In the snowiest area of Minnesota, on the slopes of the Sawtooth Hills that rise above Lake Superior, a small group of skiers make waves in otherwise untrammeled drifts.
They call themselves Superior Highland Backcountry and they are having a blast doing something most Minnesotans have never heard of.
The idea is to hike or ski uphill in wild areas — or up mountains if you have them — and then ski back down, on specialized equipment that can grip on the way uphill and glide on the way down. You ski between trees, around rocks, over humps and bumps usually through powdery, unpacked snow. The sport is huge in western mountain states, growing in Vermont and the east and in its infancy on the hills of Minnesota's Arrowhead region between Finland and Lutsen.Read the full story at DuluthNewsTribune.com
To be one of the best mountain shops, it helps to be ensconced near the base of one of the best mountains, as that’s what ensures a veteran staff that lives, eats and breathes the sport. Little wonder, then, that our short-list of the crème de la crème are proximate to the best skiing in their respective regions.