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Lutsen snow conditions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Posted this originally in TR section, but never got a response, so I thought I'd try it here since this takes more traffic. Sorry for the double posting.


Will be heading up to Lutsen in a couple weeks. Has anyone been there recently? How are the conditions? Lutsen's snow reports aren't exactly awe-inspiring-maybe cuz they haven't gotten much to brag about this year - but I'm wondering if anyone can comment.

I sure hope the March snows arrive. It's been a tough season for natural snow here on the frozen tundra. MN ice warriors unite!!

post #2 of 14
I thought MN was finally having an old fashioned winter.

Surely it beats the last 5?
post #3 of 14
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
I thought MN was finally having an old fashioned winter.

Surely it beats the last 5?
It's been C-O-L-D, but not much precip...
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
We had a great start. December was snowy and cold. But since Christmas day, we have had only one snowfall over 1 inch; and our season total is 26 inches, which is half the average of 50 inches. Thankfully it has stayed cold all winter, until just this week, so the snow we got (and made) in December has stayed nice. It's been particularly good for racing this winter, but not great for free-skiing. True powder days are rare in MN, but we can usually get one decent storm each winter.

I've been praying for a March storm, but it's not looking promising. Usually Lutsen has more snow than here in the Twin Cities, but their snow report shows only a 30-60 inch base, which is what most places here show, too, and that's created by lots of the man-made stuff from the early season.

post #5 of 14

Lutsen cond

I thought it was a bit icy in spots. The base was still pretty cold (icy) but the top loosened up just enough for carving. There was one bare spot on Bull Run (below the Moose lodge) with exposed ground. The rest of the runs were covered with a few random icy spots.

Spirit was about the same condition. More base than Lutsen though. It was beautiful bluebird skys both days (Saturday and Sunday). The lake was worth a few snapshots.
post #6 of 14
Wonder if Lutsen will make it until mid-April like they always brag about?? I can't say I'd bother making the trip myself this year. I'm finding Lutsen to be more & MORE overrated each year. Smaller areas do a much better job covering the slopes as well as moving people. Lutsen REALLY NEEDS TO INVEST IN SOME LIFTS!!! I will never pay to ski there until they do. I'll go to Spirit long before I'll go to Lutsen.

BTW - there's ALWAYS bare spots on Bull Run. That run gets pounded, and since it's Midwest skiers, they just scrape all the snow to the base of the hill anyway. The best snow is there!!
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

I gotta admit, I've been impressed with the couple trips I've taken to Lutsen. After skiing various western mountains (Big Sky, Whistler, Mammoth etc.) I wasn't expecting much when I went the first time, but was pleasantly surprised. I've never had a significant lift line, and the terrain is a huge step up from the TC hills. You can actually ski for a while without hopping right back on a lift after 4-5 turns. I do agree about the bare spot on Bull Run-it's always there.

post #8 of 14
You must never go on weekends. I once spent nearly an HOUR to get out of the Moose valley. The lift line (on a center bar DOUBLE CHAIR!!!!) was 8 lanes wide, and at least 20-30 people deep in each lane. The wait on the gondola wasn't much better.

It's BIGGER than the TC hills, but I'm not so sure it's that much better. Welch has great terrain, and it's usually always open. The best stuff at Lutsen is never open.
post #9 of 14

Lutsen debate

My wife and I debate the virtues and transgressions of Lutsen every time we go. It's not the mountain its the management.

- They improved the food at Charlies this year (try the Whiskey Steak)
- The new lodge on Moose is way better than the old one
- I heard they are reopening the Plunge off the back of Moose next year (of course they said they were going to install a new chair on Eagle this year...
- Bull Run is about three times longer than Spirit's Gandy Dancer (which makes it about five times longer than most of the other hills in MN)
- Plenty of variety (Eagle, trees, Moose, Ullr is actually fun in the early season when nothing else is open)

- Last weekend they had one wagon to cart the masses to the parking lot at the end of the day. Everyone was looking for the buses but they didn't have them running.
- The discount for Spirit is only available online (forgot to plan ahead, DOH!)
- The two-man lifts are old, slow, and break down often
- The Mystery lift is so slow I forget where the hell I am and the runouts to the lift are ice chutes
- Expensive! Highest prices in the midwest
- Long drive up from the cities

and the Smart
- Buy a season pass at Spirit for $170 get an $18 discount at Lutsen (better yet, move to Duluth and get a Lutsen pass for $100)
- Ski Lutsen Saturday; Ski Spirit Sunday; Ski Afton/Wild/Welsh during the week
- Parking lot shortcut: Ski Bridge run and exit on the road just after the bridge. Its only about two blocks to the far lot.
- Go East: the UP is only about 20 minutes further and often has better snow and quite a few more resorts to choose from (the UPers like to party too)
- Go West? :
post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by lingg11 View Post
- Go West? :
Well, they DO like to compare themselves constantly to the like of Breckenridge... :

Lutsen has a LONG WAY to go to be as "world class" as they like to claim to be. But they have no shortage of big claims and back patting. I was pretty disappointed the weekend I spent up there. With gas prices the way they are now, it's almost worth flying somewhere.

I gotta get up to the U.P. sometime. I've never skied there.

I wonder how much snow Lutsen is getting out of the last couple days? I got official notice that Welch is calling it a season as of Saturday.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Going West is always preferable, but Lutsen does have its charms for me. Lots of times, the prices are pretty crazy, but if you shop hard, you frequently can get a good enough deal to make it worthwhile. I just booked for the weekend of the 29th for two nights and two days skiing for me and my two kids (8 and 12) for $330 for lodging and lift tix (lodging the the AmericInn in Tofte). We've got friends who live between Duluth and Two Harbors, so we'll drive that far after work on Friday and then make it to Lutsen the next day in time to be there when lifts open, so we get our two full days worth.

Lutsen says they got 4 inches last night, to go with 4 they got last week, so I'm hopeful. As long as temps stay cool, we should be OK.

post #12 of 14
Bill -

Hope you have a great trip. Not sure what the temps up there are supposed to do, but some wet, sticky snow never hurts.

We usually stay in Tofte when we're up there too.
post #13 of 14
Lutsen is ******* sick man. You should definitely be able to find some young, able bodied, women to take home. One of the best ski towns ever.
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by Gut Bomber View Post
One of the best ski towns ever.
You've actually been there, right? This has GOTTA be sarcasm.

But you know what? You make due. If it's white and on the side of the hill, you can still have FUN. And that's what it's all about. We can't all live in the Rockies. With that said, some of the best skiers I've seen have been Midwesterners. Skill knows no boundaries.
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