Originally Posted by skiiowa
Chestnut at least has a few bumps (somedays) and one run that is relatively steep (but SHORT). Sundown is BORING!
I also wouldn't recommend either of them! But it does make me appreciate my couple of weeks a year out west.
I don't know why Bonni likes Sundown better than Chestnut. It seems like she is one of the few skiers that prefer it. It used to be, years ago, that they were comparable. No longer true. Chestnut opened better terrain, has better snowmaking, better lodges, better lifts, etc, etc. Chestnut has a dedicated lift for park riders on the backside of their mountain, which keeps them isolated from the skiers and boarders that want to ski the mountain.
Also, Warpath and Apache may seem short, but comparable to most everything else in the midwest, they are actually quite long. I prefer Chestnut to every area in Minnesota with the exception of Lutsen, which is a ten hour drive for me.
That said, Sundown is still a pretty decent little ski area with nice views and some nice little cruisers. Its a shame that they have cut down so many trees over the years turning the place into almost one big snowbowl. In the seventies, when I skied it as a youngster, the runs were long and narrow. Beautiful. Gunbarrel was named that because it was about as wide as the barrel of a gun and steep. Now its just wide. The "sun up" area (now called Bullet - which is the name they stole from a neat little chute they destroyed when they graded the area out) used to be a natural intermediate area till they tore it all up in order to put in a beginner cat walk that is really quite dangerous and completely boring. The lower part of the mountain was covered in trees of varying density which allowed for fun exploring for kids. Now the trees are either roped off, or cut down.http://www.sundownmtn.com/ourmountain/trail.html
Snowboards seemed to be Sundowns saving grace. They have a large following of boarders and park skiers (some of whom are very good). So large that they destroyed the best run on the mountain (Andrews) turning it into a terrain park.
Anyway, this year at Chestnut I saw some of sundowns long time passholders with Chestnut passes. I hope Sundown is able to hang on. For the first year in as long as I can remember, I didn't stop into Sundown this year.