Alta, UT Conditions Report: High and Dry, With Snow on the Way

Aaron Rice | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

WEATHER UPDATE @ 10am Friday 12/12:
Looks like the storm is not going to perform quite as well as some were hoping. We will likely 3-6 inches for the cottonwoods, probably on the higher end of that in Alta.

Eagles nest and High boy still in need of a bit more snow to open
Eagles Nest and High Boy still in need of a bit more snow to open

It’s been high and dry here in Alta for over a week now. But luckily the sun is low angle and the snow has remained good. The groomers have been soft and fast all day. There has been enough snow to open backside and tower ten traverse and there are good chalky turns to be found out there. For the weekend there is a storm arriving that should be in the 6-12 inch range.

In Alta it is generally frowned upon to ski the tower ten traverse and the ski school traverse on backside. However, with low snow conditions right now, they are our only options. Taking either traverse has been fairly smooth sailing and drops you off as some good chalky snow.

Backside holding good chalky snow
Backside holding good snow with the low sun

The low angle sun has been keeping things skiing well for many days, even with out new snow.

A chalky backside
A chalky backside

On some of the lower angle protected trees the surface is recrystalizing and still skiing smooth and soft.

Good snow on lower angle protected areas.
Good snow on lower angle protected areas [skier: Christal McCrary]
If groomers are more your thing, they have been in pristine condition in the mornings and are staying soft and edgeable well into the afternoon with the low early season skier traffic.


24 hour snowfall: 0″
7 day snowfall: 0″
base: 29″
season snowfall: 68″


The weekend forecast has been a bit wobbly. Yesterday, it looked like we might be in for a 1ft+, and today is looking more like 4-6 inches. I will update this post Friday morning, when the models have settled down a bit. But for now, we can at least feast our eyes on the snowflake icons we’ve been longing to see. Another great weather resource is

Screen shot 2014-12-10 at 8.50.41 PM

Disclaimer: The author of this post received compensation from Alta Ski Area for writing it. However, the content is solely determined by the author. 

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2 thoughts on “Alta, UT Conditions Report: High and Dry, With Snow on the Way

  1. What are we calling the tower 10 traverse ? or the back side -greeley?
    I’ve skied Alta a lot but have not herd these names.

    1. Hey mdskier,

      I apologize, I am using the local vernacular for the trails. This does not always align with what is on the map.

      The tower ten traverse is the lower traverse (as opposed to the High Traverse (aka High-T)) out to the West Rustler area. It is so called because it starts where the old Germania lift tower ten was located.

      Yes, Backside refers to the East Greeley Area. The ski school traverse is the lower traverse into East Greeley from Yellow Trail.

      Hope this helps clear up the name confusion. Names at Alta are a fluid thing that change with each new generation of skiers.

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