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Old 10-23-2012, 10:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best of the midwest?

I was originally planning on a trip to Utah just after xmas, but looks like that will be postponed. Looking to do some sort of trip within driving distance (8 hours from Chicago).

What are some suggestions for something that would be good for a 2-3 day trip.

I've heard good about Granite Peak and Boyne, just wonder what else is out there. I know nothing will compare to Utah, but something that is better than the typical Devil's Head, Cascade, and Chestnut that I go to.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If the weather is good and the snow totals are high enough, it might be worth it to keep heading north and check out Mount Bohemia, which is over 900 vertical feet of all expert-rated/backcountry terrain. If you're not that confident in your skills, on the west side of the Upper Peninsula is Ski Porkies, which has almost 800 vertical feet of terrain and recently added 100+ acres of snow-cat serviced backcountry terrain which would be mellower and less "extreme" than Bohemia.

Porkies is in/near Ontonagon over on the west side of the UP, Bohemia is in Mohawk about 1hr north of Houghton/Hancock.

Just north of the WI border there are a handful of other resorts all within a short drive of one another, Blackjack, Big Powderhorn and Indianhead. In terms of vertical feet, these are all around 500-600 so comparable to, or slightly larger than Boyne Highlands. Acreage I think they are all smaller, though. I would wager all of these would be less crowded than Boyne, and most likely less expensive as well.

I have never been to any of these resorts but planning a trip to Bohemia/Porkies for late January.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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8 hours from Chicago in what direction?

Lutsen in Minnesota has decent vert and runs, but no lights which sucks. They are 4 hours from the twin cities so it might be quite a trek for you.

Other than Lutsen I believe Granite Peak has the highest vert and runs. They DO groom daily though and based on conditions have a lot of man made snow. Depending on what you like to do they also have 65 acres of tree skiing and 5 terrain parks to go along with 74 runs. I'm also 5 minutes from there so a bit biased
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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wilmot mtn premium super luxury ski resort.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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8 hours in any direction. I am pretty much stuck with either through WI, or through MI.

The group I'd be going with is a bit of a mixture, not looking for any crazy steep runs, moreso for just longer runs than your typical under 5 minute you get within 3 hours of Chicago. Terrain would be nice, but not a must.

Some of those UP spots sound interesting, just at about 8 hours from here.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here is a link to Granite Peak's trail map. Their longest run is 1 mile.

http://skigranitepeak.com/media/trailmap/trailmap.jpg
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Go stay in Bessemer (UP) and hit up blackjack Indianhead and powderhorn.

I doubt porkies or Bohemia will have enough snow To make it worth it (they don't make snow)
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Try Holiday Valley. That or if you are willing to make the trip WhiteFace. WhiteFace is the best you are gonna get besides Killington or Stowe as far a terrain goes. Holiday Valley is kind of a park/ tourist resort. Lots of good shit if you are a tourist.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Whiteface would be too far, but I'd say go to Holiday Valley. Try it there and stop by next door to Kissing Bridge for some serious park. The hidden gem in the east for park. Even has an airbag.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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With a diverse group of riders like that I'm thinking Granite Peak may be a little aggressive. They have some incredibly steep runs that flatten out fast. Awesome park and I wasn't good enough back then to try the trees but am now. Some great tree runs.

Ski Brule in Iron River??? forget the city might be a good, closer, option as well. Good all mountain riding and a bit of a shorter ride.

I know you don't want to hear it but if you stay in/near the dells you could ride several hills within driving distance. Not great hills and some you already ruled out but it would be variety on the same trip and a bit closer.
  • Tyrol Basin * a bit south but worth the trip
  • Christmas Mountain
  • Cascade
  • Devils Head
  • Granite Peak * 1.5 hours straight north of dells super easy to get to
  • Nordic Mountain *1..25 hours north of dells also owned by Blackjack in the UP medium size hill midwest standards of course
  • Little Switzerland * 2 hour trip from dells though, small hill totally upgraded park, owned by BlackJack in the UP

Just a thought to add some great variety to a little closer to home trip.
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Last edited by slyder; 10-23-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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