Handful Of Midwest Ski Areas Celebrating Milestones This Season

Wilmot-Mountain-looking-up-Wilmot-Mountain-image__1200

Five Heartland ski areas are celebrating significant milestones this season. All have been in business at least 65 years and a couple started in 85 and one 75 years ago, according to the National Ski Areas Association.

Pine Mountain, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and Wilmot Mountain, just north of Chicago along the Wisconsin border, opened in 1938, and celebrate 85 years this season. They opened just a couple of years after Sun Valley in the west and Bromley Mountain opened in the east, both credited with kicking off the North American ski resort industry. That first chairlift installed at Sun Valley 87 years ago was purchased by Everett Kircher in 1947, moved to Boyne Mountain and introduced the modern era of skiing to the Heartland. It's still in use hauling visitors to the top of Mountain to hike across the world's longest timber towered suspension bridge that was opened last fall. It's available to walk across year round.

Wilmot Mountain, located just north of Chicago along Wisconsin’s border, also turned 85 this season. Its unassuming vertical drop of 230 feet is offset by its stature with the million or so skiers that have skied here since it opened in 1938. It offers 25 trails, seven lifts and two surface tows to accommodate the large weekend crowds.

Pine Mountain is also home to the Kiwanis Ski Club jumping tournament that draws the best jumpers worldwide every year. Jump Weekend is where the US jumping record was set at 140 meters/459 feet and is still held here. The ski area offers a 500-foot vertical, 27 runs, three chairlifts and two surface tows.

Lutsen Mountains, 75 years old, opened in 1948. It's the largest ski resort around the Great Lakes with a nearly 900-foot vertical, the only gondola in the Heartland, and 95 runs scattered across four mountains. It lives up to its namesake “Mountains of the Midwest.” It's located in Minnesota's Arrowhead offering gorgeous views of Lake Superior from most of it's trails.

Michigan's Nubs Nob and Wisconsin’s Tyrol BasinPine both opened in 1958 and celebrated 65 years in business this season.

  1609 Hits

SnoCast: March Comes In Like A Lion

Sugarloaf-fb-022823

From record cold and heavy snow in the southwest to an incoming whopper in the Northeast, March has come in like a lion—great news for snow lovers and extension of ski season. 

Continue reading
  2022 Hits

SnoCast: More Snow Follows Intense Coast to Coast Storm

CONUS_Snow

Following an epic coast to coast storm that dropped new snow from California to Maine, there's more snow ahead for ski country!

The weather pattern is very active, meaning there will be less lead time and a lot of changes the farther out you go in time due to complex interactions in the atmosphere. One thing is for sure, ski season will be strong for many parts of the country to finish February (and likely into March). 

Here's the forecast breakdown for February 23-30, 2023.

 

 

 

West

Let's start out West this week where a large atmospheric trough continues to bring stormy and cold weather...and it's not stopping anytime soon, skiers and riders. As of Thursday, lingering snow continues across the interior West from the most recent storm that dumped feet of snow. Check out some of the photos from the last few days. 

Meanwhile a new storm system is digging down the Pacific coastline.

This new system will bring renewed heavier snow and high winds to California by Friday and Saturday. And it's not just the Sierras this time! Snow will dig deep reaching to southern California with very low snow levels expected. Blizzard warnings are in effect Friday for the San Gabriels with potential for 2-5+ FEET of snow (locally more!) above 4,000' (yeah! insane!). Deep snow is expected for Mountain High, Bear, Snow Valley, and others in SoCal, not to mention big totals upwards of 2-5 feet northward to the Sierras from China Peak and Mammoth northward to the Tahoe area.

It should be noted, this is *significant* for the southern California peaks, historic even. Make sure if you plan to travel, you have appropriate gear and transportation to do so, and monitor pass closures.

This storm pivots toward the U.S. Southwest by Sunday, delivering new snow to Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Colorado ski areas especially.

