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Skiing in michigan

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
So I am wondering what skiing is like in Michigan? Near grand rapids if you need a little more specification. I am used to western mountains like mt baker for comparison.
post #2 of 4

You won't like it.  I grew up skiing in MI, but I don't alpine much around here anymore.  XC is ok at times.


Waterskiings pretty good around Gran Rapids?

post #3 of 4

What happened to your picking a college based on good skiing plan?


Look, if you a really need to ski or you will go nuts (happens to me every now and then), then a day up north is fine. But it doesn't satisfy me. On the plus side, the snow quality is pretty good.

post #4 of 4

I live Chicago and I ski twice a week at hills in MI and WI.  You have to fix your expectations.  Yes I know the diff between skiing  midwest and real mountains and I have been to alot alot of resorts out west as I go on trips about twice per year.  I have skied many years.


You know it is like 500-600 vert.  blacks are blues, some double blacks are real, most are not and if real, they are short.


If you slide in the parks, they are real and the ride back up is shorter, but still it is not out west by any stretch.


But the skiing up around G rapids is the best iin the midwest.  you have Nubs Nob which has been expanded and base lodge fixed up and replaced.  Crystal mountain, sugar loaf (Classic stands out in Travers Bay) adn the Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands which are the biggest on that side of the big lake.  So that is called the Eastern Upper Penninsula and that is in Michigan.


On Western Upper Penninsula, above Wisconsin but very far from Boyne, is ski Brule, Iron Mountain, the Place in Marquette MI at the college town (I forgot name) and then Iron Wood and Bessemer MI that has 4 nice size ski areas within a few miles of eachother.  This is where I go when I go north these days. 


One thing yu can say for these areas besides, you wont like em, is they work hard to keep snow down and they get alot of fresh dry snow many times like a foot at a time.  It is often lighter snow than you might get in Colorado in late Feb or March.  It is cold enough that you will actually get Utah type snow ,almost, but not as deep and not as often and not as long, well nowhere near as long.


Bump runs are short and steep like out west but short....did I mention short.  If there is a difference it is that it is short.


But not as short as you might think....lots of natural trees and stuff. 


And these places used to be free standing facilities and some of them have been there since the 1930s so that is very cool.  But these days, they are owned by some of the big conglomerate ski corps so that your season pass gets you free days at the other places generally outwest or at least a deal.


Then there is Mount Bohemia which boasts 700 verts at 1200 elevation but it is ungroomed with alot of glades and real tree skiing and it is posted that it is not for beginners at all.  I think they recently put in a hotel or yurts but you generally rough it in the parking lot if you want to stay the night.


Lutsen is out of Duluth in Thunderbay and hard to get to.


You are aware that the greatlakes are more like Oceans right?  Huge and produce real weather patterns and lake effect snow....Yeah the wind blows over the lake and warms the air, then artic air comes down and the warm and cold meet and make snow in the "snow belt."  So Grapids gets nailed and points north adn south...hell all of eastern Mi gets nailed by lake effect snow squalls.....


I know plenty of people who became very good skiers at these areas without ever going out west....I dont know why but they did.....


Most of us ski thetse areas adn also points west once a year er so....Oh yeah flying out west from GR is an odyessy

My sis lived GR for a few years and we would ski all those areas.  And these are like 6-8 hours from most of the chitown burbs.....so they are destination resorts for us....dont laugh.

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