I'm a longtime altaholic. The mountain's worst days are as good as the best days at some resorts, and I've never seen "black ice" at Alta. Every view is worthy of a postcard. They seldom overgroom, and there is almost always some ski-able powder. This year has been phenomenal. I had several virgin powder runs on my last visit. Challenges abound, and even seasoned experts have adequate terrain. If you want a shopping experience or a late nightlife, there are better places to go, but that is not my goal on a ski trip. I've never been able stay up late after a full day on the slope (if you can, you haven't skied hard enough or long enough). If you go for the skiing, there are few places better. You won't find a more skier friendly venue.