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Anyone grow up skiing the Midwest? - Page 2

post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by IL_Skier
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.
Great. I ski there on Sunday mornings, Monday nights and other days to be determined with my 39 year old son (on the ski patrol) and 10 year old grandson who is in his 6th season of skiing. Another son and 2 of my granddaughters will also ski there this year as well.

Skiing used to have lots of "4Lakes" type areas that helped millions of people learn to ski and prepare them for big mountains. Unfortunately, most of these have closed in the last 30 years. People don't understand their value to the sport to teach never evers, develop skiing skills, provide nearby and cheap family entertainment, develop racers, riders, and ski instructors and patrollers. Most focus is on the big mountains but most people live in urban areas and we appreciate any opportunity to ski, no matter how humble....or flat. And many cannot afford $5000 vacations to Vail or Deer Valley, etc.

Of course, I am terminally jealous of those who live near real mountains but at least we have the opportunity to ski...better than not at all.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimeral
Skiing used to have lots of "4Lakes" type areas that helped millions of people learn to ski and prepare them for big mountains. Unfortunately, most of these have closed in the last 30 years. People don't understand their value to the sport to teach never evers, develop skiing skills, provide nearby and cheap family entertainment, develop racers, riders, and ski instructors and patrollers. .

That is a really good point. So good that if the big resorts had half a brain they would subsidize the little places. Most of my skiing friends now came from families that could have never afforded to learn at destination resorts. Take a look at who posted on this tread and see how many of them moved a place near the mountains.

long live the 300 vertical feet!
post #33 of 53

amen to that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
long live the 300 vertical feet!
Ya know, I'm really with everyone who talks about how fun the Midwest ski scene is. Yeah, okay, so it's icy and kind of silly, but I agree that these "grassroots" resorts have a real place in the industry.

I have to say, as much as I love living on the Front Range with the big marquee resorts only 90 minutes up the road... holy crap, is it expensive to ski out here, even on a Buddy Pass... and driving in that madhouse up I-70 is a real adventure, especially when it snows the whole way, like it did on Saturday - yee-haw!

$25 used to buy me a lift ticket and rentals for Midnight Madness at Mad River all through the season. Wonder if they still do this? I know a TON of my college age friends learned to ski and loved it due to the party atmosphere. And with that cost, we could pretty much manage to go every week!

There's just something about skiing under the combined influence of beer, darkness and sleep deprivation...
post #34 of 53
Well, since Boston Mills/Brandywine was mentioned so many times in this thread, I have to tell you that I didn't 'grow up' skiing there but was an instructor from day one there and there are a number of PSIA examiners who made their first tentative turns in my class. There was only one instructor in our ski school who didn't have a foreign accent. Our ski school director was an olympic slalom racer and the rest had jumped over higher bumps than Boston Mills in their native countries. But man, could they ever ski and teach the youngsters, who didn't know that they were supposed to be on an inferior hill, how to crank them.

As for where I grew up and my early skiing adventures, see the following:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since you all could figure out that I am old now, I don't mind telling you youngsters what the uphill transportation was for us at that time...I lived in the foothills of the Alps but not too far to the really tall mountains.

The village where I lived was in one valley and the next town, which actually had railroad connection to the outside world, was over a hill in the next valley, with about 800 to 1000 foot elevation in-between, I would guess. A road wound over that hill
connecting the two. We could catch busses, milk wagons pulled by tractors, trucks and even horse drawn sleighs, since the road was always snow covered, no snow plows then.

But we weren't allowed to ride inside of any of these conveyances, we had to hang on behind and catching them was tricky, but we had it down to a science.

We had a long rope with knots in it and a sling on the other end. A half dozen or so of us on skis would stand in line holding onto the rope facing uphill and our strongest skier would wait up on an embankment with the sling. As a bus or truck would come by he would schuss down the embankment timing it so he could hook the sling around the bumper or any other convenient place and hold on for dear life as the rest of us were jerked into motion. Going uphill they were doing 10-15
mph I would estimate.

After some hilarious initial attempts we learned that the weakest skier had to be on the end of the rope, and the rest of them, graded up to the best in the front since we found out that if a weaker skier was in front and would fall he would take the rest of them down with them, but if he fell off at the end, oh well, catch the next one...

