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Wow, we won't try Friday night again

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My daughter and I went to our local hill tongiht. We had a couple of inches of fresh stuff today so I was pretty sure things were going to be pretty. Well..... the snow was pretty, the crowds were not. My daughter has been to Copper, Winter Park, and Steamboat skiing before and I have NEVER been afraid for her. Tonight it was VERY scary. She is comfortably skiing blue runs here in Michigan and really starting to link her turns to parallell. The only problem was all the out of control skiers who were straight lining it down the hill. I was terrified as some of them came very close. We certainly will not be going back if that's what it's like around there. Of course on Friday nights they offer cheap rates with the ski clubs. I'm hoping that they will offer some sort of midday midweek specials as well. We'll see. I just couldn't believe how scary it was. I don't want her to have to stay on the green runs just for safety as she is doing so well on blue.

I guess we'll just have to skip some days and head up north (at least a 3 hour drive) for some safe skiing.
post #2 of 19
Did the place have a bar? That only adds to the problems you have described. All in all Friday night skiing can be pretty tough with the crowds especially if some are getting drunk.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
They have a bar, but it is mostly kids night on Friday night. There were just tons of them trying to ski things beyond their ability. And by ski I mean just straight lining down the hill and falling at the bottom. Their idea of stopping was to fall and slide 30 feet farther down.

I'm actually going to call the hill tomorrow and talk to them about some of my concerns and see if there isn't a better time to go. I really couldn't believe how scary it was.
post #4 of 19
My son was one of those lazy achievers in school; never studied but top grades.

As a reward, I'd take him with me on a few quiet weekday trips when there was no traffic and no pressure. We had some fine times. In our school the physical fitness program was a joke and he got a far better workout so .... it could be justified.
post #5 of 19
If more families told ski resorts how they feel about people speeding past them on family-type runs, things might start to change.
post #6 of 19
These High School Happy Hours are a major cash cow for the small hills located within spittin distance of the larger towns. Don't waste your breath marge, It'll fall on deaf ears.

Sorry ant, but I've worked a few of these areas and the management knows where the butter comes from on the bread.

During the weeknights you can expect to find the HS "Ski Clubs" wreaking similar havoc when the busses roll in. Teen hormones run amok, foul language and fights over "wimmens" ...
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
These High School Happy Hours are a major cash cow for the small hills located within spittin distance of the larger towns. Don't waste your breath marge, It'll fall on deaf ears.

Sorry ant, but I've worked a few of these areas and the management knows where the butter comes from on the bread.

During the weeknights you can expect to find the HS "Ski Clubs" wreaking similar havoc when the busses roll in. Teen hormones run amok, foul language and fights over "wimmens" ...
I wondered about that. I mean, if you make all your money on the kids you're not going to drive them away.

I am still going to bring it up with them though, just on principle. One of the biggest scares were all the kids doing donuts in the parking lot of the resort. : I mean, that is WAY more dangerous than what was probably going on at the hill.

I think we're going to see how some afternoons are down there and hopefully that will make a bit of a difference. Since she's only in half days right now we can be there by 1:30. Maybe beat the wild ones.
post #8 of 19
And add to that that most people ski faster at night, I believe Ski mag said 15-20% faster, thats why I skipped night skiing after a few times with my daughter, I would spend more time being a "blocker" than enjoy the night skiing with her. And I did inform them of this, but, small staff at night and patrol cant be every where at the same time.

Poles do have a use on mellow runs, fend off the gapers:
post #9 of 19
It might be different for local resorts, who need to appease the hoon element, but for the big resorts I'm pretty certain that holidaying families is where the main money is at. I just wish the families would assert themselves a bit more!
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant View Post
It might be different for local resorts, who need to appease the hoon element, but for the big resorts I'm pretty certain that holidaying families is where the main money is at. I just wish the families would assert themselves a bit more!
I tried. I called the resort today and really only got just some advice on when NOT to go. All I can say is that they are really going to be sorry when something horrible happens and people pop up out of the woodwork saying "I called and told them this was a likely scenario". They really didn't seem concerned about it much at all. She just told me that Frinday nights aren't really the time for small children (even though that's when the ski clubs advertised at my daughter's school meet). One of the local high schools sent almost 300 kids that night and I'm sure there were not more than 10 chaperones (most probably not even on the hill). :

We're going to give it one more try this week during the week and during the day. We'll see how it goes.

