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Chouinard

Searchmont

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Never been there, but have often wondered. They get more snow there than just about anywhere. In the ancient mountain range, the Algoma hills. It's pretty rugged territory.

I posted here asking the same a few years ago and got no reply.

Please file a report if you go.

I met a nice couple sailing on the big lake that own Bellevue Valley B&B near Searchmont. They also maintain some backcountry (teleski) terrain...and they have a wood fired sauna.

https://bellevuevalleylodge.ca/

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Saw your post and lack of reply. 

I'm going to call them about grooming because their website is not clear. They have been hammered with Superior lake effect recently. If I go next week I will submit a site report.

Edited by Chouinard
Typo, missing word

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Searchmont.jpg.12f85375b1f38ad8ed702f907a21e290.jpg

Searchmont Ski Resort - Alpine Ski & Board

As the only Midwest ski resort actually located on a mountain, Searchmont is proud to say that they have the most diverse terrain, the longest runs (18 in total) and the greatest vertical (750 feet!) in the area. Located just 30 minutes drive north of Sault Ste. Marie, Canada [and US]

Over two days of riding, I spent 75% of my time on the “Main” which is on the far right. Total of 6-7 benches as you drop approximately 650’. The lift discharges about 30 short of the peak with a flat spot about 3’ x 4’ if you can find it to clip in. From there you drop down two benches before blending in with flow from two addition feeds in a large bottom bowl, football field or more in diameter. Drop off the bowl into a short pitch that feeds directly down slope over a snow outcrop or left around the end with a toeside feed [regular] into a football field wide pitch that drops down two more benches and finishes in a bottom wave washout. Of course, the only onsite lodging has patios viewing the final drop. :cool:

If you have been to Buttermilk the terrain and drops remind me of the bottom third of the main run from “Bear”, “Lower Savio” & “Columbine” to the lift.

Snow texture: Frozen granular Chalk. 

Groom: Good to excellent, some areas of ripped open surface but was not frozen solid washboard typical of freeze/thaw cycles. Everyone could set an edge and dust never grew more than inch thick.  The surface was smooth underneath.

Other Runs: Multiple runs with varying pitch Blue-Black to Black-Black with fewer benches [see shadows in photo] thru mix of evergreens and deciduous trees. Partial sun thru day. Runs on far left were only available part of the day due to a lift out of service. I stayed off the other runs because I had plenty to do on the Main.

Qualifications:

Unless you go early in the season or after a dump, you are not going to have “Hero” snow after mid January/Early February due to freeze/thaw cycles.  Although the nighttime temperatures were in the teens, the days were pushing 40 so it was more packed kernels than packed snow.

I was skidding [2”-3” wide tracks] turns until the surfaced softened. It was way too fast in the morning for me to do otherwise.

Final thoughts:

I do not know if it is necessarily worth the trip from the west end of the U.P. but it is certainly worth the trip from downstate Michigan to bypass the Boyne/Nubs Nob foothills and drive up into the Canadian Shield formations.  I have driven seven hours to go to upstate NY for similar elevations but the terrain at Searchmont will pull me back and it is a shorter drive. In fact, I going again next weekend.:eplus2:

Lift tickets $56 CAD.

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Few pictures.

 

Sunset looking west at Straits of Mackinaw from Big Mac Bridge.

IMG_3126.thumb.JPG.abbf7b0fee44d978bf454d755d79d502.JPG

 

Sunset afterglow on Blue Ice built up on shore.

IMG_3158.thumb.JPG.869d4f49efffd3173e5645faf2904e57.JPG

 

 

Yes, the get some snow.

5a9ca9257f610_IMG_3123(1).thumb.JPG.f802323f995c59c8f3217d8df5521dfc.JPG

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15 hours ago, Chouinard said:

 

Searchmont.jpg.12f85375b1f38ad8ed702f907a21e290.jpg

thoughts:

I do not know if it is necessarily worth the trip from the west end of the U.P. but it is certainly worth the trip from downstate Michigan to bypass the Boyne/Nubs Nob foothills and drive up into the Canadian Shield formations.  I have driven seven hours to go to upstate NY for similar elevations but the terrain at Searchmont will pull me back and it is a shorter drive. In fact, I going again next weekend.:eplus2:

Lift tickets $56 CAD.

Nice report, thanks.:biggthump

Might get up there one day. From looking at snowfall reports, it appears they have had less than normal this year. Were there many people there?─room to carve?

Only open 4 days/week, Th-Fri. USD/CAD exchange helps make it attractive.

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On 3/5/2018 at 12:35 PM, bigwavedave said:

From looking at snowfall reports, it appears they have had less than normal this year. Were there many people there?─room to carve?

Snow fall has been light this season after a decent start for most of the lower and east end of the upper.

Searchmont is run by a government backed entity because they did not want to lose the tourism.

Very laid back operations but a quality groom when there.

The pitches are fairly wide. I make GS turns with plenty of room.

I asked everyone if it was a typical crowd and everyone said it was a little light but I don't think they would get buried due to location. It's a very nice local ski resort.

There were the usual straightliners but I honestly don't think they see many alpine riders. I went into the Sport shop and the cashier said he saw me on the hill.

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