Another prolonged period of snow develops across the entire west again Monday through Wednesday of next week as a cold pattern sticks around out west. Just keep the skis handy. 

East

Thursday ad Thursday night, snow continues to fall for Midwest ski areas eastward through southern Ontario, to northern New York's Adirondacks and northern New England. While not quite as much fell as predicted, we still picked up beneficial snow on the slopes with this most recent round.  

Scattered lighter snow showers redevelop for the northern Great Lakes to northern New England later Saturday in an otherwise fairly quiet weekend for the Northeast. Here's the snow forecast for the northeast from midday Thursday through early Sunday, February 26 from the National Weather Service. 

The next storm system for the East presses northward into the Great Lakes by later Monday and Tuesday, bringing a mixed bag to the Midwest (Monday) with milder air pushing into the area. However, in New England, with colder air in place, snow is likely to develop again for parts of upstate New York and New England by Tuesday. While early to pinpoint totals, it appears ski season is being saved (albeit a bit late in the season) here across the far Northeast and New England. 

 

Looking Ahead

The general pattern remains similar through mid and end of next week, with a large trough out West, keeping conditions colder and stormier than average. There is a good chance March will come in like a lion for the Western U.S. 

For the East, we continue to ride a border zone as warm, spring-like air tries to push northward. This will mean periodically milder pushes for the Midwest, solidly warm for the southeast, but still enough cold air in the Northeast that we will hang on to our existing snow, and potentially see more when storms come through. Here's the temperature and precipitation outlook from February 28 through March 4, 2023 from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center

 

 

  2133 Hits

SnoCast: Seeking Out Fresh Flakes

CONUS_Sno_20230216-141733_1

If you're a weekly reader of SnoCast, this week's outlook sounds and looks a lot like the last.

A storm system treks across the lower Great Lakes Thursday delivering a wintry "mixed bag" to Midwest ski areas and parts of the Northeast. Out West, we'll see a brief lull before the next system digs in next week with healthy snow expected.

Continue reading
  2212 Hits

SnoCast: Region by Region Forecast Through Valentine's Day

Whiteface2_fb_020723

In this week's SnoCountry SnoCast, what's not to love as we see fresh snow for places that have been fairly quiet thus far this winter.

Continue reading
  2301 Hits

SnoCast: Groundhog Is Right...Winter Conditions Remain

MissionRidge_020123

Punxsutawney Phil says six more weeks of winter, and we agree. We're tracking winter weather and highlighting the ski conditions from coast to coast in another SnoCast. This week, we can expect a biting mid-winter burst of Arctic air across the Midwest and Northeast, along with two snow-making systems for the West Coast. Let's dive into the details for the week of February 2–8, 2023.

East

The coldest air of the season yet will settle across the Midwest and Great Lakes Thursday night, and then pour into Eastern Canada and the Northeast U.S. Friday and Saturday. 

Temperatures will plummet ~10-20+ degrees *below* average and gusty northwest winds pick up as a cold front presses east, creating dangerously cold wind chills between -30 to -50 degrees for portions of Upstate New York and New England, with the potential of even colder wind chills of -60 for interior Maine, matching some of the coldest wind chills observed in decades.

Of course, we know this might not stop you, but be smart and safe. It's the kind of cold where the lodge is your friend and good layers are essential to protect your skin from the cold. The graphic below is straight from the U.S. National Weather Service.

 

As the cold rushes in, there will be a burst of snow on the leading edge of the cold front from the U.P and northern Michigan late Thursday, moving toward Pennsylvania, New York, and New England early Friday. Expect anywhere from a dusting to as much 3 inches in spots. Locally heavier snow falls east of the Great Lakes thanks to a bit of lake enhancement.

Sunday, as temperatures rebound, the East remains largely quiet across the East but for a few quick passing snow showers over northern Michigan, the northern Adirondacks and Vermont. A quick clipper charges across Eastern Canada and northern New England with light snow possible again Tuesday (Feb. 7).