We are also going to try some of the bigger "vacation" resorts up north soon as well. I have a feeling they'll be better.
post #11 of 19
Sounds very much like the Ski Free after 3pm crowd at Alta last friday. Alta was wonderful but towards the end of the day I noticed a measurable difference in the reckless youngins going down the beginners slopes.
post #12 of 19
When wife and I were in college we used to do the High School "chaperone" thing.

The only things we had to do for the free skiing was:

Take a head count going on the bus (to make sure the little dear things actually got onto the bus).

Sit in the back to show presence and from what we could see (sure over high back seats), deter drinking or smoking.

Take a head count while boarding for home to make sure that they got on for the trip home.

There was to be no supervision on the hill since once off the bus they were in the hands of the ski school and after the mandated hour and a half lesson they were off for free skiing.

Sadly, the ski club at our local middle school just folded .. no joke ... when a grossly overweight "chaprone" who God only knows why since the person did not ski, slipped getting onto the bus and sued the school $ bus company for big $$$$$$.
post #13 of 19
If there's a time that's "not" for small kids, does that mean that no one is safe? or just small kids?!
post #14 of 19
ant, bringing up two small ones on skis I tried to be real sensitive to the "pressure cooker" atmosphere of learning on a crowded hill.

I took them to the most remote low key hill in Pennsylvania ... a place like Yogi Bera would say ... nobody goes there anymore! They did well and after two days they were hooked.

Then we took them to Phil's favorite hill ... Blue. For them as newbees it was like flying "MIG Alley" in Nam with dad and mom "flying combat air patrol" on their "six" the whole time.

You are right of course! We are all at risk under those conditions ... but that's why I advocate taking a day or two off from school when the traffic level during the week is "0" factor. These were special days with dad and we had the place to ourselves for the most part. Lots of skill development when they aren't "under fire".

post #15 of 19
Marge, when are you heading North!?
Lookin goooood!
post #16 of 19
Hi Marge,
I'm in Southwest MI and have been skiing for 22 years. Part of the learning process was learning when to avoid going to the hill. Friday nights were always worst. School ski clubs make the hours between 5:00 and 7:30 scary on other weekdays also. After 7:30 can provide some delightfully uncrowded skiing and lift tickets are often discounted after 6:00. Saturday morniings are good until noon. Sundays are good all day.

Your conversation with management does not suprise me. Owners of my local hill definetly are more interested in $$$ then providing a quality experience.

If you go north you are in for a treat compared to southern MI. Chrystal, Caberfae, Shuss, The Boynes and Nub's Knob will all provide a much more enjoyable experience. Most are vary family oriented and recognize the importance of providing a positive experience. You won't find large numbers of unsupervised and unskilled kids. One friend points out that at the bigger hills,and out west, behaviour that some get away with at a little hill will get you seriously injured or worse.

While out of control skiers are not unheard of, they are far far fewer then at the local southern hills.

My favorites for uncrowded skiing are Schuss and Boyne Highlands (I may be biased as I teach at the Highlands). Both have plenty of great slopes for those just learning.

Several times a winter I'll leave early Saturday morning, be at Schuss by 10 am and ski 4-6 hours. Then either stay 1 night in a motel in Bellaire and ski Sunday or go home. A single night stay is easier for the budget to absorb then 2 nights and I get just as much skiing in as when I drive up on Friday.

Enjoy! But pick your time and place.
post #17 of 19
I dunno - I think they can do better wrt maybe dedicating a few runs to learners and such. Kind of enforce the rules there and let the rest of the hill alone for the crazies.

But this is the reason I rarely ski after dark at Wachusett anymore - too many near collisions with barely in control skier/boarders in bad light. At one time I was one of em but it's not really worth my effort at this point.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
Marge, when are you heading North!?
Lookin goooood!
I'm really shooting for next Thursday. I'll have to take dd out of school and since she just missed 4 days for our trip out west I figured I better get in an entire week before skipping.

I'll call a couple of days before we go though!


Thanks everyone. Sounds as if I need to pick my times better and definitely try to get some more up north time. As for dedicated runs their "bunny hills" are really pitiful down here. Remember, we're skiing on renovated garbage dumps down here.

I think that definitely was one of our problems though as she could be doing the blue runs and those were like taking your life in your hands.

Thanks to everyone for your commiseration.
post #19 of 19

Ski Southeast MI

Marge,

My friends ski Mt. Brighton on Sun AM, all the high school kids are SLEEPING!! My wife and I had the same experience at Pine Knob a couple of years ago and we will never ski Friday night again.

Cheers!

JPH
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