I was fortunate enough to have been part of a group who had resort guide show us around last year at Vail. He stuck with us for two days, it was awesome and I didn't have to pay a cent. We went places that I never would have even considered if I was solo, and we saw so much more, such that free skiing on day 3 was fantastic. It was the first time in 35 years I've ever used a guide and I really enjoyed it - he was personable, adaptable, knew the mountain like the back of his hand and damn skilled.
So, we're planning a trip to Alta, and I'm thinking of hiring a guide for a half-day or a day, but I'd like to get a deal. How difficult is it to find someone not associated with the mountain (i.e., not charging resort rates), like maybe a former instructor or similar? The idea here is for someone to make a cash sale, while charging less than the mountain rate. I've done this sort of arrangement lots of time with non-ski activities and it usually works out well.
I would not want to have any old ski bum who wants a free day - they would have to be personable and adaptable to our abilities and strengths. We consider ourselves aging advanced skiers. I'd be looking for recommendations. Maybe quietly done using a local ski shop?
Feel free to PM me.