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Best MW expert (not bumps) terrain

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a MW ski area that would have the best expert terrain with one caveate. It also has to have good intermediate terrain for my wife (sorry Bohemia).
A couple suggestions I've heard include Whitecap, Indianhead, and Searchmont.
Opinions of these?
Other ideas?
post #2 of 23
You've got to consider Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, and Nubs Knob.
All in northwest lower Michigan near Petoskey.
Boyne Mountain would be first on my list considering your criteria. "The mountain" will have the most slopes that challenge you, yet has plenty of slopes of varying pitch for your wife to play on.
"The Highlands" has more intermediate terrain but a little less in the steep department. "Nubs" is smaller yet and has fewer choices for both of you.
Highlands and Nubs are across the street from each other and are 22 miles north of the mountain. You can easily ski at any comination of 2 on a weekend.

Searchmont is another 2 hours north into Canada. It's nice but not worth the drive IMO.
post #3 of 23
Lutsen in northern MN is worth a look...
post #4 of 23
I'm with Kazoo!
We have some nice places for family skiing within a 50 mile radius. Give it a look!
post #5 of 23
You may want to consider Holiday Valley in NY
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
You may want to consider Holiday Valley in NY
Would that be New York, Wisconsin or New York, Michigan?
post #7 of 23
There is no "NEW YORK" in MI or WI. but you knew that. I'd bet you could be pretty close to Colorado in the time it would take to drive to NY.
I assume you are looking for slopes you can drive to. The areas already mentioned pretty well cover your options. Depending on where you are in IN your drive time to the MI areas will be 5-6 hours. I'm in Kalamazoo, MI and the drive to Boyne mountain is 225 miles, 3.5 to 4 hours.

Other options might be the areas in the UP. I enjoyed a couple visits to Ski Brule near Iron Mountain, but the number of runs is limited compared to the other MI areas mentioned.
post #8 of 23
Like Kazooski, I'd vote for Boyne Mtn. as offering the widest variety of both challenging and intermediate terrain. Note that he works in the Boyne Highlands ski school and I work in the Boyne Mountain ski school.

Nubs is an option but with fewer choices. So is Schuss Mtn., which is 30 miles closer than Boyne Mtn. Schuss has a nice front hill and a couple other "interesting" bits of challenge, along with fun for those seeking easier terrain.

I wouldn't consider any of Brule as challenging for any sort of length. And that's a heck of a haul from Indiana. Searchmont has some longer runs, but not much that's challenging. There's very little hillside lodging, so you end up being a day skier driving 30-odd miles from Sault Ste. Marie. A more reasonable UP goal might be Ironwood. There are three fun ski areas just a couple miles away from the town's accommodations.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've been to Boyne Mnt and it's OK. No offence but I didn't really find it better than Crystal, terrain-wise, but it's been a few years.
Obviously, it's a huge step up, accomodation-wise.

I'm more the bare bones Bohemia type.
I've heard good things about Whitecap. Anyone been there?
I'm curious about the cat skiing expansion at the Porkies.
Hopefully they'll open this year.
post #10 of 23
Lutsen in northern Minnesota beats all of the Michigan hills, but if you're up for a little more driving, there is some nice stuff just across the border into Canada eh?

Loch Lomond and Candy Mountain (both in or near Thunder Bay) are both nice for the midwest. Loch Lomond has more expert runs than Candy, and if I remember correctly, they have one run that has logs laid across to help keep the snow on (very steep).
post #11 of 23
It is 340 miles from Fort Wayne to Boyne Mtn., 411 to Holiday Valley New York, and 425 miles to Searchmont. FWIW, Breckenridge is 1225 miles.

I grew up in Traverse City, and skied all the Northern Michigan hills. IMO, Holiday Valley is better, because it is bigger and has more vertical. This is not meant to be a slam against the Boynes or Nubs or Crystal. I loved skiing there growing up.

Mileage courtesy of Microsoft Streets and Trips
post #12 of 23
Haven't been to Lutsen, but I'd second the votes for Whitecap, Indianhead, Big Powderhorn, Blackjack, and The Porkies. If you stay in Ramsay or there abouts, you've got all this terrain (except Porkies) within a 5-30 minute drive. The Porkies is closer to an hour.
post #13 of 23
Brule completely sucks and Lutsen is the biggest joke in the midwest. Both these places are great examples of McSkiing and should be avoided at all costs.

Bohemia is great as long as you like steep bumps, steep powder or steep powderbumps but they're not open.

