Alta Historical Society

A Geologist Describes 20 Favorite Runs at Alta

Alf's High Rustler
At Alf’s High Rustler you ski the complete uninterrupted southern profile of the Little Cottonwood Canyon U-shaped valley from top to bottom.  As you stand above the limestone outcrops at the top, take a minute to imagine this place 16,000 years ago.  The ice was 1500’ thick, almost up to your skis, two miles across, fifteen miles long and moving an average of about 10’/day.  You can imagine the sound of the ice crack, groan and strain as it carves its way down the valley.  Debris falls into the glacier constantly.  There are no plants, no animals and no top soil, only rock and ice.

Because it is a U-shaped valley the inclination of the slope gradually diminishes with each turn and what began as a physical and mental challenge ends up a piece of cake, luring you back up to do it again.  Because the slope is north facing and concave it gets little sunshine through most of the winter which tends to preserve snow quality.

High Rustler Winter
High Rustler in winter