TBT: Ten Dads Who Started a Ski Hill for Their Children



Back in the early days of downhill skiing, it didn't take much to start a ski hill. A few dedicated individuals, a nicely pitched hill, and a pickup truck were all you needed and that is exactly how this hill started.


The year was 1956 in Charlevoix, Michigan and ten fathers had an idea to start a ski hill to give something for their children to do in the wintertime. They approached city officials with the idea, and the city donated a piece of land that included a steep slope located along the banks of Lake Michigan.


Each of the fathers tossed in $100 bucks into a kitty and used this money to purchase the needed equipment for hill modifications. After a summer filled with grading and moving dirt, they backed up an old Ford Model T, deflated a rear tire - rigged up a tow rope and the rest is history. The hill officially opened in 1956, making it one of the earlier ski areas in Michigan.


The ski hill would continue to grow and develop over the years with the addition of an ice rink, cross-country ski trails, and sledding to their operations. Thanks to Nub's Nob, their ski operation would also continue to develop with the addition of fan guns, a groomer, and additional rope tows. Because Nub's Nob has donated equipment to the hill, many locals label McSauba "Little Nub's Nob."


Although Mt. McSauba might not be the largest ski hill in the Midwest, we will never pass up the opportunity to ski it again. It was great to be reminded that skiing/riding is not about how much vertical you can get in during a day but about the experience, the laughs, and the company along the way.


If you want to learn more about Mt. McSauba, you can watch some of our videos from our visit last season below.