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Top Vertical in Midwest? - Page 2

post #31 of 41
Originally Posted by Gpaul View Post
Any opinions on Bristol, they claim the highest vertical Catskills to Rockies??
I like Bristol fine.

I live in the Detroit area and have ridden at Bristol a couple of times each of the past two winters. (I have a relative in Buffalo I stay with for weekend snowboarding trips, so I can't comment on area lodging.) I prefer Bristol and Holiday Valley to anything in Michigan.

The vertical is definitely a plus -- probably the biggest selling point.

The blue and black runs do tend to be widish straight-down-the mountain affairs.

Like anywhere in the east, it can get crowded on weekends. There can be long lines for the high-speed quad, while the triple next to it is walk-on. (The quad services nearly all the terrain, but you have to traverse a little to get to green runs from the triple, which I would assume is the reason some people avoid it.) If it's crowded, I've done laps on the Galaxy triple lift. (Note that I am one of those people who, if they find a run they particularly like, can do it repeatedly for hours on end.) The off-ramp on one of the triples (can't remember which one) can get a little nasty.

More so that other places I've been, it seems you do find people at Bristol skiing or riding on trails above their skill level traveling faster than I think they should be.

While the celestial naming of lifts and trails gets a bit precious, I have to say the name "Hale Bop" (though I've never actually ridden on that trail -- it's just a short traverse from one lift top to another) cracks me up.

They sell pierogies (Mrs. T's, I think) in the cafeteria.
post #32 of 41
Originally Posted by Taylormatt View Post
Bristol <...>
Very strange driving in as it's flat and you start wondering WTF they are hiding 1200 vertical feet around here, then come around a corner and boom, there's this mountain sitting there all by itself.
Too true. It was the same for me the first trip. You're basically driving through pastureland wondering if someone's pulled an elaborate joke on you, then you drop down in a little valley and boom, there it is!
post #33 of 41
Weeeeell, we don't have too much vertical, but we're loaded with horizontal!
post #34 of 41
Originally Posted by Gpaul View Post
Gracias. How's the grooming at Blue Knob, on blues/blacks?

Any opinions on Bristol, they claim the highest vertical Catskills to Rockies??

Try Bristol Mt. Only a 1hr & 15mi. ride from Buffalo. Almost all Thruway Driving.1200 Vert. & opens very early in the season. More snowmaking & great grooming. Also they have a "Ski Magazine" demo center.

Skiing is a lot like sex, you don't have to be good to enjoy it
post #35 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks again Bears.

Bristol is now on my list for weekday day trip.

And knowing me, I'll probably got out to some of the other top Midwest places, just 'cause I've never been.
post #36 of 41
Thread Starter 
Just remembered Wisp, went once c. 1985.

Has it improved enough to warrant a day trip, weekday? Trail map looks interesting.
post #37 of 41
Wisp got a new ownership group about 4-5 years ago and the entire operation is on a very noticeable upswing. New slopes, lifts, ski lodge additions, real estate developments. The snowmaking plant has always been awesome. It provides a skiing product very comparable to Seven Springs now, just doesn't have quite the same humongous centralized "amenities" at base of slopes. I think my favorite couple of trails at Wisp, beat my fav couple at Seven Springs. Not sure what they claim for a vertical these days, only around 600-700, but it has some good horizontal size.
post #38 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks JamesJ, will have to go see for myself.
post #39 of 41
Hey Gpaul: I have skied most area in the Upper Midwest. Lutsen is by the far the best, and has the most vertical (almost 1,100 feet). Ski areas in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin do not even begin to compare to Lutsen, and are generally a waste of time (although I have heard good things about Mt. Bohemia). Unfortunately, skiing at Lutsen is only practical if you live in Minnesota, Thunder Bay, ON or Winnipeg, MB. It's too far from anywhere else to make the drive worthwhile. According to Mapquest, it would take 16 hours to get to Lutsen from Columbus, and only 3.5 hours more to drive to Loveland Pass in Colorado. Your best bet would therefore appear to be to drive East into Pennsylvania or New York (much closer, lots of vertical at some areas, such as Lake Placid, which has 3,700' of vertical), or to fly West.
post #40 of 41
Thread Starter 
Mr. Woods, thanks for frankness. I know it goes against the grain, but I/we will explore some of the midwest areas, and make it geography lesson for my son (and for us as well).

Mind you, my ulterior plan is to live in the West (Utah, CO).
post #41 of 41
If you make it as far as Lutsen, I'd recommend going further north over the border about one hour to spend a day at Loch Lomond ski area near Thunder Bay, ON. My kids took snowboarding lessons there (cheaper Canadian dollar and really good instructors). The Thunder Bay area is a very remote part of Canada, and very pretty. Plus you can get french fries with gravy. It is humbling to think that the Canadian Shield wilderness surrounding Thunder Bay extends unbroken to the North Pole and northeast to Labrador.
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