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Here’s What You’re Missing If You Never Ski the Midwest

The season's pass is only 99 buckaroos, and they’ve got a great pop selection at the checkout counter.

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I know it doesn’t jibe with my Midwest niceties but I am bubblin’ hotter than a fresh-outta-the-oven tater tot. Every time I hear about skiing, the West is put on a dang pedestal and Back East is anointed to sainthood quicker than Tom Brady. The idea that the left and right sides of the map are the only places worth skiing is just bologna sausage, bud. Jeez-o-Pete, what’s so great about those places anywho? California’s got too many fancy cars. Everybody in Colorado is too busy eating free-range, homegrown, gluten-free, vegan quinoa salad or smokin’ the devil’s cabbage to realize if it even snows (what in the hell is friggin’ quinoa in the first place?). The entire Pacific Northwest smells like an unwashed aquarium. I’m weary of the Osmonds since their teeth are so big they probably have joints, so Utah is a no-go. Montana and Wyoming; well, ya can’t trust a state without a professional sports team of any kind. And the only thing I know about the East Coast is that everyone blames their attitude on the ice storms, but I just think you’re being rude.

I’ll tell ya what, when it comes to skiing, the Midwest is where it’s at, my friend.

All winter long, we lap 200-foot runs with smiles touching behind our ears. Oh, what’s that you say? No snow or terrain here? Three words: Mount Bohemia, guy! Up there in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there are 900 vertical feet of incredible, craggy, steep lines churned up eons ago by iron ore. Yuppers use a 40-foot snow meter to measure blizzards. And my pal, owner Lonie Glieberman, won’t groom a single flake of it. That’s right; no corduroy and no beginners. Says so on the waiver you have to sign when ya buy a season pass, which oh by the way is only 99 buckeroos. Plus, they’ve got a great pop selection at the checkout counter.

 Ya ever hear of Lindsey Vonn, pal? She’s one of the greatest to ever click into skis and she hails from the land of the casserole, the great and grand Minnesota. Sure, ya may not hear our beloved dialect from her much these days, but I betcha when ya get Vonn within sniffing distance of lutefisk, her long vowels will start flowin’ like sausage gravy at Christmas. Yeah, it’s pretty great to arc turns where the GOAT honed her skills, places like Buck Hill and Afton Alps. We could zip up to Lutsen, where they have 17 months of winter every year, so wear your big parka. You can see Canada from the top of the resort. Uffdah, that’s up there. 

Or maybe we’ll scoot down to Taylors Falls, grab a basket of deep-fried cheese curds after cruising perfect groomers, and throwin’ backscratcher daffies in one of the best terrain parks in the state at Wild Mountain. And if spinnin’ whirly birds off of rails is your thing, try your luck at Trollhaugen if ya dare. Ope, watch yourself now. Remember to moisturize those never-used-a-hammer hands ya got there. Lots of speedy rope tows ‘round here.

Honestly, I dunno if ya could handle a Midwest winter let alone our old-school lifts. Not you no-skin-on-the-bones veggies that eat nothin’ but grass clippings and tree bark. Not enough Ranch dressing and butter in your blood. Five seconds of real weather and you’d be crying into your kombucha. But don’t worry, we’ll warm you up by the pallet fire in the backyard or maybe a nice round of shoveling four feet of fresh off the patio will heat ya up. And then I’ll fire up the grill and we can share some cheese brats. We’ll make a skier outta ya yet.