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Mich. - Shanty Creek vs. Other Mich ski hills

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Looking for honest reviews about Shanty Creek.  Compared to Nubs, Crystal, and the 2 Boynes.  I ski mostly blacks.  How are the Shanty runs compared to the other Mich places?  Resort websites stink at REAL info.  Thanks!!
post #2 of 18
Shanty Creek is actually two resorts under one management: the Summit Village and Schuss Mountain.  They're about 5 miles apart and connected by a shuttle bus.

The Summit Village is small and mostly beginner terrain.  This year they're marketing it as "family skiing" and selling lift tickets for ten bucks a pop.  I think it's great that they're serving this niche and wish them well.  But I won't be skiing there, and neither should you.

Schuss Mt is the "real" ski hill at Shanty Creek.  It's certainly in the same league as Nubs, the Boynes, and Crystal  and is about $20 cheaper for a day ticket.  The blacks on the front face are as steep as anything at the other resorts. Personally,  I prefer Nubs for their superior snowmaking/grooming, but I'd put Schuss in second or third place out of the 5. If you're skiing the lower peninsula, Schuss is one of the more viable options. 

See http://www.epicski.com/products/shanty-creek/reviews for more info.

Another option is to drive a couple more hours north and go to Searchmont, the tallest, steepest lift-served in the area.  If you like black runs, that's your place.
post #3 of 18
Walt, we are gonna have to try and get a couple of runs in together this winter - I was planning to spend a 3 day weekend at nubs with some bud's a week ago. Ended up not going, instead made a day trip with SIL and Grandson to Crystal for the Midwest Nastar Open. They raced I didn't. Grandson (4 yo)  "yougest racer of the day" got his picture posted with the "oldest racer of the day" (99 yo) along with AJ Kitt. http://www.crystalmountain.com/Default.aspx?PageID=4213606&Page=4&A=PhotoGallery&PID=11934&Items=12  Pic number 58
Hell I considered myself to old (66 yo) to race, most time's I end up with the 55 and up class, need I say more.
I hadn't been to Crystal for 10 to 12 yrs, alot of changes, all good. And I understand Shuss has made good changes also - won't venture a guess how long it's been since I've been there.
But I usually just go to Nubs. Always good - for the midwest. Shanty was not in the same league then and still probably is not. But people need a place to start.
post #4 of 18
Just let me know when you're coming. I'll probably be there every weekend in Feb and March. 

Schuss did some major infrastructure investment a little over a decade ago.  Replaced all the lifts, opened some new terrain, etc. so it might be better than you remember.  Agree that Nubs is the better hill.  I'd place Schuss over Crystal any day.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Walt,

I like Nubs too.  We ski, (although my youngest just converted to a boarder) we like the snow there too.  Newest stuff (makers) around.   Resorts r nice, but we stick to the slopes.  Its just a bed.  Wife and I r going to try Shanty, WITHOUT the kids!!!!!  Will be staying at Cedar River I guess, newer/nicer.  Gonna go book it (THEY OWE YOU!!)  Just want to try something different.  Just got back from Boyne Highlands/Nubs.

If you were on the slopes, how would I know u?  Anything unique?  Ski types?  I owe u one!

Last time I was at Shanty, it had a different name (Schuss), 70's.

Thanks again, nice dog!
post #6 of 18
Walt,
I'd give a thumbs up to Schuss. For me it's a doable day trip from Kalamazoo. Combine the lower ticket price then the Boynes and Nubs' plus the significantly smaller crowd over Crystal and I think it's a great value.
The thing I like best is that a family with different skill, or thrill seeking, levels can all ride the yellow chair together. Higher skills turn left for the Face, lower skills turn right and choose between intermediate and easy runs plus their modest terrain park and everyone meets at the bottom of the same chair.
Kazooski
post #7 of 18
 Walt and Kzooskier have both skied more places in Michigan than I have, but I would vote for Nubs over just about any place. 
No resort atmosphere with some great terrain and exemplary snow conditions.

The only catch is getting there with the US 131 Bridge out at the moment.  Being local, I know my way around it without the official detour but those who are not local tend to have some difficulty or drive way out of the way with the detour.
post #8 of 18
Ok.  So when should I expect to see you at Nubs?  See if you can drag bumpfreaq out too...

BTW, by my count I've only skied 20 Michigan resorts so far - that's barely half!
post #9 of 18
Yea TC, when are we going to have a mini get together?
post #10 of 18

Hey, Steve, that guy is Lou Batori.  He skis most sunny weekdays at Crystal except when he goes to Nubs for the Over-Seventy events.  He and his wife (nice pix in that gallery collection) spend summers touring on a motorcycle.  When he' skiing, she's usually at a lodge window reading, knitting or writing letters.

Gotta agree Schuss is the best deal in the Lower Peninsula.  Boyne has the most terrain, Nubs makes and grooms the best snow.  

The front hill at Schuss is everything Boyne had in Hemlock, but I'd consider Super Bowl at Boyne a greater challenge.   More like the steepness of AwfulAwful at SugarLoaf when it was open.  That used the be the Lower Peninsula's best slope.  The Super Bowl lift ride is painfully long and slow, though.  A neat treat at Schuss is the run called Surprise.

