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Alta Trail Map Question

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I have heard mention of a trail or an area at Alta by the name Germania.

Where is this area or trail??
post #2 of 27
Germania was the name of a lift that the Collins Quad replaced. It used to run from the current mid-load/angle station to the top of the Collins lift. It also used to generally refer to the terrain it served.
post #3 of 27

If you are asking this question I assume you are not very familiar with Alta. You will find that this mountain will be very different from others in terms of markings/trail maps and trail names.

Much of the good terrain is not marked with trail signs the way many resorts in Colorado do so. Without someone showing you and telling you this is "run such and such" it will be difficult to

1. Know where and how to get to alot of the goods and
2. Know the name of the run that you are actually skiing at the time regardless of where it looks like you may be on the trail map

This proves to be true especially off of Wildcat lift, the chutes area off of supreme, and the High T area
post #4 of 27
bigbadwulf11- thanks for you advice to sugaree... i'm off to park city for the first time feb 3rd for a couple of weeks and will be heading to alta of course! no doubt it's as good as all the reviews, history etc suggest, but for a first timer have you got any recommendations in terms of getting yourself around the hill - not sure how many days we'll spend there, but if there's any must-do stuff - would be good to get a view! i should add that we are black diamond skiers but not too hot on jumping of rocks for fun! basically, steep deep powder and tree runs hit the spot everytime, without the need for avalanche beacon.

also, we're staying in park city but if we spend a few days up the valley and checkout snowbird as well, anywhere to stay up there? looking at a couple of sites, only accomodation i can find is horribly expensive in snowbird (forget the name of it now but all sounds rather swanky)

post #5 of 27
I'm not sure if Alta has guided tours or not? My guess is not. It is the kind of place that skiers take pride in making their own discoveries and getting to know the mountain is half the Alta experience. Snowbird does have tours and it is worth the effort just to get the lay of the land.
post #6 of 27
cheers, Utah49 - sounds good - i hear what you're saying and quite frankly, i can't wait!!
post #7 of 27
Germania is basically the area between Fred's Trees and Sunspot. Because of the easy access, it is usually skied out almost immediatly on a powder day.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Where does one enter the Glory Hole at Alta??

Also, to get to East Greely, is this a traverse?? How strenuous??

I can't wait to see Alta !!
post #9 of 27
At Alta, traversing is FUN!
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
About taversing at Alta......High Traverse and getting to High Rustler, how difficult??

Is East Greely a hike or traverse??

I will certainly prefer a glide rather than a hike or side stepping.

Hey, I like going down hill.
post #11 of 27


High Rustler is a gravity traverse. As of last week, the traverse was a bit boney, with rocks and thin spots across the "high T", especially near "Piss Pass", where the traverse crosses over to the Greeley Hill side. The entrance into High Rustler wss very rocky, requiring a careful sidestep over some obstacles. There are usually two "High Ts". The upper one leads to Gunsight and "Third Entry" on the Greeley side, both of which require some climbing. The lower "T" accesses the various pitches on West rustler as well as High Rustler and Eagle's Nest.

If you don't like exposure, be a bit careful on the Eagles Nest face, as there are a few pitches that appear easy but which almost cliff out. There are ways down, but not easy ways. However, the payoff is often great snow if you make the trek.

Getting to East Greeley via high notch requires a climb along the rocky spine between West Rustler and Yellow Trail. Most of the conditions along that spine are good, plenty of coverage. Dropping into East greely is a bit tricky, though, since the snow cover has not built up enough to allow a clear run-in. Again, the entrance involves a careful sidestep with a bit of exposure for the first part.

Glory Hole can be reached from the Sugarloaf side by climbing the knoll to skier's left of the main run under the lift (look at the trail map for better clarity, but it is a climb). The entrance from there involves a somewhat precipitous traverse. Alternatively, it can be accessed from the other side, below Yellow Trail. Both entrances can be clearly seen from the Sugarloaf lift.

Have fun...
post #12 of 27
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post
I will certainly prefer a glide rather than a hike or side stepping.
To fully enjoy Alta, be prepared to hike. To the victors go the spoils....
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Stan, thanks.

I guess I am green........what is exposure?? An area where there should be snow??
post #14 of 27
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post
Stan, thanks.

I guess I am green........what is exposure?? An area where there should be snow??
Exposure is high cliffs or other areas with long drop offs. Think, "Don't fall" areas....
post #15 of 27
The other thing is, and this is partly a gripe and partly because it's really hard to illustrate in 2D - the trail map at Alta doesn't covey all the information you need. Albion basin is a huge U shaped area with several ups and downs not apparent when you first look at the map.

Greely is more of a ridge than it appears on the map - as Stan said - there are several areas of "whoa s--- keep your edges" in there.

Then there's places that aren't shown well if at all like Backside and such. Then there are the trails that just kind of appear like that one where people climb straight up on Castle and still others I've yet to figure out how to get to at all . It's a great place but you have to explore. Keeps me coming back I'll say that.
post #16 of 27

trail map-Alta

Actually the current Alta trail map is infinitely more detailed that the older maps. I have an older map in my desk that lists only about 40 "trails", with many of the larger faces just listed generically. The current map lists about 130 or so "named" trails. However, on the mountain once you enter through the "expert-only" gates, there is no trail signage to speak of, so good orienteering skills are needed to figure out where you are on the map.

