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Granite Peak?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Anyone skied here? It's in Wausau, WI. Looks like it might be a decent area as far as Midwest areas go, and it's a little closer than Lutsen or the U.P. Fairly large for a midwest area from the looks of it - looks like lots of recent expasions. Any reports on this place appreciated...


post #2 of 18
Did you get my email?
FYI, I met a group from Wausau @ Mt. Bohemia this weekend. I asked them about GP and the recent upgrades. They told me the terrain is still disappointing. Some nice (but VERY short) steep runs.
post #3 of 18
For the mid-west, it is nice. Their vertical claim seems higher than it feels. It also doesn't seem to have as many runs as they claim (70 plus?? Rrright.). In general, it has a short, nice steep top part with a long runout.

Still, it has decent facilities and one high-speed lift. The runs face north so it has a longer season than most Wisconsin hills.
post #4 of 18

Drive past GP if you can

I like Lutsen or the UP areas better. If you havn't skiied Lutsen, give it a try it is my favorite in the midwest. It is vey mountain like. I especially like the Moose Mountain area. It has long runs with a contineous drop. Not the flat/steep/flat/steep that characterizes many of the UP areas.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah, Lutsen is cool, but has the WORST people moving system of ANY place I've ever been to. If you're on the west half of the area, you sometimes have to wait upwards of 30-45 minutes to get on the ONLY lift coming out of the west half, unless you take the gondola, which isn't much better. Add a $50 lift ticket price for only skiing until 4:00 (probably one of the ONLY areas in Minnesota that doesn't have night skiing), and you have a potential disappointment some days. Best bet is to NEVER ski there Friday-Sunday.

For a place that lays claim to compare itself to Western resorts, it has a LONG WAY to go in the lift department. Other than that, it was decent. But NOT world class by any stretch. They think they're really something though. I'd save the drive and just go to Spirit Mt. in Duluth - about half the distance for me and much cheaper.

Lutsen has it's place though - it's the biggest we have, and the skiing is good for the Midwest. They just need to sink a little money in to the basic stuff, that being LIFTS!! A place that big, and all the lifts are OLD DOUBLES. If anyone in the Lutsen management se this, please take heed - I'm not the only person who feels this way...

That said, Granite can't be any worse than what I'm used to around here, so I think I'll give it a try. It sound typical of most areas I've skied up here with a bit more vertical.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by exoman
Did you get my email?
FYI, I met a group from Wausau @ Mt. Bohemia this weekend. I asked them about GP and the recent upgrades. They told me the terrain is still disappointing. Some nice (but VERY short) steep runs.
YEP! Commented in the Bohemia thread... Thanks again!

post #7 of 18
ive skied granite peak a few times, its okay. They used to have maybe 30 runs? Well then it was sold, and the new owners have the run total jacked up to like 70+. While they did clear some areas, there really arent many more runs than before. What they did do is make PATHS BETWEEN 2 EXISTING RUNS and then call that path a RUN!!! I personally hate it when places do this, but they certianly. Never the less, its nice to ski down a run that lasts longer than 20 seconds. The upper part has some decent steeps, but as we said before, once you get ~ half way down, you would swear it was a bunny hill. All the vertical is at the top.

One thing i really like a lot is their new lift! Its a 6-person high speed detachable. That thing shoots you out of the staging area and you make it to the top, in half the time of any other lift i have been on, at any ski place ive skied (only in wisconsin and the UP). It does that despite the fact that it has nearly 2x the vertical.

My verdict, dont plan a weekend just to go to granite peak, your money and time is much better spent at Lutsen, Bohemia, or even Whitecap. All three are very awsome places to ski, one in the UP, one in northern WI, and one in MN. If you want to try someplace new, and can go during the week, their night skiing at granite peak is of decent value.
post #8 of 18
I am not a big fan of Granite Peak. They count short loops connecting two runs as a run so that's how they get that inflated amount listed on their website.

We went a few weeks ago on a Friday night. Being a weekend you'd think that they'd have most of the hill open. Wrong...I don't think even half of the runs were open. We hadn't been there in a few years so I thought I'd give it another shot but was still disappointed.

Have you ever tried Whitecap Mountain? It's a few hours further north. I really enjoy going there. They may not have as many runs listed as Granite Peak, but I've never been there when they haven't had every run open and all the lifts running....even in March when the conditions were getting a bit iffy. Great variety of runs, nice lodging, and friendly workers.
post #9 of 18

Or Blackjack

Axebiker - I see you have been to Lutsen. I think you would agree it is different from the typical midwest area. It has it's pros and cons. The long runs and slopeside lodging are a plus for some.

You are right about the lifts. The lifts are not designed to handle the crowds they are now attracting. When I skiied there I just stayed on Moose Mt most of the day.

Second it is expensive. In fact, we have decided that (not counting travel expense) we could ski out west (some of the smaller areas) and stay off the mountain for nearly the same money as skiing Lutsen and staying slopeside.

If you go to GP, let us know what you think. In my view it is not much different from Afton, Welch or Cascade in Wis.

If you havn't been to the UP, you might give that a try.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I will certainly review GP - but the weather doesn't look like it's going to make anything easier this week - high's in the mid-40's never seem to help anyone this time of the year.

Duluth is getting snow this week though, so i may have to zip up to Spirit or Lutsen. I spend most of my time on Moose as well. Eagle has some interesting spots too, but gets crowded in a hurry. Mystery is kind of a drag unless you have a new skier with you - great place for them. Generally, we stay in Grand Marais or Tofte, and YES, it is quite expensive considering, but then again, it is a major tourism area, so I guess it's not that out of line with other places. But it is almost as cheap to go out West. I do need to get to the U.P. though - never been there yet, although most people I have tallked to say I might as well save the drive and go to Lutsen.

