Alta is for skiers only
It's in Utah and I'm in Wisconsin
Alta is my favorite place to ski in the U.S.
There it is, I said it. It's a combination of things, mostly, but it's one huge overarching thing that allows me to say that. The environment. It's core. And when combined in conjunction with everything else, you have one hell of a place to ski.
Everyone at Alta is a skier, first and foremost. Second, they aren't overbearing. Although I've had my share of upsetting an Alta local while on a traverse, they are still friendly enough and understanding: never mean or rude. It's these type of relaxed, easy-going personalities that set a comfortable atmosphere at Alta.
Next, there's the terrain. There's TONS of it. You can ski any type of terrain you like: groomers, back country, cliffs, chutes, bowls. It's all here. Varied pitches for slopes exist too...from the very gradual to the holy-crap steep. And there's always enough terrain to go around for everyone.
The snow is always awesome here too. Alta is synonymous for powder day. And the snow sticks around at Alta almost as long as it does at Snowbird--which is a long time. Usually, Alta ends up getting more snow that Snowbird, too. The picture above was taken the 19th of March, 2007. As you can see, there's plenty of snow.
Alta is the place where you make the turns you remember for a life type. Whether those turns are in waist-deep snow, soft corn snow on a bowl all to yourself, or your first turns down the steepest slope you've been on, you'll remember those turns for the rest of your life. It's all because you are instantly taken to a new place at Alta: one where you are accepted, appreciated, and as one.
Alta embodies the traditional ski environment. There's nothing like skiing your heart out here, then going and sitting on the patio under Alf's High Rustler and drinking a few beers, talking about your day. It's really quite therapeutic. I've been to Alta three times, and as far as I'm concerned, I'll head back to Utah for Alta alone: just to take in the sights, snow, and friendliness of the place.