There is a good book available called "the Powder Hound's Guide to Alta", which describes most known routes within the Alta boundaries and gives a difficulty rating to each on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being free fall). Some of the route names have evolved over the years and the current local's names differ from official names, but this is still a good guide, and an entertaining read. My copy dates from the early 90's, but I saw it for sale this year at the Alta ski shop at wildcat base.
post #17 of 27

trail map-Alta

dlete double post
post #18 of 27

if you don't like traversing, hiking - don't go to Alta.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Marty.......I'm going to Alta.
post #20 of 27

You tell him, girl!

Shake it, shake it, Sugaree...
post #21 of 27
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
Germania is basically the area between Fred's Trees and Sunspot. Because of the easy access, it is usually skied out almost immediatly on a powder day.
Don't forget Spruces, Race Course, Upper Race Course and Race Course Trees between the Collins lift and Sunspot. "Skiing Germ" used to refer to everything west of the Germania lift but East of the Wildcat lift such as Ballroom and the Shoulder. You could go east on the high traverse along West Rustler about as far as the No Name trail (I'm looking at a new map- we used to just call it "those chutey slots that everyone overlooks on the way to High Rustler"). At that point you drop straight down West Rustler- the overall name for the entire mountainside between Sunspot and Jitterbug- and hook left near, but not at, the bottom, through the trees and back to Germania lift via "Back Door." This was often some of the best powder skiing on the mountain and could be lapped in record time...
It's useless trivia now, of course, with the new Collins lift in and Germania a memory... the strategy is different.

As far as conditions go, unless this new storm is a doozy, many of the traverses are going to remain "interesting". Eddie's High Notch on the backside is still pretty hairy. It's about a twenty foot drop in, which could be skied except for the rocks in the way, so it's sideslip and hop. (this last week) Once you're past it, everything's gravy. The high traverse is ok except for just past Sunspot, where it gets rocky. Once past Sunspot, lower is usually better, so look for the tracks and don't go below them or you'll miss the traverse entirely.(this as of Saturday- we need a BIG storm) This is pretty gnarly stuff if you're not used to it- the coverage is November sketchy.
My best advice to anyone skiing Alta who is unfamiliar with it is ski school. We're all big boys and girls here but try a private or up to a level nine group lesson and you'll get an experienced guide who'll show you the really great stuff and make sure you get down it safely.
East Greely can be accessed via the mid-backside traverse gate just past the patrol shack at left of the top of Collins. You lose half a mountainside of vert, but you don't have to hike.

Glory Hole can be accessed off this traverse by dropping off mid- Yellow trail (abot 70 yards along) and following the low angle slope toward the trees. Glory hole drops off just past them. It's best from the Sugerloaf side, however. Drop straight down past the patrol shack from Collins to the flat runout on the Sugerloaf side (Devils Way, the map says, but it's not marked). With the rope on your left, going about 150 yards along there will be a gate on your left . This is the main Glory hole entrance and requires a short steep hike- but it can be worth it. There is another gate further along and around under the Sugerloaf lift, but you lose a lot of vert. Whatever you do, avoid the gully at the bottom. You'll wish you were never born. On skiers right, above the gully by the big tree is the traverse out. It leads along and above the gully, through the trees and out to some tasty stuff just left of the Sugerloaf chair. Follow the tracks and look out for cliffs and rocks and stuff. I had to break trail out on Saturday because blowing snow and high winds had erased the traverse and some poor people were stuck at the bottom of Glory Hole like the Donner party...

Hiking's good- it's like the gym but with a view from the top of the world... The best thing in the world is to meditate at the very top of a ridge for a few minutes before dropping down a beautiful face...
post #22 of 27
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post
Marty.......I'm going to Alta.
post #23 of 27
Everyone's pretty much covered the "essence"of Alta. It's definetly not McSkiing. There are places where the rocky, deeply rutted traverse you were on dissappears completely and there's nothing but a fixed rope bolted to bare rock above a steep, rocky slope. There are places where you have to carry a lot of speed (i.e. straightline) the bottom of your run and still be prepared to break trail to get back to the lift. Alta takes a lot of getting used to.

A few points that haven't been brought up yet:

1) If you start getting exhausted on a traverse/climb, pull off to the side and let others pass.

2) If you're on a traverse and you don't know exactly where you're going and it's starting to get scarey, don't go any further - ski down from where you are. Many traverses start over fairly mellow terrain and end up in horrendously exposed nightmare zones. I wasn't kidding about the fixed rope. I've seen people take sickening falls over jagged rocks before they even got to where they wanted to ski.

3) On a powder day: Especially if you're on a side-step traverse - stick to the highest (established) line. In other words, if you're climbing up a side-step traverse and you're starting to get beat do not gravity traverse under the established line for a hundred yards and then start skiing. This is probably the worst thing you could do at Alta.

Have fun, use your noggin and stay safe!
post #24 of 27

Thread revival


Where can i get this map?  It's listed as the "Alta Ski Area Prominent landmarks" map.


post #25 of 27

I would try contacting Peak Photo or Powdershots.  Powdershots used to sell both the Alta and Snowbird posters but I can't find either on their site anymore.  I have the two Snowbird posters, one for the frontside and one for Mineral.


BTW, I saw you cruise past the bypass road a couple weeks ago, I tried hollering but you didn't hear me.  

post #26 of 27

I'm getting answering machines at both places, Bob.  Sorry I didn't respond to your holler (April 3rd?), but I'm surprised you'd be able to pick me out of the crowd.  We were having some Epic fun that weekend 



post #27 of 27

They may be tough to get ahold of this time of year, especially Peak.  Maybe try shooting them an email as well?  If I remember this weekend I'll stop in at Powdershots and ask them.


Yup, the 3rd.  It was just you, you were skiing next to the bypass road at the bottom of Blackjack.

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