I've been going to Granite Peak for the last four years and keep coming back because I haven't found another resort within a reasonable drive of Chicago that surpasses it. The snow is always adequate (yes, with some occasional ice, this being the Midwest), the staff is cheerful and efficient, the high-speed 6-pack is a great luxury, and the ski school is very solid. Even on a busy Saturday (Jan. 26), the lift lines were never more than 5 or 10 minutes long. On the same trip, I also had one of the best private lessons I've ever had (including some I've had out West). My only complaint this time was that the rental boots my wife was given were very worn/packed down (even those she exchanged) and should have been retired. Improvements I'd like to see: more high-speed lifts, lodging at the mountain, and private lessons on weekends, which are not available. But I have recommended it to friends and will be back.