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Granite Peak, WI

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anyone on the fourm has skiied Granite Peak in Wausau, WI since its recent expansion? The new glades and couloirs (60-70 deg) make it sound like a lot of fun for a Midwest ski area. I know that I'm planning a little early, but I will need to get a skiing fix when I'm home in Chicago this winter for the holidays. Any feedback would be appreciated...
post #2 of 19
I'm calling BS on any claim that Granite Peak has any 60-70 degree runs. 60 degrees is basically a free fall with just an occasional touch of skis on snow. 70 degrees is a free fall with your head, skis, and other limbs alternating as you bounce down the slope. Not saying you came up with those numbers yourself, but I doubt very seriously their accuracy. Still, Granite Peak has a fair number of interesting runs to it from the trail map. How far is it from Chicago?

Just for comparison how steep do you think the steepest sections of any of the Turkey runs at Wintergreen are?

[ July 03, 2003, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: teledave ]
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I hear you, teledave... I'll admit that I really have no judgement about degree when out on the slopes. I would guess (probably incorrectly) Wild Turkey to have slopes of 40 degrees or so. The steepest-seeming slope I've been on is Ballhooter at Snowshoe, WV (the toughest blue I've found - about 1/4 of people I saw went down that slope on their butts). I did look at topographical maps for the mountain and the top of the ski area is really quite steep, which also then means that a lot of the bottom is easy runout.

I am most interested in the glades at Granite Peak. Wausau is listed by the resort to be 4 hours from Chicago, but I've found the drive form the western suburbs to be more realistically 4 1/2 hours.

http://www.skigranitepeak.com/pressb...sublocation=48
post #4 of 19
I'm sure its just another example of some clueless person in their marketing dept confusing %grade and degrees. This problem comes up like clockwork every few months. 60% is about 30 deg, ie, a normal black.

Here are some recently posted photos of something in the ballpark of 60 deg. Do you really think something like this would be on the trail map in a lift served area, especially in the midwest? [img]tongue.gif[/img]

[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0SwDLApYXCZWq0Uz9Pjj2LV85rkYyR0VyDFJR0hdE7nS61HOGK a3wrv65*pkgzzfhehi3bNbFz4Z8LyfObv5cPBwggDKzySWvMuL TQ3knydnQaFRCmIvoFw/1climberFmRear.jpg?dc=467 5430322339392887[/img]

and

[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0TADTAgUYbrUpZxKzfR2q6dC*EGW7VtplbrjpO6EbAT6LPIb1L j1PzDZ074nCuCh4K6I6Bn9FLpxGuu*rxjI*mHDgMqbEcKYuz1h jKpjNvB400yhbh2OOvw/2climbersFmSide.jpg?dc=46 75430322433548115[/img]

(Photos courtesy of Duphphy & SheRa over at powmag.com)

Tom / PM

PS - Great story & pix, folks. Thanks for posting it.

PS#2 - If you really want to see steep , come on up to Ski Denton, a 650-foot micro-hill in upstate PA. They used to claim they had a 68 degree run. I don't think they do so anymore.

[ July 14, 2003, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
I see the error of my ways now... for future reference, anyway, what is the usual slope, in degrees, of a typical black run? In my defense, I assumed degrees since that is what I am used to working in. I guess grade is more of a civil engineering unit.
post #6 of 19
...60% is about 30 deg, ie, a normal black...

Tom / PM

[ July 03, 2003, 02:44 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks again, PhysicsMan... long, bad day at work and I'm not thinking too well. Granite Peak's stats, if in % slope (they just list it as %) would mean 30.1 to 35 degrees. I guess I just think in degrees better than % slope.

I looked at Ski Denton and they state that Avalanche is 66 degrees. Sounds like fun...

My error about % slope aside, I still would like feedback about skiing Granite Peak. Most of the reviews at Skitown.com are from before the expansion and I'm sure a lot of the negatives were about the small 21 run ski area before the new owner. The multiday packages look to be a pretty good deal and lodging isn't a ripoff. While I would love to get to Mount Bohemia this winter, the drive is a little much for so little time.
post #8 of 19
aschir01,
I've never been there but this exact topic was discussed earlier this year. Do a search for Granite Peak. A bear who is a Granite Peak local added his thoughts. If I remember correctly, some of the comments made were that just about every run has a relatively long and flat run out. Also, the tree skiing requires a lot of snow to not do damage to your skis. But, overall people thought it was one of the best in the midwest.
post #9 of 19
Just had to drop in on this post with so many Bears close to home. It's nice to see that I am not the only Virginian (Not native). Who thinks about snow 365 days a year!!!
: :
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Ullr:
Just had to drop in on this post with so many Bears close to home. It's nice to see that I am not the only Virginian (Not native). Who thinks about snow 365 days a year!!!
: :
Ullr

I agree with you, I've noticed quite a few Virginians as well as some folks from the other D.C. suburbs. Maybe we should plan a Mid-Atlantic gathering, make some turns, and put some faces with names.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Very true, Prosper... I just might search the boards before posting a question next time. I'm stuck with the following problem. I live in Charlottesville, VA and I will be home from grad school for 1.5 - 2 weeks around Christmas/New Years this winter. I want to do a 3-5 day ski trip (cheap, if possible) not too far from Chicago. The rub is that my brother is coming along: he's a good skiier, but rehabbing from a broken leg. He also doesn't want to ski exclusively - I agree that brewery tours are a good way to break up a ski trip. I really wanted to ski Mt. Bohemia, but it is probably out of the question w/ his leg. That really leaves WI and the lower western UP. While I do love the UP, it seems to be a trade-off of better snow for non-skiing activities. How does splitting time between Granite Peak and Whitecap Mountains sound? Also, I guess I should ask opinions on lower western UP ski resorts. Lastly, I might end up in the northern LP of MI this winter - are there any opinions out there about Searchmont, ON?

