Updated: Jan 15, 2022
Well, folks, it seems that winter is finally here, and the ski season is officially in full swing. In fact, this weekend, the Midwest will be pretty much one hundred percent open - with over 100 resorts open across all the Midwest states except Nebraska and Kansas, well, because they lost all their ski resorts.
And while on the subject of openings, if you want to find out how you did in our race to open bracket, head on over to Midwestskiers.com/racetoopen to see the final results.
The weather is continuing to look great across the Midwest over the next ten days, with temps mostly below freezing, and mother nature is even throwing us some sunny days - which is always a welcome treat for Midwesterners.
Omicron Forcing Ski Resorts To Adapt
What isn't a welcome treat is COVID. And it just doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Omicron cases have begun to explode across the Nation, which is worrying news for ski resorts across the Country. Many Ski areas are already short-handed due to the massive labor shortage, and with the required five-day quarantine, this can take an already short-staffed resort to the brink of not being able to operate.
Luckily, we haven't seen any resorts in the Midwest have to close their operations, but we may see resorts adjust operations based on staffing. Because of this, many resorts are using social media to communicate any operational changes they need to make due to staffing. This may include things like limited lift access, terrain, food service, or any other changes they may implement due to staffing - so be sure to check in with your resort before heading out.
Two New Chairlifts Announced For the Midwest
Trollhaugen fired up their brand new quad this week, and if this gets you excited, well, we have a bunch of new chairlift news to share with you... so you might want to sit down.
We have yet another new chairlift going in this off-season. This week, Powder Ridge announced that they will be installing a new fixed-grip quad that will replace the Powderpuff lift. This double chair was built by Miner-Denver and was originally installed in 1971. This will be Powder Ridge's first new lift since 1992 and will be a great addition to the Northside.
Cascade Mountain announced that they will be replacing their Mogul Monster triple with a brand new fixed-grip quad this off-season as well. This Borvig triple was installed in 1987, but it utilizes the original towers from Cascade's first double chairlift that they opened with back in 1962.
Cascade's new quad was the chair lift I could not tell you guys about a few months ago, and this now marks seven new chair lifts going in across the Midwest this off-season. If you want to learn more about the other lifts- check out our Rope Tow Report from October highlighting those by clicking here.
The Tell A Friend Tour Is Coming To the Midwest Next Week
If you love great park skiing, pizza, and free give-a-ways - well, you are in luck! Andy Parry's Tell A Friend Tour is back, and his Midwest stops are starting next week. The crew will be stopping at Welch Village on January 21st, Troll on January 22nd, Buck on January 23rd, The Rock Snowpark on January 27th, and Pine Knob on January 29th. Head over to tellafriendtour.com to learn more.
Red Bull Snowboarding Street Comp in Duluth This Weekend
And if you want to catch some ridiculous street riding this weekend, head up to Duluth this Weekend to watch Red Bull Heavy Metal. This event was last held in 2003 but is making a comeback this Sunday, January 16th. The event will be held at Cascade Park and is a snowboard street event that utilizes the natural rails, drops, gaps, and banks to create one of the best and most authentic snowboarding street comps.
The event is free to watch and is open to the public. If you want to learn more about the event, head on over to their website by clicking here.
Linsey Vonn Launches New Book
Linsey Vonn launched her new book this week titled Rise. This memoir includes revealing never-before-told stories of her life, her struggle with depression, and the bold decisions that helped her break down barriers on and off the slopes. If you want to learn more or pick up a copy for yourself - you can do so by clicking here.
Nick Goepper Takes 2nd Place in Mammoth
And speaking of Olympians, Nick Goepper took home silver in last week's Toyota Grand Prix stop at Mammoth Mountain. He was able to land his first-ever left 16 in an official competition. That is four and a half complete rotations in the air for those unaware.
Nick grew up in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, just minutes from Perfect North. Some great skiing coming from Nick and only a month away from the 2022 Olympics - so be sure to keep on an eye on him over the next few weeks.
Nick Baumgartner Becomes Oldest American Olympic Snowboarder
In other Olympic news, Nick Baumgartner clinched an Olympic spot last Saturday and, in doing so, has officially become the oldest American Snowboarder in Olympic History at the age of 40 years young. He will be competing in Snowboard cross, so be sure to circle that event as well.
We Are Going Into Another Holiday Weekend - Expect Crowds
As we edge into the weekend here - I want to give a friendly reminder that this weekend is another holiday weekend with Martin Luther King day this Monday. This, coupled with some nice weekend weather, means that almost every resort will have crowds this weekend.
If you want to avoid crowds - try skiing at night this weekend. Not only are there fewer crowds but tickets are also cheaper. If you plan to visit one bigger resort, make sure you buy your tickets in advance as they will likely sell out.
Many resorts are already under a good amount of stress from the lack of workers, so please be patient, grateful, and don't be "that guy" on social media.
BPM Creates Custom Skis To Help Adaptive Skier
And I want to wrap up with an incredible story coming from our friends over at BPM skis. Earlier this week, they posted a story about how a father would do anything to get his "donut" on skis. Chris McHenry approached BPM Skis to make him a pair of custom skis to ski with his daughter.
She is an adaptive skier that uses a snow cart that utilizes hand controls, unlike traditional sit-in skis. This type of cart requires an instructor tethered to the back of the snow cart. That said, Chris wanted a shorter ski that was also more robust and easier for someone his size to ski - the only problem is that style of ski is typically designed for someone half his size.
So BPM got to work building a completely custom ski - thickening core and adding a fantastic graphic to match. A massive shout out to BPM for going the extra mile for this amazing dad and daughter duo.
If you want to learn more about BPM Skis - head on over to their website at ww.bpmskis.com.
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, I hope all of you have a happy new year, pray for snow, and I'll see you guys out there!