Why get up at 4am and hike for an hour and a half? After 6 years, I don't bother fielding the question. The body knows. 50 days a year, only 5 of them sucked. I finally gave up trying to convince my friends, my credibility lost in wild eyed stares and sallow skin untouched by daylight. There are probably other areas where your kids will take ski lessons from Hilary Lindh's mom, Barbara Lindh, or where the manager of the area will invite you into his office and ask what you think the management should do, or where you get invited to ride along with the head groomer to look at terrain problems or trail siting. Where the nest at the top of the mountain is open and available no charge year round. Or see if you can beat one of the Masters Nordic XC champs, the High School PE teacher, wearing sweats- no he won't tell you what his wax is- at least if he does, he is lying. You'll have to hurry to ski with any of the old 10th Mountain guys, their stars are still bright, but no one lives forever. AT means cheap lift tickets, longer hours, and a longer season. Back and Side country are where the skiing is. The mountain, the people, the base and lifts are the heart and soul of skiing, beyond the ropes, there be dragons! Disappointed?, I feel sorry for you.