The 2018-19 winter is off to a great start all across the Midwest. Most ski areas across the upper tier of the Heartland and around the Great Lakes opened in November, and the rest across the Lower Midwest, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri, opened this past weekend or scheduled to open next weekend.
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) is offering a White Gold Card that allows you to ski or snowboard a full day at 33 Michigan ski areas, and Skiing Wisconsin offers a coupon book allowing you a day at 17 participating Badger State ski areas. It keeps your lift ticket cost for the day to around $8.
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) and Minnesota Ski Areas Association offer passport programs allowing elementary age kids the chance to try skiing and snowboarding for free. In Michigan it covers both fourth and fifth graders, and Minnesota’s program covers fourth graders.
Winter has arrived across the upper Midwest. Many ski areas and resorts are opening this weekend, and Thanksgiving Weekend also looks good if you want to get away for that first ski trip of the new season.
Heartland big-city skiers and riders sometimes have to drive a little further to find a ski hill worthy for playing midweek hooky. But, hooky-worthy ski areas are around, and arriving mid-week you avoid the large weekend crowds.
Detroit-based Wisconsin Resorts Inc. and the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation announced Nov. 1 that a deal had been struck to purchase Searchmont Resort for $2 million.
Pine Mountain Ski and Golf Resort, located near Iron Mountain in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, has announced a partnership with internationally known hospitality company Wyndham. It’s the first Heartland ski resort to join the Trademark Collection by Wyndham.
Something unusual in the ski industry: instead of announcing the usual price hike, Michigan’s Marquette Mountain is rolling back its daily pass to $25 and season passes to $249 with student passes (7+) $99. At the end of February this year an old web page shows lift tickets weekday were $38 and $48 on weekends and a season pass was $429.
Family friendly terrain, ski and snowboard teaching programs, and a good variety of advanced and expert terrain. Here are my top five recommendations for ski resorts in the Midwest to keep a family of differing abilities happy.
Just like for skiers and ‘boarders, golfers want to squeeze in that last day of the season. Even as most U.S. resorts are turning on their snow guns and warming up the snowcats, many still keep the golf course open for those late-season die-hards.
Autumn sweeps across the Midwest like a blaze this time of year. One of the best ways to enjoy breathtaking fall views is a slow chairlift ride to the top of the ski hill. Here’s some of the best around the upper Midwest.
Overlooking Nub's Nob slopes. (Nub's Nob)
Nub's Nob, known throughout the Midwest for meticulous grooming and snow conditions, is actually a pair of 427-foot peaks that encompasses 53 trails and numerous glades scattered over 248 skiable acres. It’s an array of imposing steep, western-like slopes in front, narrow intermediate runs with a New England feel on the southwest side, and open bowls on the north side. Pintail Peak with its stunning overlook of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay is a separate outback experience. They routinely stay open through early April.
Wilmot Mountain in the early days. (Wilmot/Facebook)
Densmore taking a turn on Boyne Highlands' slopes. (Boyne)
Spring is quickly approaching and that means ski trips to the mountains for many Heartland gals. Are you ready to enjoy all that skiing and riding?
Taking a ride through the glades. (Boyne Mountain)
When you ski and ride at Boyne Mountain you can’t help but think about the history that’s attached to this storied resort. They opened in 1947 with the first ski chairlift in the Midwest and followed with introducing the first three-, four- and six-seat chairlifts in the U.S. There were lots of other firsts, but the Mountain has aged well and the newer village and Mountain Grand Hotel are among the best in the Heartland. Classic straight forward wide runs plunge down the fall line, and Hemlock, their legendary advanced run and slope centerpiece, is still the “dean of Midwest steep.”
Powder is ticking upward at Colorado's Telluride. (Twitter/Telluride)
The storm pattern will align pretty well with the Rocky Mountain range this week meaning plentiful snow. The East will stay active while warming up.
Baumgartner in the starting gate wearing his trademark houndstooth pants. (Nick Baumgartner/Facebook)
Nick Baumgartner, who lives in Iron River in the Wolverine State’s UP and calls Ski Brule his “home hill,” got word last week that he has been named to the U.S. Olympic snowboardcross team. He also competed in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
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.