Originally Posted by Jer
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...