The Ironwood area has a bunch of ski hills. Whitecap is/was pretty cool - I haven't been there in a long time and I heard they went kinda crazy with chainsaws trying to turn the place into a golf course.
post #14 of 23

Try more then one

Try more then one. From Indiana, travel North to Caberfae. It is a nice no frills hill that is inexpensive. After that keep traveling northwest to Crystal, ok resort, but beautiful part of Michigan. After that go around Traverse to the Petosky area and try the Highlands or Nubs. I like Nubs myself. Petosky has a bunch of shopping if your wife is interested in that sort of thing. After that spend a day or two at Boyn Mountain, good variety and nice area (stay in Boyne City). I have lived in Michigan all except for two years in Chicago and have skied them all. Lutsen was nice but it was a hall from Chicago, not really worth the drive and you are out in the middle of NOWHERE. Blue Mountain in Canada is CLOSED. Holiday Valley is bare. NW lower P has more snow then the UP right now.

Shanty Creek is close to my place and we have more snow then any other part of the state.

If you want one place to go, my vote would be for Boyne Mountain.

I would wait a couple of weeks if possible, December thaw hit all the resorts hard.
post #15 of 23
Originally Posted by kid4lyf View Post
I've been to Boyne Mnt and it's OK. No offence but I didn't really find it better than Crystal, terrain-wise, but it's been a few years.

I've heard good things about Whitecap. Anyone been there?
I'm curious about the cat skiing expansion at the Porkies.
Hopefully they'll open this year.
Boyne only OK compared to CRYSTAL??? Seriously? You might not get too excited about anywhere in the midwest then. Are you sure you aren't thinking about Boyne Highlands? The Mountain has some pretty sweet terrain for the midwest.

Personally, I hate Whitecap. Of the Ironwood areas, I'd vote Blackjack, Indianhead, Big Powderhorn, then a distant fourth Whitecap.

The entire hill at the Porkies is flat. If you are looking for challenging, that ain't the place. I don't know anything about the cat skiing... could be cool, I guess.

No one has mentioned Marquette Mountain???
post #16 of 23
Marquette is pretty cool if you're a gate-rapist or a park rat. Good mountain biking, too.
post #17 of 23
I'll give Marquette Mountain a nod as a great hill, plus an awesome town on top of it. Second only to Mont Ripley in the UP, but Ripley is usually pretty bumped out and the lifts suck. Marquette does tend to groom over everything in their path though- got 8" one night last year and by the time we were at the hill at 9 AM they'd already groomed everything but Upper Rocket and Freefall. Granted, it was the weekend of USCSA Regionals, but still, huge buzzkill.
post #18 of 23
I've never been a fan of Whitecap. When I was a kid (early 70's), they had a T-bar lift that would pick my brother and me up off the ground, spin us around and then dump us on our backsides. The lift path was bordered by 4 ft walls of snow, so all you could do was take off your skis and walk back down to the bottom.

I still harbor a grudge.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
I guess what I remember most about Boyne is that everything was "meticulously groomed", as their website brags.
I'm not a fan of "meticulous grooming".
I believe groomers are the devil.
Like I said, it's been a while, does Boyne have anything they leave as God intended it to be?

To get an idea where I'm coming from, my ideal MW resort is Bohemia. No grooming, few amenities, awesome terrain (for the MW).
The only problem is there are no runs for my wife to do.

What MW resorts would you recommend to a powder junkie with a wife?
post #20 of 23
Go to Boyne Mtn, stay away form Nub's.
post #21 of 23
Originally Posted by andrewschirmer View Post
Go to Boyne Mtn, stay away form Nub's.
You're joking right?
There are a lot of suggestions here. Crystal is very limited at this point because the weather has played havoc. I would always recommend Boyne mountain and Nubs.
I like the Mt better than the Highlands, but I like Nubs as well as anywhere else.

If you're going to trek north and stop at different places, don't bother with Caberfae at this point. They don't have South Peak or the Dark Side open and without a significant dump they won't.
post #22 of 23
When there's sufficient snow, Kid, Boyne lets Idiot's Delight, the center of Meadows, Nose Dive, Devil's Dive and DL's Drop all bump up. Occasionally they leave a couple groomer widths develop bumps on Hemlock. Most everything else get the grooming treatment you mentioned.

Not much "powder" in the UP or anywhere else in the midwest right now. You'd be jumping logs at Bohemia if they were open. Best bet for pow and your wife's tastes would be the UP if we're getting snow again. If it's snowing, I'd head for Ironwood, although there aren't any more steeps there than at the Boynes, Schuss or Nubs.
post #23 of 23
A wise man, that Kneale.....
He knows of what he speaks.
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