Since all the bus drivers and truck drivers were the same local ones all the time, they would watch for us and play games, like breaking hard when the skier came off the bank so as to have him hit the side of the bus and then accelerate trying to run over his skis, but it never happened, they were dealing with agile teenagers...the sling was undone at the top after everyone but the first skier let go, he would hand over hand up to the bumper and hold onto it while he undid the rope.

Well, that was our rope tow (wouldn't lawyers over here have a field day with that one).

From the top of the hill we had a beautiful glade for about 500 ft vertical and then a traverse back to the road.

Oh the fun we had... Some weekends we would strap our skis to the side of our bikes and pedal a couple of hours to the real mountains for some real adventure, but that is another story...

...Ott
post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn
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.
vinn, we used to take busloads of high school kids to Crystal Mountain from Flint back in the 70s. We'd take over a hotel in Traverse City and bus out to Crystal every day. We pretty much took the area over. Man, was that fun!
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott Gangl
Oh the fun we had... Some weekends we would strap our skis to the side of our bikes and pedal a couple of hours to the real mountains for some real adventure, but that is another story...

...Ott
Another story? How long do we have to wait to hear it?
post #37 of 53
Kima, the stories are in the Premuim Article Collection, go there and have fun!

....Ott
post #38 of 53
I share your pain! I've just moved from Connecticut where I could drive to VT for the day or weekend. IL is flat as a pan! But I'm a die hard skier and I'll ski the 200' vertical at Villa Olivia or the areas around!
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nando
I share your pain! I've just moved from Connecticut where I could drive to VT for the day or weekend. IL is flat as a pan! But I'm a die hard skier and I'll ski the 200' vertical at Villa Olivia or the areas around!
You won't have long to ski Villa Olivia...it is destined for development in the next year or so.

Chicago will have only 1 ski area left. Of course, there is still Wilmot and Alpine Valley in southern WI but all the other small ski areas in the Chicago area will be gone except 4 Lakes.
post #40 of 53
I guess I'm one of a handful who grew up in Iowa and became a skier. As a college student, we would drive north 4+ hours to ski 350' of vertical at Afton Alps, Welch Mountain (misnomer if there ever was one), Wild Mountain (mountain?) or Trollhaugen (sp?)

Got a decent edumacation in the process and despite a 5 yr. stint in Houston, I'm now raising my family in Colorado... with 4 season passes to WP/Copper MOUNTAIN!

Not into the latest, greatest gear.... we just SKI hard and my boys love it!

AM.
post #41 of 53
Reading this thread makes me feel blessed to have the 700-1000' vert resorts we have in the mid-atlantic, gulp. Once this sport gets in your blood, any outlet will satisfy to some extent. Happy Thanksgiving all.
post #42 of 53
I grew up in the Minneapolis area in the 70's - skied Trollhagen, Birch Park, Afton Alps, Wild Mountain. We skied at least 3 times a week from Thanksgiving until there was more grass than snow on the slopes. If a person can learn to ski on the glare ice in Minnesota, they can ski anywhere!

Now I live in North Dakota, and the closest skiing we have is Frostfire, which is a 2-hours drive away.
http://www.frostfireskiarea.com/services.htm

We try to get to Giant's Ridge at least a couple of times a year. When our kids get older we hope to venture West (we skied Big Mountain twice, and loved it).
post #43 of 53
Wisconsin here....my first ski hill I skied is now closed...Skyline in Adams/Friendship, WI. Tyrol Basin and it's close to 300' of vertical I'm about 18 minutes away from...plus I get to watch slatz shred the basin there....although he has no clue who I am, that's the bonus of lurking on this forum for years. I rememeber a classic upside down resort in Spring Green called Wintergreen and it's 300' of vertical. Always make it up to the UP at least a couple of times a year don't you just love that chairlift at Whitecap and far off the ground is it. All in all skiing in Wisconsin and the land of should be Wisconsin (the U.P.) makes me really appreciate my trips to Montana, Colorado and Tahoe!
post #44 of 53
I forgot all about Skyline. I took my daughter there her first season. We spent hours just going up and down the green run. We were the only ones using that lift. I'm sure the liftie was getting really sick of us after the 40 time down. Every one who works there was always so nice.

I don't think I've ever been on any chair lift, at any resort, that feels as far off the ground as that one at Whitecap. I have fears of the lift system breaking down every time I'm about halfway between the peaks.
post #45 of 53
My home resort is Highlands of Olympia (former garbage dump- great fun!) I've taught there the last few seasons and started at Snowstar Ski School this year, which travels to both Little Switz and Sunburst.

