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Anyone grow up skiing the Midwest?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
In high school, in the '70s, my "home mountain" was all 400 vertical feet of Whitecap Mountain in Montreal, Wisconsin.

Where did you get your nose frostbitten?
post #2 of 53

midwest skiing

alpine valley michigan.

www.skialpinevalley.com

teach there now as a part time instructor.
post #3 of 53
I am growing up skiing the midwest. i ski most of the hills in southern wisconson. Alpine Valley, Cascade Devils Head, and once to granite peak, and once the porcupine mountains in Michigan.
post #4 of 53
I'm from Traverse City, MI. Before there was organized sliding here, neighborhood kids would ride sleds, toboggans, skis, ski-bobs and whatever else would go downhill in a gulley at the nearby golf course. From the late 1940s on, there was city parks and recreation skiing on a couple rope tow areas. In the early 50s, a private venture similar slope started up on the other side of town. I don't think any of these hills (both the later city parks dept. operation and the previously private, now public non-profit still are functioning) exceeds 300 feet of vertical.
post #5 of 53
dagmar, ontario
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon
I am growing up skiing the midwest. i ski most of the hills in southern wisconson. Alpine Valley, Cascade Devils Head, and once to granite peak, and once the porcupine mountains in Michigan.
Living southwest of Chicago my daughter and I hit all of those that you listed with the exception of porcupine mountain!
post #7 of 53
Boston Mills, Ohio. Must have had about...oh, 250' of vert. I'm sure Ott can post the exact number though
post #8 of 53
Grew up and still ski the small southern Indiana hills overlooking the cows and corn. That's real corn, not corn snow.

A few years back while taking an X-team clinic at Squaw and surviving several trips down the chutes off KT-22, Dan Egan asked "where did you learn to ski"? I just smiled and said "Southern Indiana". He thought that was quite odd. Not too many people know we ski here.

Our Ohio Valley racers are actually quite good and many have podium finishes at the Nastar Nationals every year. A few are ranked top 3 in the nation as far as Nastar goes.
post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 
Years and years ago some guy got an enbankment next to an Interstate ramp in Nebraska or Iowa or somewhere certified for a NASTAR and got all his points to qualify for nationals on it...
post #10 of 53
Actually, as the story goes he was from Texas and used that ramp to practice on in-line skates in the off-season. At age 56 he scored a 1 handicap and I think that year did actually win the over-all National title. So there is still hope for me.

Then there was last year at Steamboat, this older gentleman 67, schooled everybody on the Nastar hill for a week. He was from Minnesota, and man could he rip the gates. I was truly inspired. We became acquainted and raced just about every day. He helped me and my buddies with a few tips but no one ever beat him. I think he was consistantly about a 9-10 handicap. The best I did was a 13-14. That is about a full second difference on a 20 second hill.
post #11 of 53
I've lived in Michigan and skied in Michigan my entire life, when you grow up in the Midwest you learn to appreciate bigger mountains and better snow when you get your opportunity to ski it. I know I have everytime I've been out west.
post #12 of 53
I learned to ski at Nubs Nob, and skied many of the areas in Michigan--especially after moving back to the Flint area in Jr. High. Mt. Holly was my home area through high school. I even skied (and worked) at the Lansing Ski Club (now defunct) during my years at Michigan State.

I am eternally grateful that I get to ski in the Rockies, now!
post #13 of 53
I grew up in Northeast Ohio. My family always drove to NY State for skiing though. In 8th grade, after I had already been skiing for 5 years, I decided to join the ski club too. When we got to the ski area,which happened to be Brandywine (I originally posted Boston Mills--- but it was Brandywine), I was like...where are the slopes? All the kids thought I was really daring for skiing straight down the black diamonds (Zombie was the name, if I remember correctly).
post #14 of 53
I did not grow up in Chicago, but for the last several years have had to 'make do' w/the skiing here. Typically go to Alpine, Wilmot, Devil's Head. Hopefully this is my last winter here and I'll be skiing PA areas next year!
post #15 of 53
Lived in Chicagos western suburbs for more years than I care to admit and skied all the local hills at one time or another since the 50s. Currently ski with my grandson and one son at Four Lakes Village (125' vertical, rope tows), Wilmot, Alpine Valley (WI), Chestnut Mtn, Sundown (IA), Indianhead, Boyne Highlands, Nubs Nob in the midwest. Will ski Devils Head, Cascade, and Granite Peak this winter....have not skied them in years.

In recent years have skied Steamboat, Alyeska, Telluride, Copper and will be skiing the Tahoe area this year.

It's hell being a die hard skier in this area. 30-40 years ago there were many more small areas in Illinois, Wisc, Minn, and Michigan but most have faded away. The remaining areas near Chicago are few (Villa Olivia will be bulldozed soon) and some of them have not invested in their facilites for decades....hard to believe with so many skiers and so much money in this area.

But I love to ski and will turn them almost anywhere...
post #16 of 53
Mount Challet, Alpine Valley
post #17 of 53
Mt Holly in Michigan is where I grew up skiing. Every year we took a trip up north to ski Crystal Mtn. I had only skied once out west (Big Sky) when I moved out to Colorado for a season.
post #18 of 53

ohio skiing...

I learned at Mad River Mountain (central Ohio), then skied for several seasons at Perfect North (southern Indiana).

