Recent snow and cold weather are providing an early start to the Heartlands ski season, which is a nice departure from last year when ski areas mostly remained closed over Thanksgiving weekend and had a rough start even in December making enough snow to be fully open over the Christmas holidays.
An early arrival of winter and temperatures cold enough for snowmaking across the upper Midwest are going to allow some ski areas to be open for the Thanksgiving holidays. Minnesota will be offering the most openings with a few in northern Wisconsin and a couple in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Lower Peninsula ski areas at this point have not announced opening dates, but some have already fired up the snowmaking and hopefully that will come soon.
A couple of ski areas, Wild Mountain in Minnesota and nearby Trollhaugen across the border in Wisconsin have already opened for the season. Afton Alps, Powder Ridge, Andes Towers Hills and Lutsen Mountains are planning on being open this weekend Nov. 18 and 19. Buck Hill is opening on Nov. 22, with Spirit Mountain and Giants Ridge scheduled Nov. 25.
Huff Hills Ski Area, located near Bismarck in North Dakota, is opening for the season on Nov. 20, which will mark their earliest opening ever in the 30 years it has been a ski area. Illinois' Chestnut Mountain plans to open Nov. 26, also one of their earliest openings.
In early season it's always a good idea to check the ski area for conditions before making a long drive. Weather can change in just a few days. You can also log onto Snoountry Snow Reports for an up to date review of what's open and conditions.
With more resorts opening, chilly temperatures, and new snow for the Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest, we're officially calling it ski season. Let's dive into the weather outlook in this week's SnoCast.
Hallelujah! After a wild weather week, Mother Nature is about to chill out...literally. Following hurricane remnants in the East and a blizzard in the Plains, the first cold snap of the season will deliver a much needed jolt to kickstart ski season.
Three ski areas in the Midwest, Wild Mountain and Andes Tower Hills, Minnesota, and Trollhaugen in western Wisconsin, were able to open limited terrain last week. Four other ski resorts, one each in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and two in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP) have planned openings in the next three weeks. The Heartland ski season is underway.
Ski Brule in the UP has the planned earliest season opener slated for November 11. They are routinely one of the earliest opening ski resorts in the Heartland. Lift tickets are free on opening day. They have a Thanksgiving special offering half-off on Wednesday night lodging if you plan on staying through the holiday weekend for four nights. Their highly regarded Thanksgiving Race Camp is taking place over the four days.
Lutsen Mountains in Minnesota and Snowriver Mountain Resort, also in the UP have planned season openers slated for November 19. Lutsen plans on having 10 runs open on Eagle Mountain and early season lift tickets are $79 through December 16. Ski in/ski out lodging specials at Lutsen are available from $109 per night. Snowriver lift tickets will be the same as Lutsen, $69 through December 16, and you can purchase two day lift tickets for $10 off online. No lodging specials were listed on their website. Both resorts will be limiting lift ticket sales on weekends and holidays, which means buy ahead online.
Wisconsin's Granite Peak has an opening slated during the week before Thanksgiving. No lodging specials were listed on their website, but affordable lodging is within minutes of the ski area. Lift tickets are $79 from opening day through December 16. Purchase before November 15 and save 20% off the posted rates. They will also be limiting lift ticket sales on holidays and weekends, which means purchase online ahead of time.
How would you like to ski, and ride over 20 of the Midwest's top ski areas this winter, every day of the season for just $525?
Three ski resorts—Lutsen Mountains, Ski Brule and Boyne Mountain—plan on being open over Easter Weekend and weekends through the month. Mount Bohemia, which SnoCountry just posted last week, is also staying open weekends through April.
Early April is always a toss up for weather and the number of open ski areas slowly continues to dwindle. But, that doesn’t mean we’re done! Here’s what to expect in the forecast for those of you still hitting the slopes this week.
Upper Michigan's Ski Brule is hosting a celebration for the hometown hero and Olympic gold medalist Nick Baumgartner, who claims the ski area as his home hill having grown up in Iron Mountain. The celebration will take place Sunday, March 11 from 5-10 p.m. He will be riding the slopes from noon to 3 p.m., and lift ticket holders are invited to join him. A great chance to get some pictures and video skiing or riding with an Olympic medalist.
Nick Baumgartner, who lives in Iron River in the Wolverine State's Upper Peninsula and calls Ski Brule his “home hill,” has achieved the criteria to be named to his fourth Winter Olympics. Having competed for 2010, 2014, and 2018 U. S. Olympic Snowboard Cross teams, the 40-year-old will be the oldest Olympic snowboarder in American history.
No less than nine Heartland ski areas are celebrating significant milestones this year. All have been in business at least 60 years and one started 85 years ago, according to the National Ski Areas Association.
After a mild fall, we’re hoping December brings the colder and snowier change we’ve all been waiting for. Check out what’s in store in this week’s SnoCast forecast.
A trio of upper Midwest ski areas is planning to open the third weekend of the month joining Lutsen Mountains, which opens November 13, in getting the Heartland ski season underway.
An early-season blizzard will unleash winds up to 55 miles per hour and several inches of snowfall for portions of the High Plains and Upper Midwest, leading to a cooler pattern in the East with a (likely) chance of scattered snow showers.
Spring is in the air across the Heartland, which means softer temperatures and longer daylight hours to enjoy the slopes. Many ski areas celebrate the season with spring carnivals. SnoCountry takes a look at some of the best upcoming this month.
January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard month, and throughout the Midwest ski areas are offering discounted lesson programs. Michigan offers the only statewide program, which is available at ski areas throughout the Wolverine State. None of the other Heartland state associations offer a statewide program for easy access, cost, and simplicity. The nice thing is that if you live near either one of Michigan's peninsulas you can cross the border and enroll in a ski area near you.
With the winter-like cold air that's settled in over the Great Lakes, three more Midwest ski areas plan to open later this week with a couple more scheduled to open the following weekend.
Once again the Spring Challenge between Michigan resorts Boyne Mountain and Mount Bohemia, located in the UP, is on. Which resort will keep the lifts turning longest and skiers and snowboarders on the slopes?
It’s still ski and ride season across the upper Midwest. A great time to get out and enjoy springtime warmth, sun and snow as we put a wrap on this season, which has been one of the best in recent history across the Heartland. These eight areas are still open through at least this weekend and some are planning on staying open through the month.
Early April can be a great time to hit the slopes and enjoy some spring time fever with the longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures. Seven Upper Midwest resorts are staying open into April, and some are offering enticing lift and lodging specials.