At night they came, girded for battle and invading the town’s only “designated” (for what slope in Alta isn’t its own, self-contained shrine?) place of worship, Our Lady of the Snows. Surely the fiercest combatants to inhabit Alta and enter its coliseum, to compete in the town’s premiere gladiatorial event.

Your correspondent wisely stood far back in the wild crowd, observing safely from the perimeter.

Crowd at Alta Women’s Arm Wrestling Contest.

The first two gladiators approached the ring, eyeing daggers at one another, hoping to gain the upper hand before the battle commenced. Seated, they nodded cordially enough, but when the official referee turned them loose, it was blood in the arena.

The fifth annual Alta Women’s Arm Wrestling competition had begun.

Canyon Blog arrived early and selected two contestants to follow. Abby, an affable redhead from Georgia and barrista/bar tender at Goldminer’s Daughter, caught your columnist’s eye for her colorful ensemble (at center above) and attitude. She looked like a winner. Occupying herself in the summer as an Outward-Bound instructor, she revealed that her entry was based on the need to overcome fear. It was her first competition. A solid choice in the mind of your correspondent.

His second choice was much easier to make. Lindsay, front desk person extraordinaire for the Alta Lodge, is a friend of Canyon Blog and made the cut on the basis of that status alone. Though, to be honest, her wonderfully charming personality probably doomed her to the lower rungs in the double elimination competition.

Event Emcee and crowd.

The Alta Women’s Arm Wrestling is the brain child of local Mica Brownlie (disguised in the photo above as Napoleon Dynamite), who also founded and runs Alta Radio (check it out at, both of which were seeded by grants from the Alta Community Enrichment (ACE), who also sponsor the competition. Now in its fifth year, it attracted a few dozen ladies and a crowd of nearly 100. Sara Gibbs, ACE’s stalwart (if not tiny) leader and swirling ball of energy, was also on hand to help hand out prizes donated by local businesses.

Women arm wrestling.

And how did Canyon Blog’s choices fare? Abby (above at right), turns out, was most likely a ringer (she denies this), and swept the competition to claim first place, along with bragging rights. As for Lindsay (below at right), she placed third, the surprise finisher of the night, and to which she commented, “I’ll take that!”

Lindsay arm wrestling.

To cap off the evening, Alta Radio DJ’d dance music accompanied by adult beverages until midnight, by which time your correspondent had been asleep by a solid two hours and therefore this post is lacking any dance photos.