Updated: Dec 3, 2021
The East Coast joined the lift-serviced skiing and riding this week as Killington opened on Friday, November 5th, but the Midwest did have some opportunities to earn your turns this past week.
Skiing/Riding in Wisconsin & Indiana
After just under eighteen hours of snowmaking, Tyrol Basin pushed it all out and opened a hike park last Wednesday and Thursday. And this was more than just a hike park; they basically had top-to-bottom snow coverage. Management at Tyrol Basin said they were just a couple of snowmaking hours short of running Chairlift A. They discussed running the lift but opted for a hike park instead because they didn't have enough snow to load and unload people with their skis and boards on.
Although this snowmaking push was an impressive effort by Tyrol Basin, since they didn't have a surface or chair lift operational, it does not count as an official opening.
Tyrol wasn't the only Midwest ski area on snow this week. Perfect North down in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, fired up their guns for a test last week and was able to make enough snow for a rail jam this past weekend as well.
Chance for Snow and Snowmaking Weather in the Forecast
And speaking of snowmaking, we saw a ton of it this past week. Over twelve different Midwestern resorts across five states fired up the guns last week, filling our social media pages with stoke-building photos. But the hype quickly dissipated as temperatures skyrocketed to over sixty degrees over the weekend.
But don't worry because we have another system that is quickly moving into the Midwest starting this weekend that could be bringing snow and more snowmaking weather.
Although it is still a bit early, starting later this week, we will see a cold front move that will bring rain that will eventually turn to snow as we edge into Friday. Colder overnight temperatures follow this front and could allow for a few windows of snowmaking temperatures Saturday through Wednesday. The UP is looking to have one of the better forecasts with the possibility of multiple days of natural snow. However, right after this front, we are faced with a slight warm-up in temps, putting most of the Midwest above freezing around Midweek.
Unfortunately, we don't think there will be enough time in these snowmaking windows as it stands to open anything more than a hike park or Wild's rope tow, but as you know from last week, these projections can quickly change.
Despite the short windows, we do think we will see several resorts fire up the guns this weekend and into early next week, so keep an eye on our guide and social pages for updates regarding who is making snow.
Chesterbowl's Skis, Suds, & Slices
Chesterbowl will be hosting their virtual Skis, Suds, & Slices this week and for those unfamiliar with Chesterbowl or this event, let's get you up to speed.
Chesterbowl is a small community-based ski hill in Duluth, Minnesota, that believes that every family should ski or snowboard regardless of their income. They offer full or partial scholarships to any family that requests one, and last winter, they awarded $27,000 in winter scholarships to 114 families. Getting more people on snow is what it is all about, and through this fundraiser, you can continue to help them grow their reach. There are a few ways you can help.
The first is donating through their website at chesterbowl.org. Chesterbowl will also be holding a silent online auction that will run from Wednesday, November 10th through Friday, November 12th. There are some pretty fantastic items listed, including skis, gift certificates, & a bunch of other great packages.
Lastly, if you are Duluth local, you can pick up a raffle ticket that gives you a chance to win several great prizes, including a growler a month for a year from Bent Paddle! You can pick up your ten-dollar raffle ticket at the Chesterbowl chalet every evening this week from five-thirty to nine pm. And if you want to learn more about Chester Bowl and this great event, you can click here.
Saying Goodbye to Sugar Loaf
The ski resort that was once known for its steep run "Awful Awful" is seeing an awful lot of action this week. The beloved and long-abandoned Michigan ski resort Sugar Loaf is being demolished. The resort has sat vacant for over 20 years, changing ownership and stories of bringing it back to its former glory, but it has never happened. Instead, the ski resort has slowly sat decaying over the years, becoming an eyesore for locals of the area. Although it is unclear what the current owner's plans are for the property, given the investment needed to see skiers and riders there again, we are betting a ski resort is not in its near future.
A New Midwest Ski Resort Slated for 2022
But, the Midwest could be seeing another ski area next season. South Dakota's Deer Mountain Ski Resort, located in Lead, South Dakota, sold to father and son investors Gerard and Alec Keating, who plan to reopen the resort next season. They are hoping to install a new 750ft-long tubing conveyor for one of the longest tubing runs in the country. Deer Mountain, which also went by Mystic Miner Ski Resort, originally opened back in 1968 but closed after the 2017 season and declared bankruptcy. The ski area boasts two chairlifts, 44 runs, and nearly 700ft of vertical drop. Their target opening is December of 2022.
This addition would bring South Dakota back to a total of three resorts across the state, and since it is only minutes from Terry Peak, we will finally have another ski area to pick on!
But there you have it, your fix of Midwest ski news from the past week. If you want to check out last week's episode, we will drop a link below. But until next time, we hope all of you have a great week, pray for snow, and we will see you out there!