Again, I didn't want to turn this in to a Lutsen-bash, as it isn't. I really do like the area for what it is, but I was/am very disappointed with the lifts - bad enough that they are all doubles, but most are also those dumb center-bar chairs too! At least they have people down there keeping it somewhat orderly - more than I could say for Copper Mountain this year!! The skiing is great for Minnesota, and my only concern was that we were on Moose with a beginning skier, and a lot of the final descents to the lifts can seem pretty steep to a new person. They get icy quick too -- lots of "Flying Wedges" happening there! LOL!!
post #11 of 18
I think Granite is very good considering the hills that surround it. I live in IL, about 10 min South of the WI border. About 25 min from me is Wilmont Mtn. = crappy. 20 min further is Mountain Top at Grand Geneva= tiny and expensive. 15 min further is Alpine Valley= decent and has nice midweek specials. I drive to Alpine after work, get there at 6pm and ski till 10pm, then drive an hour home b/c it is that much better than Wilmont or MountainTop. Cascade and Devils Head are better but if I'm going to drive 2.5 hrs I'd rather just go to Granite Peak.
Having said that, I have been to Granite 3 times this season. It is just close enough for a day trip. We leave at 5am, drive 4 hrs, ski from 9am-9pm, then drive the 4 hrs home.
Steep top section followed by flat bottom
Every little cut through is considered a trail. 73 runs is more like 30
Chairlift on the West side is loooong and sloooow.
Chairlift on the East side only sits 2 people and is called Cupid, as if I didn't feel weird enough about my buddies knee touching mine
Lodge food is expensive and is cafeteria style.

Runs are longer than any other Mtn around.
30 runs is still more than any other place around.
6 man high speed lift really flies. Just watch out for Grandpa putting down the safety bar.
You can bring coolers and outside food, beverages, and beer into the lodge instead of buying there food and they're cool with it.
Buy online and ski from 9-9 for $50.
You can actually demo high end skis, something no place near me does.
Go during the week and you'll have the whole Mtn to yourself. I went last Wed. and I seriously think there were more employees than there were skiers.
They actually groom the runs, sometimes TWICE per day! Holy Cow!
Good terrain park and bumps if your into that sort of thing.

All in all I would recommend Granite Peak. Having never been to Lutsen or Spirit I'm not sure how it compares to those. But it Beats the pants off anything South of it.
post #12 of 18

This is a cool thread

I like this a thread with a discussion of the qualities of the midwest areas. I like reading about the western areas (I get there once a year or so) (reading about the SLC areas now because I am heading out on Friday) but this midwest bent is refreshing.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by skugrud
I like this a thread with a discussion of the qualities of the midwest areas. I like reading about the western areas (I get there once a year or so) (reading about the SLC areas now because I am heading out on Friday) but this midwest bent is refreshing.
Even us flatlanders like to make a few turns close to home sometimes! I'm the same as you - I get to the "destination" spots once or twice a year, so I need to know the skinny on what's happening a little closer to my own backyard! I'd love to say I have the time/money to travel more, but that just isn't true. I'm sorta of the opinion that if it's white and on the side of a hill, I'm not complaining - unless I spend the whole day standing around at the bottom of the hill waiting to get back to the top...:
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by fishEH
They actually groom the runs, sometimes TWICE per day! Holy Cow!
My daughter and I try to hit GP at least twice a year. It's about 300 miles for us. We usually end up there between Christmas and New Years and have never seen them groom twice in the same day. It would really help on the busy weekends. That's one thing I like about Devils Head.
post #15 of 18
I only saw that happen once last year where they regroomed the runs around 5pm. Otherwise it seems they are always groomed first thing in the morning. I went last Wednesday and the runs were all groomed at open at 9am. Because there was practically no one there the runs stayed in good shape till close at 9pm.

FYI: I was at Alpine Valley tonight probably for the last time this season. It was raining and very slushy. There were many bare spots and small streams of run off. The rain turned the normally icy spots into something skiable that I could actually carve on though, so it not a bad night. Plus there were about 12 cars in the lot. Supposed to rain and be 50 tomorrow so I think Alpine is pretty much done. Maybe I can make it up to Granite one more time with my new RC4's that came today.
post #16 of 18
Grooming in the morning is great. It leaves very carveable "midwest powder". Too many areas groom the night before, that gives the snow time to set up and be a little too loud and firm the next morning for my liking.
post #17 of 18

Granite Peak a good place for families

We went to Granite Peak for a long weekend last year and had a good time. Drove there during a snow storm, so the conditions were very good. Our kids really like it because the runs were a little longer than than some other Midwest resorts. The runs were steep at the top and flatten out on the bottom. They like this since the top would offer a little challenge, but they were able to goof around some on the bottom part of the run. Even got my than 8 yr old to go into the trees a little.

Stayed at the Rib Mt. Inn for 2 nights (can walk to the high speed lift, but it is a long walk) and the last night at the hotel with water park.

post #18 of 18
Granite Peak rocks they have added several new high speed lifts. The 10th Mountain Lodge is very historic and cozy. GP blows away anything in southern Wisconsin including Devil's Head and Cascade. I grew up with skiing Indian Head and Powderhorn and have not been back to the u.p since GP made the improvements. Coming from southern Wisconsin Lutsen is not worth the drive. If I'm going to invest that much time and money I'll go to Colorado. give Granite Peak a try I feel it is the best Mountain in Wisconsin or Upper Michigan.
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