If you like backcountry, ungroomed slopes and tons of natural snow, choices are very limited around the Heartland. Mt. Bohemia has been dubbed the Great Lakes version of Jackson Hole.
Backcountry enthusiasts should check out Bohemia’s one day season pass sale Saturday, Dec. 7. It’s $99 for one year or $159 for a two-year pass. A regular season pass is $340, and the daily rate is $55. You do the math. The sale is online only.
The ski area is currently in the final four of Powder Magazine’s Throwdown for the best powder skiing and riding in North America. So far Bohemia has defeated Whiteface, Sugarbush and most recently Vermont’s Mad River Glen to take the eastern half of the country. Next they take on Alaska’s Eaglecrest. The other two western finalists are Crested Butte and Stevens Pass. The results are based on reader voting.
Bohemia is located at the tip of the UP's Kewanee Peninsula, that witch-like finger jutting out in the middle of Lake Superior. That almost always insures incredible amounts of annual lake effect snowfall; typically around 270 to 300 inches a winter. It's a big vertical drop for the Great Lakes Region, 900 feet with cliffs, chutes, trees, steep drops and all natural snow. They have no snowmaking, and don't do any grooming.
Bohemia claims all expert terrain and, they aren't exaggerating. The terrain is typical of what you find out west in the backcountry. There is nothing else even remotely like it mid-continent. Two chairlifts whisk you back to the top to find another line through the trees, boulders and cliff drops spread out over 500 acres.
“It's a long drive, about seven hours, but, if you like backcountry and true powder skiing, there's nothing to compare around our region of the country,” Traverse City skier Jeff Terrell told SnoCountry.com. “The pass is a great bargain. I make one long weekend trip during the winter, and the pass pays for itself; additional days are all a bonus.
“I’ll make at least two weekend trips and maybe three if the snow is good,” he enthused. “I couldn’t begin to ski out west for one long weekend for the same cost.”
Bohemia added five new glade runs and a 10K cross-country trail for this season.
Photo: Mt. Bohemia powder (Mt. Bohemia)