 

 

post #11 of 18
Up until the late 80's, the two ski areas were seperate resorts called Shanty Creek (now the Summit slopes) and Schuss Mountain.   Schuss Mountain became part of Shanty Creek Resort and it is called Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek which as said is the primary ski area with the Summit slopes as the family ski area that is only open on weekends.

In the late 90's, they performed a significant renovation at Schuss Mountain.  They removed the 4 original Poma-manufactured double chairlifts from the front face, regraded and recontoured the mountain, added about 40 additional vertical feet to the top of the hill by dumping dirt, and added an expansion of 10-12 runs and a new lift on the north side.  They added more terrain back there over the past decade as well as building the new Cedar River Lodge (and golf course)

Prior to the renovation, Schuss Mt. was beginning to fall well behind other MI ski resort, without the ammenities of the Boynes or Crystal, lacked the skiing like Sugarloaf or the Boynes, and didn't have the snow like Nubs.  The expansion thrust them back into the pack, and they were also aided by the closure of Sugarloaf, causing the spill of a lot of the Traverse City skiers, residents, and cottage crowd to now pick between Crystal, Shanty Creek, or a longer drive north to Boyne Mt.

However their rapid expansion in skiing, golf, and new lodging combined with the detoriating MI economy and a few seasons of poor weather (both winter and summner) caused them to default on their mortage and the banks foreclosed on the owners.  The resort was put up for sale and new owners acquired the resort about 3-4 years ago.

Schuss is a solid choice and compares well against the others.
Nub's is my hands-down #1, but I'm partial to that because our place is right by there.  They always have the best snow, grooming, and even on the busiest days usually short lift lines.  The blacks are good, and catching Nubs on a powder day has the best tree skiing in the midwest (other than Mt. Bohemia).  They have the best atmosphere, almost everyone there is a good skier, everyone is very friendly, and all they do is skiing.

I prefer Schuss over Crystal.  Terrain-wise they are similar, but Crystal seems to be more crowded.  Schuss has a few decently challenging slopes and I think a better atmosphere than Crystal.  Crystal is a little closer to the downstate crowd and attracts more day skiers from Lansing, Mt. Pleasant & Grand Rapids areas it seems.

Boyne Mt. has the most blacks, but I can't stand the weekend crowds, the out-of-control crazies, and I'm indifferent to the atmosphere there.  Hemlock, Superbowl, and the McClouths rock but that is about it.  I'd ski it on a weekday, pass it up on the weekends unless you want to party more than ski.  (The St. Patricks Day party is a good time though, don't bring the kids)

Boyne Highlands has a ton of terrain, but doesn't have much in the way of anything challenging (even by Michigan standards).  Good for variety and always seems to have better snow than the Mountain.  But, I prefer Nubs over the Highlands except to mix it up for some variety.

So I guess in the end my rankings are:
1. Nubs
2. Boyne Highlands
3. Schuss
4. Boyne Mountain
5. Crystal
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by afski722 View Post

So I guess in the end my rankings are:
1. Nubs
2. Boyne Highlands
3. Schuss
4. Boyne Mountain
5. Crystal


+1 Great minds think alike.

Shoot me a PM next time you're up at Nubs on a weekend if you'd like  to take a couple runs together.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post

Ok.  So when should I expect to see you at Nubs?  See if you can drag bumpfreaq out too...

BTW, by my count I've only skied 20 Michigan resorts so far - that's barely half!




Quote:
Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post

Yea TC, when are we going to have a mini get together?

Well, its a bit difficult for me to plan a Michigan GTG if I'm not in Michigan much.  I have more ski days out west than I do at home so far this year.  That's just nuts eh?
post #14 of 18
I miss AwfulAwful, I could spend a good share of a day on that hill without getting bored. I'm gonna have to check out Schuss on my next trip to Nubs - usually looking for a place to stop on the way home for a few hrs.
Buddy's that went to Nubs (a couple of wks ago) stopped at the Mountain on the way home - said its changed a bunch also. I have an acquaintance that spent his winter weekends yo-yoing Hemlock's bumps, last time I skied with him, he was still in the bumps, but had moved to teley's (in the bumps) a late 50s something that had the envy of most young bumpers.
Walt, I'm close to 20 in Mi. if you count to UP.
Trek, spending more time in the west than in Mi. is not nuts, its called good planning.
I'm tired or is it retired and still having a hard time in planning west trips.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve2ski View Post



Trek, spending more time in the west than in Mi. is not nuts, its called good planning.
I'm tired or is it retired and still having a hard time in planning west trips.
no planning, just do it.
Get yourself a pass for out west somewhere and then plan short jaunts until you think you've gotten your money's worth.
I need to go out there 4 more times this winter 
I'm just cheap enough that I'll do it too!!!
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.

What is the best way around the 131 detour?  Which exit? vs. the detour exit.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
What is the local way around the 131 detour?  What bridge is out - over the "twisty river? North of 42?  Which exit, then which way.  Google is a great way to find roads nowdays, thanks if someone could google map the bridge location, that would help!!!
Edited by SkiHills - 1/23/10 at 9:48am
post #18 of 18
The bridge that's out on 131 is the one at the bottom of a deep gully just a few miles north of Manton (a bit closer to where the expressway ends just north of Manton.

If I were using 131 to get to Schuss/Boyne/Nubs, I'd turn East at M42 and go to M66 to go north to Kalkaska.
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