Certainly a good deal and it's nice to have such enthusiasm for one's choice.  2 years ago when looking for a western pass deal I considered all the pros and cons of the full Colo pass vs the Alta pass with both at $599 for my (ahem) age group.  It was a tough choice, 6 mtns with tons of terrain vs. one with better terrain and snow than any of the 6, IMHO.  I looked at the other variables and decided on Alta. 

I could get a long term stay in Midvale, UT for $30/night w. breakfast microwave and frig., I'd be in a major city for those off days and my Alta pass was also a pass on the bus.  It was just a 5 min. drive to the best bus pickup point, i.e. at the end of the line where getting a seat was pretty much a sure thing.*  The distance between the extremes of the CO areas was an hour drive under good conditions and possibly much more.  Then there is the price of a place to stay.  In my experience the best deals are in Georgetown and Idaho Springs, even further from the western edge of the area than A basin and Loveland and requiring a drive through the tunnel and over the divide.  Everything west of the divide is pretty pricey, certainly more than UT.  I also didn't want to be doing a lot of driving every day.  I had looked forward to leaving the daily commute behind when I retired.

*After 2 full seasons there I now appreciate (not) the major problem with Alta.  It is tracked out by 11 AM on powder days.  At least all the long lines on the famous runs.  You can get a half dozen linked powder turns by ducking into MRG-tight tree lines on the Collins side, or snooping for stashes I won't tell you about, but the glorious long open bowl runs you dream about are cut up.  Furthermore the buses are totally jammed cattle cars on powder days.  It matters not what day of the week; offices and schools in the entire SLC basin empty on powder days. 

I am probably going to spend the 2011-12 western road trip exploring places few have ever heard of (mostly) in the northern rockies, both US & Canada.  Who cares if the vertical is shorter, say 1500, if it is all untracked and the lift ticket is cheap.  Those places are out there and I know some of them. 

*
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont.

To unsubscribe, visit http://list.uvm.edu/archives/skivt-l.html