I moved to Boulder 4 years ago. Keystone certainly was nice on Saturday!! (well, except for the part where I got hit by 2 different snowboarders on the SAME RUN).
post #19 of 53
It's amazing to me how committed midwest skiers are. I grew up in the Chicago area, and my dad would drive for hours every weekend (with me and my brother in tow) to most of the areas mentioned above in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana. After my dad would get off work on Friday, we'd drive 4-5 hours to sleep in some dirtbag motel (waking up the owners at 1 or 2 in the morning), ski on Sat. and Sun., and then drive home Sun. night. (And my dad would make it to work early Mon. morning.) All of that paid off and now and I'm doing the same with my young children, but for me, it's a lot closer (I live 1-2 hours from 600-900 vert. - but it's still not close enough!!!).

To add to the list above, don't forget Crystal in Michigan and Indianhead and Big Powderhorn in the U.P. (in addition to Marquette - where are you U.P. racer?)

Doug
post #20 of 53
Well...... I don't plan on ever growing up, but I do live and ski in the midwest. Marquette Mountain is 3 miles from my house.
Midwest and eastern skiers are some of the most technically sound skiers you will ever see. We get a ton of turns in.
I'm lucky also because my in-laws moved to Driggs, ID a couple of years ago.... for those who don't know, Driggs is 12 miles from Grand Targhee and 45 miles from Jackson Hole, so we get in a good week out there every year.
Here's the funny thing.... I'll get back from a week of skiing Jackson Hole, and go skiing at Marquette Mountain the next day. And I'm not bored!
I think midwesterners just love to ski.
post #21 of 53
I learned to ski at Alpine Valley (MI) took a few years off, then resumed skiing at Ripley (MTU's ski hill). Now I ski at the Boynes and sometimes Mt. Brighton or Alpine Valley with a trip out west each year.

At least there is some variation at Marquette, try going out west and come back to 200', it gets boring after a run.
post #22 of 53
My confession: From Berea and Middleburgh Hts Ohio skiing Brandywine and Boston Mills from the mid-60s. Ski instructor at those "resorts" from 1969 - 1972, and President! of the Berea H.S. Ski Club (wow). Graduated to Utah State where I worked short stints at Beaver but got to attend openers for Snowbird (the tram hit the cliff above Great Scott). Camped out on the slopes. Actually skiied Alta at $6.50/day. Eventually settled within 50 miles of Lake Tahoe in Pollock Pines, CA.

Whew, felt good to get that off my chest. With all this nostalgia, I'm wondering if I would/could ski in Ohio again. I guess in Ohio its not just the skiing. Something special going on there (mostly in the bar).
post #23 of 53
My first ski experience in junior high was at Little Switzerland. Usually make it there once a season now.

We always get the WI Ski Industry coupon book every year so we do at least a day at Sunburst, Geneva, Tyrol, Nordic Mountain, Olympia, Cascade and whatever else is in the book.

I love Whitecap...at least compared to most of the other choices in WI and the UP. We usually do a Fri. at Wausau and a weekend in the UP every season.
post #24 of 53
Wow, Brandywine & Boston Mills seems to have turned out quite a few skiers on this board.
post #25 of 53

Ohio Skiing

I haven't seen Snow Trails or Clear Fork yet but that's where I learned to ski. I actually live right in between them and I'd say they're about 7 or 8 miles apart. Speaking of Ohio skiing, still waiting for that first snow fall here. At this rate we might be skiing at christmas. What a sucky thought!
post #26 of 53
Thread Starter 
I actually first skied on some trash heap in Lisle, Illinois...the name elludes me...then I did a week of GLM at Aspen Highlands...*then* all those ski club trips to Whitecap...
post #27 of 53
I grew up in NE Ohio. My family and some friends bought a farm near Buffalo, a used bulldozer and we put in a couple of rope tows. Skiers from our group won the Ohio State High School championship in 1972 (another big wow). Ohio skiing is simply the worst, but it was nice to ski the Brandywine Wednesday night races after school. Mont Chalet was so flat you had to skate, do a few turns, skate some more.

My Dad was transferred to an office in Europe midway through my junior year. I graduated a year early and went from the prospect of being a high school senior in Ohio to a Freshman at the American College of Switzerland....talk about dying and going to heaven!!!

Bachelor opened today and won't close 'til June if our real snow ever comes.
post #28 of 53
I learned to ski at Mt. Como (Como Park Golf Course, ST. Paul, MN). $2.00 for a lift ticket and rental equipment. They had 2 rope tows and about a 50 ft vertical. One of my favorites was Snowcrest, outside of Sommerset, WI. Last time I drove by there, it was being farmed again.
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
I actually first skied on some trash heap in Lisle, Illinois...the name elludes me...then I did a week of GLM at Aspen Highlands...*then* all those ski club trips to Whitecap...
Four Lakes Village. Not a trash heap. The lakes were gravel pits and the hill was built up from that and opened in 1959. Very small and rope tows. Hosted the Chicago Tribune Ski school for many years and taught 12000+ lessons in a short season. Many good instructors came out of the hill and taught all over the west. Also, there was an early racing program that actually produced a US Team member, Jojo Weber who was, ironically, a downhill specialist in the 70s.

4Lakes still has an on going racing program started in the 70s by me and has produced some excellent junior racers. The program acted as a developmental program and fed into more advanced programs like the one that Grant Brown ran at Wilmot, Wi.

4Lakes is still a rope tow area but has great snowmaking, sophisticated grooming, and caters to skiers and riders today. It is a thriving business and hopefully will continue in the future for kids and big kids alike.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimeral
4Lakes is still a rope tow area but has great snowmaking, sophisticated grooming, and caters to skiers and riders today. It is a thriving business and hopefully will continue in the future for kids and big kids alike.

That's where I taught my daughter to ski! She's 8 1/2 now and loves to ski. We usually hit Alpine Valley, Devils Head, Cascade, and now Granite Peak. I can't wait for the snow to start falling. My daughter and I are "Ski Buddies" every Saturday. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
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