In The Spotlight
A fire broke out in the main lodge of Wisconsin’s Whitecap Mountains Resort late Friday afternoon destroying the structure, which had been renovated over the fall, according to a story in the Upper Peninsula’s Daily Globe.
Located along the border with Michigan’s UP, the fire sent a smoke plume that could be seen for miles, according to area residents, and the blaze had to be battled into the wee hours of the morning. It started around 4:30 p.m., and was visible to skiers who had arrived early for the busy Martin Luther King Jr. long weekend. Nobody was injured and private homes in the village and hotel were spared any damage.
Saturday morning the resort reported on Facebook that despite the loss of the main lodge power was back on, lifts were running, and a continental breakfast was being served out of the hotel. Unfortunately they lost all their rental equipment in the fire, the post continued, and directed people to rental places in nearby Bessemer. It closed with the message, “We will rebuild.”
The main lodge had been renovated with a new cafeteria area, restaurant and bar. The kitchen was also brand new. Plans also called for a new chairlift to be installed next summer as they were attempting to revitalize the longtime resort.
Whitecap Mountains is tucked next to Weber Lake in northern Wisconsin’s rugged Ponokee Mountain range. It’s Swiss village motif, complete with clock tower, provided an Old World atmosphere, which is all gone now.
The resort's ski runs spread across three peaks offers tree-lined trails that appeal to all levels and some of the most western-like terrain found around the Great Lakes. Over 40 trails spill off three mountain peaks. It’s also the only Midwestern winter resort with a mile-long chairlift that spans two mountains.
As long as the snow stays on the hill, Breckenridge has announced it will stay open through Memorial Day this season – and all seasons going forward.
The announcement from the nation's busiest ski and snowboard resort came as a record-setting 200 inches of snow settled onto the slopes and trails of the Colorado mountain.
Originally set to turn off the lifts on April 21, the resort will now keep them turning for more than a month – until May 27 – weather and base depth permitting, of course. The last time the Summit County resort went this deep into the spring season was the mid-1990s. Now it will rival neighbors Arapaho Basin and Loveland for last-to-close honors.
Spring skiing at Breckenridge will center on Peaks 7 and 8, the terrain sitting to the north along the Ten Mile Range. This area encompasses primarily advanced and expert terrain on the resort's Peak 8 area, including in the Imperial, Horseshoe and North bowls, which are accessed by the Independence SuperChair, the Imperial Express SuperChair and the TBar Lift.
“Spring is an incredible time to ski Breck’s High Alpine and we are thrilled to extend our season this year, and beyond, and offer that terrain as long as the snow lasts,” said Breckenridge's John Buhler. “With Breck’s notably high elevation and annual snowfall we are well-positioned to provide our passholders and other guests great spring skiing and snowboarding well into May.”
Vail Resorts, which owns the resort, said snowmaking would not be part of the equation during the late-season opening. The company apparently wants to combine the early opening at Keystone – another Vail-owned resort that will get a massive snowmaking upgrade this summer – and late-opening Breckenridge to have bragging rights to the longest season of skiing and riding in Colorado.
A storm that may end up being the largest from coast-to-coast is already underway. From blizzard conditions in California to feet in the East, we’ve got the entire breakdown here for where to ski and ride in the coming week.
Western U.S. & Canada
This week’s SnoCast revolves around one *major* storm, so let’s follow it from west to east. If you want the East coast details right now, just scroll down a bit. An ongoing blizzard will be dumping feet of snow in California’s Sierra Nevada range Thursday. In total, as much as 50-65” (4 to 5 FEET) of snow will fall this week (through Jan. 18) and during the event, peak wind gusts may reach 130 mph at the ridgelines. Thursday-Friday this storm spreads across nearly each state in the West, providing 12-16” for many. The Pacific Northwest and Canada will get two systems Saturday and Sunday, providing 6-9” of fresh snow this weekend. Monday will provide moderate snowfall across the U.S. Rockies, leading to bluebird conditions Tuesday. This week we love Utah’s Park City and Alta plus California’s Mammoth and Kirkwood Mountains.
Eastern U.S. & Canada
Get ready for a big weekend storm! However, beforehand, a much weaker low pressure will glide across the East Thursday night to Friday, providing 2-4” of snow for the mountains. The West coast system (mentioned above) will arrive in the East Saturday night, lasting all day Sunday. This has big snow potential with highest amounts away from the Atlantic coastline. All snow is likely for interior locations and a snow-to-rain mix for southern New England and the mid-Atlantic. There will be a widespread swath of 6-12” of snow with several locations getting 24”! Bitter cold will rush in Monday, keeping the snow light and fluffy. Tuesday will still be cold, then another winter storm could arrive as early as Wednesday. This week we love Gore Mountain, Okemo, Cannon, Sugarloaf and Mont Sutton.
Until next week! Thanks to Northern Vermont University – Lyndon meteorology students James Mundy and Francis Tarasiewicz for contributions to this article.
With 200 inches of snow already this season, Wyoming’s Grand Targhee Resort is a powder paradise and a hidden gem among all the major Western resorts.
Celebrating its 50th season, Grand Targhee Resort is a year-round mountain resort situated in the Western slope of the Tetons in Alta, Wyoming. Located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, the resort averages more than 500 inches of snow annually, which ranks among the top five resorts for snowfall in the United States. Plus, the resort features a 2,200 vertical drop and more than 2,600 acres of terrain.
From snowcat skiing serving fresh tracks to hikeabe terrain off Mary’s Nipple, 15k of groomed classic and freestyle Nordic Skiing, and winter fat biking, Grand Targhee offers a whole host of winter activities. In fact, Grand Targhee Resort was the first ski resort in the United States to embrace and endorse winter fat bikes on the Nordic trail system. At Grand Targhee, biking is a year-round sport – and fat bikers enjoy access to 15k of groomed Nordic track and over 7 miles of singletrack trails.
Nestled above the scenic Teton Valley, Idaho, Grand Targhee Resort is 42 miles from Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and 82 miles from Idaho Falls, Idaho; and under four hours from Bozeman, Montana. Yellowstone National Park is a scenic two-hour drive and Grand Teton National Park is a 90-minute drive.
The resort features numerous restaurants and shopping option both in the resort village and nearby in Driggs and Victor, Idaho, where you’ll the Grand Teton Brewing Company, Wildlife Brewing and the Grand Teton Distillery.
Grand Targhee Resort is continually recognized for its great snow, unparalleled mountain biking, genuine Western hospitality, scenic beauty, and excellent value, including a fourth night of lodging free. Book three-night stay in a Grand Targhee vacation rental and the fourth night is free. Plus, kids 12 and under always stay free when lodging three or more nights.