skiing

Meet a longtime ski groomer at Crystal Mountain

Mar 15, 2019
Cheryl Bartz

After skiers and snowboarders leave at the end of the day, mountain manager Mike Cutler and his team of groomers take over the slopes at Crystal Mountain Resort.  They work all night to prepare downhill runs for the guests who will show up the next day anticipating perfect corduroy – that's the pattern left by the grooming machines. Weather and snow conditions keep the groomers on their toes.  Mike Cutler says that’s what keeps it interesting.


Winter weather led to record-breaking ski season

Mar 14, 2019
The view from atop Crystal Mountain
Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Northern Michigan ski resorts say they had one of their best years yet. Many report more people have hit the slopes this year because of heavy snowfall and colder temperatures. 

Crystal Mountain Spokesperson Brian Lawson says the resort saw a 10 percent increase in attendance from last year. He says an especially frigid winter had people coming to the slopes.

"It keeps skiing and snowboarding front of mind," Lawson says. "I think that’s definitely been the case this season."

If you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics in South Korea, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen the product of a Michigan company.

The snow on the ski slopes is manufactured snow — fake snow — made by Snow Makers Incorporated based in Midland.

American cross-country skier Jessie Diggins (left) won Team USA's first-ever Olympic gold medal in South Korea on Wednesday.
Noah Hoffman

For the first time ever, the United States cross-country ski team has won an Olympic gold medal. 

Eli Brown, a ski technician from Traverse City, did his part to help make it happen.


Eli Brown stares down one of his skis in his wax trailer, just off the VASA Trail in Traverse City. Brown will head to South Korea to serve as ski support for Team USA cross-country skiers during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
David Cassleman

Eli Brown spent years training for the Winter Olympics, and now he’s finally going. But Brown isn’t competing as an athlete. Instead, he’s making sure the U.S. cross-country ski team has the fastest skis possible.

Jacob Wheeler

The owner of Sugar Loaf on the Leelanau Peninsula says it will eventually reopen as a four-star, year-round resort.

The former ski resort would have fine dining, a spa, vineyards and in-house wine among other amenities.

Jeff Katofsky bought the property last year. He told people at a public meeting today that he has not made a decision yet about downhill skiing at the resort. He says the ski equipment on site is unusable and beyond repair. 

Boyne Highlands Resort

A man has been charged with second degree arson today in connection with the Boyne Highlands Resort fire in December. The fire injured a dozen people and damaged around 70 rooms.

The defendant, David Soltysiak, from Petoskey, was at the resort on December 11th for an office Christmas party, says Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin.  Soltysiak booked a room to stay the night.

Boyne Highlands Resort

Foul play is suspected in the fire at Boyne Highlands Resort in December. The fire damaged around 70 rooms and injured a dozen people.

Emmet County Prosecutor James Linderman says his office is in the process of reviewing the investigation.

"Since this is an arson investigation and a rather high-level investigation, we did have the assistance of certain agencies," says Linderman. "The primary would be the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office.”

The sheriff's office passed its report on the fire to Linderman last week.

Crystal Mountain ski student dies in accident

Jan 3, 2017
Crystal Mountain Resort

A 10-year-old skier from Chicago died Monday after a crash at Crystal Mountain Resort. Resort spokesman Brian Lawson says the girl was part of a group taking a ski lesson on an intermediate trail.

“The skier skied slightly ahead of the class, apparently lost control briefly and then struck a tree,” says Lawson.

The girl was considered a "level four" intermediate skier and she was wearing a helmet. Lawson says snow conditions were good Sunday, but the girl may have hit an icy patch.

The largest ski jump structure in the world is located, not in Bavaria, not in Switzerland, not even Scandinavia.

It's Ironwood's Copper Peak in the Upper Peninsula. At 469 feet, ski jumpers soar through the air at 65 miles per hour.

Copper Peak was built in 1970. The last ski flying competition happened there in 1994.

But, plans are afoot to renovate the ski jump for a September 2017 contest.

City pledges funds for Hickory Hills expansion

Jun 2, 2015
Grand Traverse Ski Club

Advocates for the Hickory Hills Ski Area in Traverse City can move forward with plans to expand the city-owned park. The city commission voted last night to pledge $1.5 million toward the project, which would include a new lodge and parking lot. The money would come out of the Brown Bridge Trust Fund.

Commissioner Jim Carruthers said the expansion will draw visitors to the ski area year-round.

Snow Great For Vasa Ski Race

Feb 7, 2014

Winter has been long and hard for the entire Midwest but it's been great for Nordic skiers. Both skiers and Vasa organizers hope it will reinvigorate a sport that has been declining in recent years. Jacob Wheeler reports.   

After 40 years of decline, Detroit has become a haven of so called ruin porn, with people flocking from all over the country and the world to photograph the city’s many decaying buildings.

Once winter was in full swing, a video went viral on social media. And it’s an epic, not to mention adventurous example of ruin porn.

Stateside’s Emily Fox has more.

Listen to the full audio above.

Watch "Tracing Skylines":


Lost Ski Hills

Jan 6, 2012

Robert Knox started the blog the Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project.

He's collecting historic information about defunct ski hills around the state like Mt. Mancelona in Antrim County and Stonecliffe Ski Area on Mackinac Island. Knox says he found a business report from the 50s that claimed Michigan had more ski areas than any state except New York. And he says for all he knows that might still be true.