The tenth annual So-Gnar Snowboard Camp Tour hits six Midwest ski areas over the next few weeks. It’s an opportunity for Midwest shredders to up their game and improve those skills.
Mountain top dining is popular at ski resorts in the west. But, there are a handful of resorts scattered around the Heartland that offer distinctive mountain top dining experiences as well.
Just graduated from high school, not ready for college and looking for a career in the mountain sports industry? Ridge Mountain Academy in Whitefish, Montana, may be just what you are looking for.
Minnesota’s ski season is underway with several ski areas already open. The Gopher State has fared better in the weather pool than other Great Lakes state, especially those on the east side of Lake Michigan. Here’s a rundown on what’s new at ski resorts that have made improvements.
Once again Minnesota’s Wild Mountain, east of the Twin Cities along the Wisconsin border, is the first to open for skiing and snowboarding in the Midwest. A major winter storm is sweeping across the region, leaving 3-20 inches in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
Midwest skiers and riders get some nice perks when purchasing a season pass at any of the six Heartland ski areas. Pass holders from Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri and Paoli Peaks in Indiana receive half-off daily lift ticket rates at all of the Midwest locations, and eastern ski areas Jack Frost/Big Boulder and Crotched Mountain. All you have to do is present your season pass and photo ID.
Wisconsin ski areas were busy this past summer enhancing the experience for guests this coming season. Snowmaking upgrades topped the improvement lists, but there were also terrain park expansions, new runs, new lifts and improved beginner areas.
Little Switzerland has added a new high-speed rope tow in their terrain parks and expanded both their large and small parks. They also cleared a new trail called Easy Cheesey, which will be the easiest way down the hill. Snowmaking capacity was increased with the addition new fan guns.
Nordic Mountain, always one of the first to be fully open in the Badger State, once again added more snowmaking firepower and cleared a new winding, intermediate run called MeNords. They feel it will become one of their most popular once discovered.
Camp 10 increase both the capacity and efficiency of their snowmaking system, which they feel will allow them to open earlier in the season.
Alpine Valley, in the southern part of the state, tripled the size of the beginner area complete with four magic carpet lifts and added a new chairlift on their First Adventure beginner run.
Wilmot Valley, added over 5,000 feet of new high-pressure pipe and two new snow blowers between chairlifts 3 and 8 to increase and improve snowmaking efforts. They also added new LED lighting on five of their runs, overhauled chairlifts, and spruced up the day lodge.
Tyrol Basin improved their beginner terrain and added a new magic carpet lift for the upcoming season.
Sunburst’s Tubing Park was named as one of the Top 10 Tubing destinations in the nation recently by USA Today. They offer 42 lanes, two magic carpet lifts and speeds up to 42 mph cruising down the hill. Hold your breath.
Photos: Top -- Tyrol Basin made summer improvements (Tyrol Basin/Facebook); Right -- Alpine Valley triples beginner area (Alpine Valley/Facebook); Below -- Little Switzerland adds fan guns, new trail (Little Switzerland/Facebook).
Three ski resorts in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula—Shanty Creek, Treetops and Caberfae Peaks— have been busy making improvements for the coming winter season. Look for more snowmaking capability, lodge renovations, upgraded rental equipment and cross country improvements.
Thanksgiving Weekend is when Midwest resorts have high hopes to kickoff the ski season. Frequently it happens, but not always. A handful of Heartland ski resorts are scheduling weekend events in anticipation.
Northwestern Lower Michigan around the Lake Michigan villages of Petoskey and Harbor Springs is known to Midwest snowsports enthusiasts as Boyne Country, home to Nubs Nob, Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands. They are offering some attractive early season lift and lodging packages.
The time for season pass deals at Montana ski resorts may be over, but several lift ticket deals remain. Frequent skier cards, packs and punch cards can substantially lower your daily lift ticket cost. Check out these offers.
The popular Skiing Wisconsin coupon book is still available in limited numbers and can be ordered online for $125. There are only about 280 left at press time, and the ski season isn’t far away. It’s perfect for the skier or rider that likes to visit numerous areas.
A Twin Cities landmark, Buck Hill Ski Area, has been sold by Nancy Stone and her family. She and her husband Chuck opened the ski area in 1954.
New runs, new glades and new terrain parks are part of the improvements skiers and riders will see this coming season at Big Sky Resort, and kids 10 and younger ski and ride free and free membership in the Kids Club when staying with parents.
For a Midwest resort that has been named one of the 50 Best Places to Ski & Stay in North America by Condé Nast Traveler, Michigan’s Crystal Mountain Resort just continues to improve.
From a stroll in the haunted forest to great pumpkin races, shred ‘til you’re dead jam and a Halloween party in a wilderness cabin, a handful of Heartland ski resorts have some haunting good fun planned this Halloween. Some of it even starts earlier. Get your ghoul on.
How would you like to ski Michigan’s top ski areas for just about $7 per visit this winter? All you have to do is purchase the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) White Gold Card, which is now on sale in very limited supply for $249.
Midwest ski shows in Chicago, Minneapolis and north off the border in Canada are taking place this month, which means winter, skiing and snowboarding aren’t far away. People in this electronic age still love to come to the shows. They can often find some great ticket or vacation deals through the resorts. Get hyped for the coming season.
Minnesota’s Afton Alps and Michigan’s Mr. Brighton are both part of the Epic Pass, which offers unlimited access to all of Vail Resorts western ski areas as well as both Midwest resorts. It offers as much slope time for diehard Heartland skiers and riders as they want.