If the rest of my season is anything like the first two days, I'll be the happiest person on the planet. I don't think I could have asked for better conditions than what I experienced my first time at Alta this past weekend.
As far as first impressions go, Alta is a fantastic place for someone of my improving skill level to get everything they could want and more. I flew in on Saturday morning landing at 10:15am, yet I was on the slopes by 12:00pm. There is no place more convenient to ski than SLC.
I'm from the South, so skiing isn't the typical background of our kind. I only got serious about skiing a few years back, but I make it a point to improve every year. That being said, my first run was just an effort to keep my skis and the snow under me. I spent 3 hours lapping the Collins lift (specifically the trees right under the lift before mid-mountain). I'm not the greatest skier in the world, but I managed a few good turns on what I really think was fairly untouched. Needless to say, my body was only capable of so much abuse and bad form for one day.
Sunday was even better. Vince F was nice enough to meet me over at Alta for some buddy skiing. My first run up Wildcat was enjoyable, but I was scared that my legs weren't going to be able to handle much for the day. Surprisingly, they got stronger and stronger as the runs went on. We made it around to the Supreme lift and found some great runs. I thought that was going to be the bees knees of the day, but lunch came, visibility turned south, and we headed back to the Wildcat area. We skied pretty far west in the area, and it was FANTASTIC. There is so much to hit in the area. Drops, hips, trees, chutes... just anything. I loved it, and I wished my legs were stronger while I was back there. Unfortunately, by 2:30 I was spent.
No matter how much I was huffing and puffing, Vince had the best attitude, and is really the reason this forum is so special.... people are willing to meet others just to share their temples.
Overall, Alta lives up to all the hype. I will say that I'm not a big fan of the frequent traverses, but it's all worth the amazing runs you get in. I can't wait to get back there and abuse my Mountain Collective pass this season.
One last thing. I spoke to maybe a half dozen locals while I was there, and everyone was ridiculously friendly. They all seemed to have a kid-like happiness since the snow never stopped following. Run after run you heard hollering everywhere, and people implored me to take a sick day mid-week for incoming dump. They want to share the mountain with everyone (maybe not all the runs, but definitely parts of the mountain). Thanks Utahians.