Fat tire bikers at Crystal Mountain have over 11 miles of groomed trails. (Crystal Mountain)
Fat tire biking, popular at western and eastern ski resorts, has been gaining traction in the Midwest. Ski resorts in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and northern Minnesota are now offering rentals and trails to ride. Check it out.
Participants can reach speeds of 30 mph on the luge run. (Muskegon Winter Sports Complex)
With the Olympics taking place next month ever thought about trying a luge run? It always looks pretty exciting during the competition.
Apply to become the official learn to ski family at Pine Knob. (Pine Knob)
January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard month all across the nation. Throughout the Midwest many ski areas are offering discounted lesson programs, but Michigan, in my opinion, offers the best programs for the cost and simplicity.
Ski Girl's Rock on Afton Alps' slopes. (Afton Alps/Facebook)
Over the next few weeks seven Midwest ski areas are hosting women’s ski and snowboard clinics. Two ski areas are located in Indiana, and one each in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.
Join Santa for a run down the slopes. (Shanty Creek)
It's been a good start to the Midwest ski season, and a major snowstorm is forecast for Christmas. Several Heartland resorts have plans to celebrate the season. Santa is bringing the snow get out and celebrate.
Powder, cliffs and views. (Mount Bohemia/Facebook)
Michigan's Mount Bohemia is a powder pig’s paradise. It is not your typical Midwest ski area. There’s 900 vertical feet of black diamond I, II, and III-rated glade runs, no snow making, no grooming and nothing that a typical Heartland beginner or intermediate skier or snowboarder wants to tackle. It has made it to the final four of Powder Magazine’s annual reader’s poll for best powder in North America. It’s as close to Jackson Hole as you’ll find around the Great Lakes, and they receive up to 300-inches of light lake-effect snow per season.
Devil's Head slopes overlook Wisconsin River valley. (Devil's Head)
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) is offering a White Gold Card that allows you to ski or snowboard a full day at 34 Michigan ski areas, and Skiing Wisconsin is offering a coupon book allowing you a day at 16 participating Badger State ski areas. It keeps your lift ticket cost for the day to around $8.
Powder and views stretch as far as the eye can see. (Whitefish Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Dec. 14, 1947, was the first opening date for Whitefish Mountain Resort. They will be celebrating Big Mountain’s 70th anniversary all season long, and hopefully a repeat of last season’s record breaking 400+ inches of snow.
Grabbing some air at Hidden Valley. (Hidden Valley/Facebook)
Missouri’s Hidden Valley Ski Area is once again in a dispute with the city of Wildwood in which it operates and once again is threatening to close the ski area after this season.
Heading up to Lone Peak on the tram.
America’s biggest skiing resort, Big Sky with 5800 acres and 300 runs tumbling off four mountain peaks, made several improvements this past summer that improved slope access. They open for the season on Thanksgiving Day, November 23.
Big air at Blackjack. (Blackjack)
Big Snow Resort is actually two longtime Michigan resorts, Indianhead and Blackjack, that sit almost side-by-side in the ancient Penokee Mountain Range crossing western Upper Michigan and northern Wisconsin.
Crystal Mountain kids in lesson. (Crystal Mountain)
Many state and industry programs are offered throughout the west and east allowing elementary age kids the chance to give skiing and snowboarding a try throughout the winter. The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) offers one of the best in my opinion. It’s the only statewide program I could find being offered in the Midwest.
An October start to the Midwest ski season. (Wild Mountain/Facebook)
It’s a Midwest ski season. Minnesota’s Wild Mountain, located in a river valley east of the Twin Cities, plans to open Sunday, Oct. 29, for the season, according Wild’s president Amy Frischmon.
A jumper soars off the Pine Mountain Ski Jump. (Pine Mountain Ski Jump/Facebook)
Ski jumping was huge around the turn of the last century across the upper Midwest. Thousands of spectators would gather at jumping competitions across Michigan’s UP and around Red Wing, Minnesota. The sport dwindled and only one site remains still holding annual jumping competitions. Two new sites, one located in the western UP and another near Red Wing, are coming onboard and hopes to be hosting competitions by 2018.
Looking across the slopes at lodge and village on top of ski hill. (Otsego/Facebook)
Michigan’s Otsego Ski Club, near Gaylord, is going fully public this season and giving up its position as the nation’s oldest continuing operating private ski club. It opened in 1939.
Looking at the Pembina Gorge from top of Frost Fire. (Frost Fire/Facebook)
Skiers from Winnipeg to Grand Forks are going to have to look a little further to find a ski hill this winter. Frost Fire in northern North Dakota positioned 100 miles from both cities, will not be running their nine ski slopes this coming winter.
The Whitecap Mountains Lodge at base of ski area. (Whitecap Mountains/Facebook)
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, provides an Old World atmosphere. The resorts 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. It’s also the only Midwestern winter resort with a mile-long chairlift that spans two mountains.
Wisconsin's Little Switzerland. (Little Switzerland/Facebook)
There are some changes coming in ownership shifts of three Wisconsin ski areas. One is set and the other two are possibilities.