West

After a rather chilly week out West, temperatures will moderate this week with near average temperatures for early February. The first of two snow-making systems shifts onto the U.S. West coast Friday. The first, a cold front, will deliver snow from the northern Sierras (north of Tahoe) and Klamath peaks northward to the Cascades. While most see 2-6", there may be spots over 6" in the Washington Cascades, good news for Crystal, Mission Ridge, Stevens Pass and others nearby. Lighter snow is also in the forecast for the interior Northwest through Saturday. 

The next storm for the West digs in Saturday night through Monday with additional light to moderate snow for the Sierras, Cascades, and interior West. This system digs deep, all the way to the Southwest U.S. by early next week, with the chance for heavier snow over the four-corners states by later Tuesday-Wednesday. Keep an eye on that storm for Utah and Colorado, and possibly Arizona and New Mexico, too.

 'Til next week! Happy skiing and riding. - Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin

 

  213 Hits

SnoCast: Storms in the East; West (Finally) Settles

CONUS_Snow-1

The West finally settles down after an extremely active stretch, while the East prepares for three storms this upcoming week. Here's the forecast scoop in this week's SnoCast. 

East

On Thursday, a storm continues to lift northeastward through the Great Lakes, delivering blustery winds and a healthy 6-12" of snow for parts of northern Michigan and Wisconsin. Great news for Midwest ski areas around Granite Peak, WhitecapShanty Creek, and Big Powderhorn

This same system shifts to the Northeast later Thursday-Friday, delivering much-need 5-10"+ of snow for northern New England ski areas, with highest amounts in northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Look to Jay Peak, Burke Mountain, Loon, Sunday River and others nearby.

Unfortunately, warmer air sneaks in from the south generating a wintry mix parts of the Catskills, Poconos, and Berkshires with slick travel expected. 

Colder air returns for all through Friday with light upslope snow lingering across the northern Appalachians, which will be followed up by a beautiful weekend for skiing and riding. Get out and love it! 

A second system will track up the Appalachians to interior New England Sunday through Monday (1/22-23). This time, the rain/snow line threatens to bisect New England from southwest to northeast, so most likely areas to see snow remain across northern Pennsylvania , New York, Vermont and perhaps northern New Hampshire. Keep monitoring as the rain/snow line will shift based on the exact storm track. 

A brief lull Tuesday, before yet another storm targets the Northeast by mid-next week with another good chance of snow for the north. A bit too far out to talk amounts, but at this point, any snow is good snow.

 

West

After an unbelievably active stretch, the West finally appears to have a break in view. With nearly a dozen separate storms since late December, California and Utah have had huge totals, now topping some 300-400" on the season (in some cases more, including Alta at 426" and Brighton at 412"!). Excellent news for the snowpack and water resupply out West.

On Thursday, a cold front continues to sag across southern California toward the Southwest U.S. with snow drifting over the four-corners states by Friday. Expect a general 2-6" of snow for the Arizona, southern Colorado, and New Mexico mountains to round out the week. 

Most of Saturday looks pleasant to hit the slopes, albeit breezy over the Rockies.

 A system drops in from western Canada and the northern U.S. Rockies by Saturday night-Sunday with potential for 5-10" in the Washington Cascades, and a fresh 2-6" for Oregon and Idaho before slowly drifting down the northern Rockies by Monday.

This will open to the door and allow much colder air to spill in for much of the West next week.

Check in again each Thursday for a new SnoCast. Until then, happy skiing and riding!

- Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin

 

  371 Hits

SnoCast: A Stormy Finish to 2022

Snowbird_tw_122822

 

As we say farewell to 2022, we also say hello to more storms and mountain snow across the West and a warm up in the East. Details on ski conditions ahead in this week's SnoCast. 

