Here are some pictures from the recent Alta trip I took with my wife:http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0308/
We had three excellent days of skiing and a fun time staying/eating at Goldminer's Daughter Lodge. This was my wife's first time out west and I think she is hooked; hopefully we can turn this into an annual trip.
Here are a few movies:
Avy dogs goofing off after work:http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0308/avy-dogs.mov
Run down a green trail with my wife:http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0308/albion.mov
Ride up the Supreme Chair during a snow squall:http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0308/supreme1.mov
Same ride under sunny skies about 45 minutes later:http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0308/supreme2.mov
(We tried to make a hard-core movie of me skiing through some rocks and trees, but all that came out was 10 seconds of my wife's mitten over the lens.... which is pretty much how it goes when I try to look cool for the camera).
The first two days were excellent packed powder on groomers and 5-6" of sun-baked powder off trail (previous snowfall was 2 days before we arrived). It was Bluebird weather most of the time, though the last morning started with cloudy skies and flat lighting (I took Lou's advice and brought some yellow goggle lenses which helped a lot). Snow tended to be firm in the mornings but softened up nicely by mid-day. Never saw a bit of ice or granular on-piste, just real good packed powder. My wife was very impressed by the quality and uniformity of the snow and felt it was a lot easier than skiing typical eastern conditions; I think this was her first time on honest to goodness natural snow. On the third day, it snowed hard for about 45 minutes and dropped 2" of new snow on windward slopes, which was very nice (probably the nicest measly 2" of snow I have experienced). Of course, Alta got 16" of snow in the three days after we left, but I'm trying not to think about that too much! As it was, the 2" dusting was a nice surprise to cap off three great days.
The GMD is definitely a great place to stay, with the excellent food and the relaxed, easy going atmosphere. It's pricey on paper, but when you factor in the included meals, the convenient location, and the benefit of not dealing with a rental car and possible canyon closures, I think it's well worth it, especially for short trips. And Alta -- well, let's just say I could only ski at Alta the rest of my life and not miss anything else. In fact, I may never venture elsewhere for major trips now that I have the SLC/Alta/GMD combo all figured out. Utah locals are very lucky to have this level and quality of skiing in their backyard. It's such a huge step above what we have to live with in the mid-A, and price-wise I think it's a viable alternative to a Vermont trip. I feel like we got a concentrated dose of high-quality skiing and vacationing at Alta in a short period of time.
A final note, for anyone thinking about taking lower-level skiers along: Alta turned out to be a great place to bring my low-intermediate wife. The green trails over in the Albion area are just great, and she was able to do some of the easier blues off Supreme and Sugarloaf. With some planning, she could ride up Wildcat and Collins and then take an easy way down. I liked the fact that we could both ski off the Albion chairlifts, her hitting the greens and blues and me hitting some of the nice terrain in Vail Ridge. And after lunch we split up for the rest of the day, which was more than enough time for me to get my fill on the tougher blues and black trails.