30 p.m. at the Alta Ski Shop, and after 3 p.m. at Alta Sports.

Instructors at Alta's famous Alf Engen Ski School stand ready to steepen the learning curve once beginners get their legs under them during ski-free time.

More information.