I made a day trip from Chicagoland on a Tuesday, hoping to avoid lift lines, which worked out well since the wait time was almost zero. The mountain-top express lift really moved people quickly, so I was able to get a lot of runs in. However, the Cindy Pop lift was so annoyingly slow, though, that I stayed off that side of the hill, even though that was where some of the best runs were. The terrain was pretty good and the black runs were steep, but I don't feel like I got my money's worth out of the 'stated vertical', since the top of the hill is pretty flat. I wasn't using rental gear, but the equipment that people were using looked pretty decent. Also, one skier was renting out new K2 Photons from the ski shop, as part of a deal where you could rent the latest gear, then credit the rental price against the purchase price if you wanted to by it. It seemed like a good strategy for trying out different skis if you were looking to buy. As a side note, it is often pointed out that Cascade is relatively expensive, however, I got my lift ticket by using a voucher from the WSIA coupon book, so the cost wasn't really an issue.