Just out of curiosity- does anyone remember the name of the ski hill that used exist on highway 83 in Delafield, WI? its rigth off of I 94, and you can still see several of the old runs. Theres a Target department store standing on it now.
post #46 of 53

Mt Holly

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Michigan--especially after moving back to the Flint area in Jr. Hi Mt. Holly was my home area through high school.

I am eternally grateful that I get to ski in the Rockies, now!
Ah, good old Mt Holly- I taught there for a total of 9 years during two seperate "sentences" to Michigan during my former career with GM. A lot of great people and great memories. Last April I visited Mt Holly during my first visit back to Michigan in 5 years-brought back a lot of good old times-but I'll stay at Copper, Thank You!!!

Pam and Pat-hope all is well!!!
post #47 of 53
Greenville Michigan, rope tow in a city park. Not much more than 100 feet if that. Played there from about 8 years old to maybe 15 with the occasional trip to the upper part of the lower peninsula. I remember Boyne and/or Boyne Highlands but the others I can't remember names of anymore.
post #48 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJCzar
I don't think I've ever been on any chair lift, at any resort, that feels as far off the ground as that one at Whitecap. I have fears of the lift system breaking down every time I'm about halfway between the peaks.
You know, I almost mentioned that! I was on that stretch between the peaks when it *did* break down more than once...one time for the better part of an hour in a howling January wind, with wet blowing snow caking me. This was in the days of cotton long underwear (red duofold union suit!) and tight stretch pants... I bought one of those leather face masks IMMEDIATELY after I got down off that thing...
post #49 of 53
That is easily the highest chairlift I have ever been on. AND.... its the style with one bar up the middle, rather than wrapping around each side of the chair. Twice as scary.
post #50 of 53
What are any of us doing here? Is it really worth living here in the midwest to save an extra $5 for our lift ticket at Devil's Head, Nub's Nob... vs. paying an exhorbitant $42 at Alta?! Then again they may have raised lift prices there to pay for that new fangled high speed quad this year. Who needs pow face shots, when you can have frozen gun spray coating your goggles?
post #51 of 53
Thread Starter 
post #52 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdcflynn
What are any of us doing here? Is it really worth living here in the midwest to save an extra $5 for our lift ticket at Devil's Head, Nub's Nob... vs. paying an exhorbitant $42 at Alta?! Then again they may have raised lift prices there to pay for that new fangled high speed quad this year. Who needs pow face shots, when you can have frozen gun spray coating your goggles?
Amen to that
post #53 of 53
I remember that area by 83. Never did know the name but used to drive by all the time back in the 60s when I would attend the GM Training Center in Milwaukee. I still think about it every time I pass. It's still a "landmark" for me.
I remember watching Steve Porino(Team Wilmot) race as a JV racer at Wintergreen. Never made it to Timberline, out by Arena, WI though.
I learned on whatever bump or jump the neighborhood provided when I was 8. Once a freind's dad took us to the "old YMCA hill" out by Cross Plains, WI. They had a car jacked up with the wheel off there. Later we would hike up Blackhawk Golf Course (overlooking Lake Mendota) and run down a course set with our ski poles.
In the 60s, one of my buddies in the Eliminators Car Club learned to ski and a "ritual" of taking the other guys up to Skyline and laughing when they fell began. They were pretty surprised when it was my turn to go and I already could ski.
That was the beginning of my "addiction". We'd get up about 5:00, drive to WI Dells for breakfast and try to make "first tracks" at Skyline. Alex Ginter made his own snow machines and groomers. He was often the only hill with snow south of the UP. Henry Duffy(ski school director) was the uncle of my friend Denny Hammermeister (founder of The Rocky Mountain Oyster in Jackson Hole) and my customer at the garage in Portage (WI) where I worked. He told me "make my car run right and I'll give you ski lessons". I guess he liked the way the car ran. (Henry died a few years back. He was at the ski school desk at Devil's Head right to the end. They sprinkled his ashes on the new April snow of his favorite run there)(I told him once how much he had enriched my life with those lessons)
Like I've always said, "in the Midwest we get to do it over until we get it RIGHT".
Jeremy Nobis first skied at Devil's Head. Kristina Koznick, Sarah Schleper and Lindsay Kildow all started at Buck Hill.
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