Continue reading
  729 Hits

Storm Update: Snow Falling in the Northeast, West

ezgif.com-gif-maker-2

There's new snow falling this Sunday (Dec. 11), so grab those skis and boards and get to your favorite mountain. Check out the live cams as snow falls across the Northeast and a powerful storm continues to dig across the West.

Continue reading
  740 Hits

SnoCast: The Storm Parade Continues For the West

Snowbird_tw_120222_first-dec-storm-13-inches

Here we go again with another very active pattern and heavy mountain snow on tap for much of the Western U.S. While no large storms are in view for the East, we're seeking windows of opportunity. Let's dig into this week's SnoCast. 

Continue reading
  813 Hits

SnoCast: Stormy Pattern Continues Out West

Snowbird_tw_113022

A busy weather week continues nation-wide with a fast storm pattern. We'll see multiple waves of snow out West, and changeable conditions in the East heading into the first weekend of December. Let's dig into this week's SnoCast.

Continue reading
  875 Hits

American Meccas Of Cross Country Skiing

GreatGlen

Ask the general public to name an alpine skiing “Mecca” — described as a location where people, who share a common interest, yearn to go — even those who don’t ski can come up with at least Aspen or Vail, if not Killington and Sun Valley.

Continue reading
  1283 Hits

From The Catskills To Vermont: Steam Things Up In A Cozy Local Resort

Bretton-Woods

Mid-winter in the Northeast doesn’t have to be all shivery gloom.

Continue reading
  852 Hits

SnoCast: A Fickle Finish to February

Killington

Following big snow in the Southwest and Four Corners, a storm will work across the country and deliver fresh snow to many Northeast ski areas to finish the week. With new powder all around, let’s dig into this week’s SnoCast forecast.

Continue reading
  1966 Hits

5 Ski Resorts That Has Something for Everyone – Even Non-Skiers

Keystone

There’s something to be said about the magical feeling you get when you look outside and everything is coated in fluffy white snow. To the people who live in ski resort towns, it’s just another wintery day, but to those who come from warmer climates, it’s a winter wonderland! 

Continue reading
  1336 Hits

In Vermont, Après-Ski Is All About Beer

vermont-apres-ski-beer_internal_queen-city

Ski towns in America tend to have good beer, but Vermont might be the state to pair powder and brews best. The Green Mountain State has more than 60 operating breweries and approximately two dozen ski areas — the most per capita for each category.

Continue reading
  1384 Hits

Fly Vermont, Bring Your Boots

Magic-Mountain

Mountains commonly found around and under Vermont, airports have been known to intimidate pilots flying in from the “flatlands,” but flight instructor and ski industry veteran Charlie Rockwell says the nearby peaks are really no big deal. The terrain, while rugged in places, is certainly no reason to shy away from sampling some of the fine alpine skiing that Rockwell knows even better than the airports in his Green Mountain home.

Continue reading
  1284 Hits

A Whole New Way for Skiers to "Get Schooled" This Winter

84351580_10157902310917629_2943637784289607680_o

In an age of continued corporate consolidation in the ski industry, the number of independently owned mountains continues to shrink.  

Continue reading
  1689 Hits

Suicide Six Ski Resort Lodge Is Basically A Vermont Ski History Museum

SuicideSix

Over the weekend, I used one of Indy Pass days over at Suicide Six Ski Area in Vermont. Compared to the crowds at other local mountains last weekend, I think I made the right choice.

Continue reading
  1084 Hits

Vermont's Bromley Mountain Ski Resort Powers Up New Solar Array

Bromley

Encore Renewable Energy and Bromley Mountain Ski Resort announced the completion of a 615kWdc solar project on land owned by Bromley Mountain in Peru, Vermont. The new project, jointly developed by Encore and Tangent Energy Solutions, will generate clean, locally generated solar power and help Bromley reach their sustainability goals. The energized solar array will generate enough electricity to power 70 average households per year and offset the emissions of 120 passenger vehicles annually. 

Continue reading
  1385 Hits