Midwest Ski Areas Continue To Struggle With Roller Coaster Winter
Boyne Highlands slopes are ready for skiers and riders. (Boyne Highlands)
An up and down weather pattern that has persisted most of the winter across the Heartland and Great Lakes has now caused some ski areas across the lower Midwest to cease operations this week through Thursday. Most are hoping to re-open on Friday.
Some like Indiana’s Paoli Peaks says on its website that they hope to reopen, but realistically need cold enough temperature to make snow for that to happen.
Nearby Perfect North Slopes plans to reopen Friday, but how long they will be able to stay open this winter? The ski area says it’s in uncharted territory with the unusual warmth to know how their snowpack will hold out.
Other ski areas across Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri are in operating condition and plan on reopening this weekend. Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Area has stayed open continually as are most ski areas across southern Michigan and Wisconsin. Colder air is supposed to move in this weekend as well and Illinois’ Chestnut Mountain plans to fire up the snow cannons once more. All of the ski areas around the Twin Cities are open.
Many of the ski resorts across the northern tier of the Great Lakes like Crystal Mountain and Granite Peak, although snow packs are in great shape, also plan on snowmaking as soon as the temperatures cool back down. Others like Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands said their snowpack was holding up just fine and weathered the warm up with no significant loss. Lutsen Mountain’s snowpack is over five feet and they plan on staying open through April.
Bottom line; check the SnoCountry Snow Reports for the latest snow conditions and any closures. It’s been a strange winter in our neck of the woods. Many of these same ski resorts posted one of their best President’s Weekends ever. Get out and enjoy the slopes while you can. Besides, spring is my favorite time of the year to ski. What’s not to like about longer hours, sunny days and soft snow.