A Marquette Ski Junkie in Pure Michigan

Aaron Peterson, a contributing photographer for Michigan Travel Ideas, is always up for a challenge, especially if it involves the outdoors and equipment. Aaron shares one of his favorite ski hang outs, Marquette Mountain.

One of the things I love about living near Marquette is immediate access to outdoor opportunities. Marquette Mountain ski area sits within city limits, less than 10 minutes from downtown shopping such as the Masonic Square Mall on Washington Street. In fact, you can see the white ribbons of runs from there!

Marquette Mountain is on one of a string of rugged hills rimming the city and leading north into the Huron Mountain range. Its location near the shore of Lake Superior, and 600 feet of vertical rise, means that dense clouds of lake-effect snow dump around 200 inches of white stuff annually. Yep, that means we average 130 days of skiing, from Thanksgiving through April!

You’ll need more than one day to tackle the mountain, which offers something for everyone, with 25 runs and three terrain parks. Marquette Mountain is home to some talented freestyle skiers and snowboarders who take full advantage of the parks. It’s always a thrill to check out the new tricks being thrown down on Contour’s jumps and rails. Looking for something more intense? Try Chute with 35-  to 50-foot decks. Ridge caters to beginners.

When the snow is especially good and I’m feeling brave, I head for the backcountry and ski Renegade and Weasels Gulch. At the end of those runs, you cross a bridge over the fast-moving Carp River to catch chair three to the top.

Hint: You’ll want to get to the hill early to get good parking near the chalet. The lot fills up quickly, and parking in the overflow area means having to cross highway M-553 with an armload of equipment. The chalet is fairly small, so I dress for the hill ahead of time to avoid the crowds inside.

Aaron Peterson is a travel photographer based near Lake Superior on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. His work has appeared in several publications, including Michigan Travel Ideas, Outside, National Geographic Adventure and Outdoor Life.

 

Hit the Slopes for Downhill Skiing in Pure Michigan

With winter just beginning it’s time to think about tackling the winter wonderland. Since Michigan has more ski areas than any other state, what better way to enjoy this winter than by gliding down one of Michigan’s 40+ downhill skiing resorts? Here are just some of the resorts that you will find as you explore the Pure Michigan snowscape.

Shanty Creek has earned the respect of downhill skiers, snowboarders and a “Best Downhill Terrain In The Midwest” award. Don’t miss your chance for Michigan skiing with Shanty Creek!

Located in the Upper Peninsula, Mount Bohemia has the longest runs with the highest vertical and deepest powder in the Midwest. This hidden secret is a true treasure for skiers.

Caberfae Peaks in Cadillac boasts Michigan’s highest lift-served peaks and some of the state’s biggest downhill skiing slopes.  Skiers and will enjoy the best advanced, intermediate and novice skiing in Michigan.

Crystal Mountain in the city of Thompsonville provides the best in northern Michigan skiing and snowboarding. Crystal Mountain is known for offering some of the best excitement a northern Michigan skiing resort can provide.

Swiss Valley entices folks with 11 downhill skiing runs, a 225 vertical foot peak (highest in Southwest Michigan) and seven lifts, including two quads and one triple.

Discover a place that’s luxurious yet relaxed, nearby yet far away at the Homestead Resort .  Homestead features snowsports without crowds and magical moments for families, sparkling fires, candlelit dinners as well as romantic interludes for couples.

Boasting more than two dozen runs, Mt.Brighton is the largest ski resort in Southeastern Michigan. After hitting the slopes warm up at the Hot Wax Café or grab a bite at Bauery Bar and Grill.

If you’re just starting out or have been anxious to learn how to ski or snowboard there’s a great program being offered by more than 20 resorts across the state throughout January designed to help beginners. Check out the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association site to learn more. We should also mention that 4th graders ski for free! Fourth graders can obtain a “Cold is Cool” Ski & Ride Passport that gives them up to three free lift tickets or trail passes at 20 participating ski areas. Click here for details.

For your reference, here is a list of the northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula slopes that are open now for skiing:

Northern Michigan:

Upper Peninsula: