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Six New Chairlifts Next Season?! Rope Tow Report E17 Headlines

The Ski Season is Here

The ski season is officially underway… for Colorado. Last week, Wolf Creek took home the top spot, opening for the season on Saturday, October 16th beating our A-basin, who is always a front runner in the race to open. Of course, we are super jealous here in the Midwest.

Get your Gear Now

With the ski season officially underway, that means it's time to pick up your gear for the upcoming season! Unfortunately, distributors, reps, and shops have told us that equipment will become scarce later this season due to supplier issues, and you should expect an increase in prices across the board as we move into next season.

That said, if you're looking at new gear, buy now, or if you want to save some cash, head over to to find a local ski swap near you as we still have a bunch left on the calendar.

Preseason Vibes are Strong

Preseason events are in full swing across the midwest. Ski swaps, movie premieres, & other fun festivals to get you stoked for the season. Personally, one of the movies that we are super hyped about is Teton Gravity Researches' "In Pursuit of Soul," which was sponsored by our friends over at the Indy Pass.

This movie focuses on small independent mom-and-pop ski areas and does a fantastic job telling their story; the only problem is, they didn't feature a single Midwestern hill.

But this movie truly encompasses what we here at are all about - and best of all, it's completely free to watch, so there is no reason to miss this one - You can check it out by clicking here.

And speaking of the Indy Pass, in case you missed it, they massively upgraded their Midwest game by adding several more Midwest resorts, including Seven Oaks, Sundown, and The Rock Snowpark, bringing their total resort count to twenty resorts.

Progress is Being Made on the Four New Midwest Lifts

Chairlifts are going up across the Midwest as we prep for the season. Great Bear ski valley held a dedication last week and offered rides up their brand new quad - while Devils Head, Trollhaugen, & Welch Village put up their towers last week.

We were lucky enough to stop by Welch to film some of the action, we will link it below if you want to check that video out.

Lutsen Could be Getting Bigger

The Midwest's biggest resort could be getting bigger! Lutsen Mountains has recently submitted a proposal to double the size of their resort. Currently, the National Forest Service is reviewing the proposal and is accepting feedback from the public. They did extend the deadline for submitting your feedback from October 25th to December 9th but do it now - because we all know where your priorities will be once that snow starts flying.

Offseason Improvements

Resorts across the Midwest are putting their final touches on their improvements, and a lot is going on. Of course, we can't cover everything, so here are a few that stood out to us.

Cascade announced the addition of glade skiing in a section they are calling "Emerglades" located between the run B-dub and Rocky Road. In addition, they have been working on a host of other improvements, including an expanded deck on their Cookout, additions to their snowmaking fleet, and the one we are most excited about - night skiing across more of their Eastern terrain.

Caberfae has been busy this offseason as well. They added a new ski trail east of Smiling Irishman & Shelter and lined it with pole-mounted snowguns. The Skyview Lodge also got a facelift with a new roof and exterior, while the entire hotel got brand new carpeting.

Heading south down 131, Bittersweet has been hard at work realigning their highspeed quad "The Sweet express" in preparation for a second high-speed that is slated to be installed next summer. And speaking of new chairlifts- we have a lot to talk about.

Six New Chairlifts Slated for Next Season

We will have over six new chairlifts going in next summer - yea six. So let's break those down for you.

Starting with the one we just mentioned, the Sweet Express at Bittersweet has been realigned to lookers right, roughly where Poison Ivy lift used to be. Then next summer, they will add a new highspeed (unsure on size yet) with the loading terminal at the base lodge.

Over in Ohio, both Boston Mills & Brandywine will be getting new fixed-grip quads. At Mills, the hall double will be replaced, and over at Brandywine, the Lift 3 triple will be replaced.

Up at Boyne Mountain, Disciples Ridge will be getting the Midwest's first eight-person chairlift. This lift will replace both of the Disciples' triples and run roughly right between the existing chairs.

Swinging back over to Caberfae, they will be installing a new fixed-grip triple chair that will replace their current Shelter double. The new chair will be extended, offering access to their new peak labeled "East Peak," located skiers right of North Peak.

And the last lift that we know about going in this summer is top secret - so I guess you will have to use your imagination for that one! Six chairs in one season; we are already in for a historical off-season!

Labor Shortage Affecting Midwest Hills

Resorts across the Midwest have begun their search for staff members. Like many industries across the United States, Ski resorts face a major labor shortage, and almost every resort is looking for help. That said if you enjoy skiing and riding and want to make some extra money and get a free pass - be sure to check in with your local resort.

An Old Pair of Skis

In other news, Archaeologists in Norway found a 1,300-year-old ski that matches one they found back in 2014, making this the oldest known set of skis ever discovered in history. They even came complete with a preserved binding, which is impressive given the skis are dated from before the Viking era.

The Sale of Big Snow Resort

And we want to wrap up with an update on the sale of Big Snow Resort. Back in May, we reported that the sale of Indianhead and Blackjack was pending. However, that deal has since fallen through. However, a new buyer has emerged and is currently under contract with the resorts. We will keep you updated as we get more information, but I wouldn't expect any news until the end of November or even later.

But there you have it, some preseason news to kick off another great season of Rope Tow Reports. I hope all of you have a great week; pray for snow, and We'll see you out there!


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