Woah, what a crazy past couple of weeks it has been. Just when you thought Winter was at least a couple of weeks away, it snuck up on us extremely fast.
Race to Open Drama & Victories
A couple of weeks ago, during my Race to Open Bracket live stream, I mentioned I thought both Andes Tower Hills and Wild Mountain would open on Tuesday, October 18th, and it would become a matter of who would open at what time.
I knew that Andes Tower Hills would likely announce first, which they did on Monday afternoon with an opening time of 1:00 PM. This announcement left an opportunity for Wild Mountain to sneak in and potentially take the win.
And surely enough, Tuesday morning, Wild announced they would be opening on Tuesday as well, but at noon - beating out Andes Tower Hills by just one hour and officially winning North America's race to open. And with Andes Tower Hills opening right behind them, the Midwest had claimed the first two ski areas open across North America.
But it turns out we were not done just yet, as Trollhaugen was sneakily prepping for a Wednesday, October 19th opening but with top-to-bottom coverage and a chairlift. Troll's opening would mean the Midwest claimed the first three ski areas open and the first chairlift-serviced skiing in North America.
Warmer Temps Move In - But 10-day is Looking Promising
As fun as skiing in mid-October was, it quickly faded as temperatures across the Midwest soared to over 70 degrees in many places, melting all of that precious snow. Over the past ten days, the weather has trended on the warmer side. However, we may catch a break as soon as this Sunday. Temps are looking much more promising as we move into mid/late next week, and the upper parts of the Midwest will begin seeing below-average temperatures during this time.
This means we may see more snowmaking fire up within the week, but with these temperatures still over five days out - so make sure to continue to do those snow and cold weather dances.
Three Midwest Skiers on US Alpine Team
And dancing is exactly what a couple of Midwesterners are doing after the U.S. Alpine Ski Team was officially announced a couple of weeks ago. Paula Motlzan, Isaiah Nelson, and Camden Palmquist - who all grew up skiing here in Minnesota.
Boyne Mountain Featured on SNL
Another Midwestern name getting national attention is Boyne Mountain. Boyne recently opened Sky Bridge Michigan on October 15th, which is the world's longest timber tower suspension bridge. Saturday Night Live featured the bridge this past week as part of a bit, joking that beavers may soon claim Boyne's new timber bridge.
Jackson Creek Announces New Highspeed 6-Pack
One thing beavers will not be able to chew down is Snowriver's new high-speed six-pack that was recently announced. This new Doppelmayr highspeed six-pack will replace the Double, Triple, and Quad chairs out of Jackson Creek, previously known as Indianhead.
This new lift is slated to be installed in preparation for the 2023/24 ski season and now marks over ten new Midwest chairlifts that will be installed for that year. In addition, this highspeed will have a slightly adjusted lift line allowing it to service more terrain and allow easier access to ski area amenities.
We plan on doing a full, in-depth breakdown of all those new chairlifts once they are publicly announced, so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven't already.
Cascade Names New Quad in Memory of Locals
And speaking of new chairlifts, Cascade Mountain has finally released its official name for its new fixed-gripped quad. You may recall that Cascade was the only chairlift installed during this off-season yet to be named. A couple of weeks ago, the ski area announced that the lift and run under it would be called JL2.
This name is in memory of Jarrard Law and Justin Lentz, who grew up skiing and snowboarding at Cascade and would later become a couple of core members of the beloved Cascade Posse. In 2014, Jarrard and Justin were victims of an avalanche while on a backcountry trip in Colorado. Tip of the cap to Cascade for this naming choice, and I can't wait to experience it this Winter.
IPOS II is Now Showing - Catch It At The Rock This Weekend
In case you somehow missed it, In Pursuit of Soul II - Midwest Independence launched online on both TGR's youtube page and their website last week. This film explores eight Midwestern ski areas and is a must-watch if you are a Midwest skier or snowboarder.
If you want to catch it in person, there will be a viewing this Saturday, November 5th, at The Rock Snowpark, where they will also be showing TGR's full feature full, Magic Hour. In addition, there will be plenty of giveaways, beer, and a chance to win an Indy Pass - so if you're in the area - I hope to see you out there!
Granite Peak Hosts Junior High Students
Another Indy Pass member that is stoking some fire is Granite Peak. A couple of weeks ago, they hosted D.C. Everest Junior High students - who learned about snowmaking, grooming, and what it takes to operate a ski area! Huge props to Granite Peak for working to introduce students to a career in snow sports.
Longtime Instructor Honored at The Highlands
And I want to wrap up with another heartwarming story coming from The Highlands over in Michigan's LP. A beloved and recently retired instructor, Renate Schan, has been honored for her love and dedication on and off the slopes by the ski hill renaming the Wonder Carpet Renate's Express. Renate started at The Highlands in December 1987 and loved teaching children how to ski.
The newly renamed carpet will also include a cover, reducing the time spent shoveling snow off the carpet on powder days and keeping those beginners warm on chiller days. Another great dedication, and enjoy your retirement, Renate.
But there you have it, your fix of Midwest ski news from the past few weeks. We will drop a link below if you want to check out our last episode. But until next time, I hope all of you have a great week, pray for snow, and I'll see you guys out there!