Ullr, last winter was my first in C'Ville, VA and I'm being told that last year's snowfall was a little higher than normal. Having bought my Wintergreen season pass two months ago, I hope that isn't the case. While skiing Wintergreen about 2 times a week is fine while here, I know I'll need a ski fix when home in Chicago. My computer screensavers are all ski photos, I play Mad Trix for PS2 quite often, and my girlfriend has banned me from talking about skiing until November. All I can hope for is another 8" powder day like I had last year at Snowshoe...
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know I'd be game for it, sportscoach13 - the more reasons/opportunities to ski the better!
post #13 of 19
I live in Richmond, but I am originally from a small town 30 minutes south of the Poconos in PA. Married to a wife who doesn't like to ski (she has a great body so I married her anyway), and my kids are still too young. I wind up going alone all the time, and am in desperate need of skiing partners. We should all hook-up this winter.

: : :
post #14 of 19
I went to Granite Peak once this last season. I think we hit it on a off night because I have enjoyed it more in past years.
We went on a Friday night just before St. Pat's Day. We did not get to try any of the new runs as they had that whole area closed off that night. According to one of the locals I spoke with, that's the case quite a bit of the time. Even some of the trails that were new the season before were closed off. I don't think there were more than a third of the available trails open that night.
To top it off, on what was going to be that one last run of the night, the lift broke down with us on it. We were stuck for at least 45 minutes.
I think if you went on a weekend in January or February (depending on snow conditions) you'd have better luck.
We always use Granite Peak as a one day stopover on our way to the UP, not as a final destination for any ski trip. Perhaps by next year they will have made more improvements so that won't have to be the case.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by aschir01:
I hear you, teledave... I'll admit that I really have no judgement about degree when out on the slopes. I would guess (probably incorrectly) Wild Turkey to have slopes of 40 degrees or so. The steepest-seeming slope I've been on is Ballhooter at Snowshoe, WV (the toughest blue I've found - about 1/4 of people I saw went down that slope on their butts). [/url]
The steepest part of Wild Turkey might be pushing 30 degrees, Ball Hooter is around the 28-30 degree mark. Anything 40+ degrees is the territory of real expert skiers.

I would have to concur with Tom/PM's explanation on the marketing department.

Off topic: I skiied at Wintergreen on their closing weekend last season and was impressed with the infrastructure of the resort. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] However, the difficulty of the skiing was not what it had been hyped to be. There are no, none, zip, zero, nadda legitimate double black runs in the East South of PA (and maybe even farther north). Everything that I have seen (including Shay's Revenge) only warrants a single diamond rating. Of course, that's only my opinion; feel free to disagree and rebutt.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Teledave - I was out at Snowshoe for Chilifest this last weekend and got to ride the Ballhooter lift down to Shaver's Lake and back up. Without snow (and the usual Snowshoe fog), Ballhooter run didn't look nearly as steep as it did alst winter. I guess this further drives home my inability to judge the steepness of the slopes I ski.

On the other topic, Wintergreen is an allright resort. It is close (50min) to me and has ridiculously cheap ($129) season passes. This last winter had some awesome snow, but the early season slush I saw is probably more of the norm. Slush mounds scattered on ice makes for a challenging night os skiing there. Other than the snow, Wintergreen can get a little crowded on nights and weekends (big surprise) and their grooming is far form the best. I must say that spending a morning there before going into work is very worthwhile...
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by teledave:
...There are no, none, zip, zero, nadda legitimate double black runs in the East South of PA (and maybe even farther north). Everything that I have seen (including Shay's Revenge) only warrants a single diamond rating. Of course, that's only my opinion; feel free to disagree and rebutt.
Yup. IMHO, the only time I would up the ratings of these slopes to DB is if they are covered with rock-hard chicken heads that are over 4" high, or covered with over 18" of deeply cut-up / set-up heavy crud.

Tom / PM

PS - BTW, rock hard glare ice doesn't count (as long as its relatively smooth). You've got to expect that 'round here, especially at night after a daytime rain and light traffic.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by aschir01:
...Without snow (and the usual Snowshoe fog), Ballhooter run didn't look nearly as steep as it did alst winter. I guess this further drives home my inability to judge the steepness of the slopes I ski...
Don't feel bad, everyone (and I mean *EVERBODY*) overestimates these angles. As you get more experienced, you realize this is a perfectly normal human tendency, and you consciously look for other visual cues like vertical trees, a horizontal horizon, etc., and you try to form little triangles and relate them to standard triangles like 45-45-90 and 30-60-90. Some people bring a little protractor or use the angles on a compass with a transparent base to help them estimate slope angles. I hear that *really* serious skiers use a $100+ inclinometer, but I have never met such a skier in person.

Also, don't forget that unless you are looking directly across the slope (ie, like a traverse, perpendicular to the fall line) you will overestimate the slope angle, and can even make a lowly blue look like its rising up at some hair-raising angle.

Tom / PM

PS - BTW, the unstated rule is that in the bar, its perfectly acceptable to double all slope angles, even if they wind up over 90 degrees.

[ July 14, 2003, 08:22 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #19 of 19
Once again Dave you and I agree. Nothing south of NY should get a double Black.
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