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bigwavedave

up north

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Looks like our northern territories are getting a good base of snow. Lake effect has been dumping on da UP and Indianhead. Giant's Ridge has several inches on the ground and should be getting their new chairlifts installed. Maybe we'll have a "normal" winter. Of course Wild opened over the weekend with a small patch of snow for jibbers. Spirit Mt is supposed to have live webcams this winter, which will be nice for checking current conditions.

Indianhead today, snow guns are poised to supplement motha Superior's bountiful lake effect.

59f8f1a0f0c26_Indianhead103117.jpg.ef15b74551b3d2af1e25a02e3fb60300.jpg

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They've been making snow at Powder Ridge too, the first run they always open is Single Cedar and they have it merge into the bunny hill, but it's actually a good run for carving and usually not that busy. I used to always go first day when I lived closer.

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I've never been to Powder Ridge. How would you compare it to Wild?  It's about the same distance drive for me, but I've assumed, from what I've heard, that Wild had better terrain for carving.  When it's cold like this they can make enough snow to cover a run a day, although it's not worth going there until they get a few more runs open, and best to avoid weekends and evenings. They opened Expressway today. It's short, but sweet for some nice big turns on a moderate pitch.

If this weather pattern continues, it will be interesting to see if any of the northern hills will be tempted to open before Thanksgiving.

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Ski Brule is planning to open on November 10th.....

Indianhead is planning on November 24th, and having a Snowciable Party on December 9th, with live entertainment (Brad Emanual)

Blackjack is looking at December 17th also featuring live entertainment (Corey Carlson)

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1 hour ago, bigwavedave said:

I've never been to Powder Ridge. How would you compare it to Wild?  It's about the same distance drive for me, but I've assumed, from what I've heard, that Wild had better terrain for carving.  When it's cold like this they can make enough snow to cover a run a day, although it's not worth going there until they get a few more runs open, and best to avoid weekends and evenings. They opened Expressway today. It's short, but sweet for some nice big turns on a moderate pitch.

If this weather pattern continues, it will be interesting to see if any of the northern hills will be tempted to open before Thanksgiving.

Wild is maybe a little more spread out, I'd probably like carving at PR more cause I know it really well. But the ski nerds have been known to put down 3-4 courses that take up the entire front side (zonker/gun powder) which is the good stuff, that sucks. They usually only take up one side. 

Whenever I'm at wild they have races on the left so that run is taken, that one on far left can be fun if it's groomed well but it's pretty tight with little room for error and super short. I recall wishing the rest of the hill had less plateaus so it was steeper.

Powder Ridge for the most part starts really steep and mellows out, it's kind of a big quarter pipe. Not all the runs are like that, but the good ones are, not a good place to learn to carve. If the double lift at PR on the left is running which it usually is during peak time nights/weekends it runs faster than the quad so you can skip out on a lot of the flat of the 'quarter pipe".  

 

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Thanks for the info, sounds like I should check out PR sometime for variety. Like Wild, it might be best to go early on a weekday and plan to leave once the afterschoolers start arriving by the busload and setting race courses everywhere. 

RE Wild: I worked there for a few years about 20 yrs ago, so know it well. Around the same time I did some work for "The House" which allowed me to acquire a quiver (small-med-large) of Italian "Generics" race boards, so I got in the habit of switching boards to make the best use of Wild's terrain. Those short steep runs  way on the left (facing the hill) are fun with a 8-10scr, which allows you to do several complete  turns, but still not much room for mistakes. Weekday mornings are pretty sweet for carving. Rarely more than a handful of skiers and as they gradually open up more of the hill through the morning you can get first tracks on several of the runs.

Expressway...late morning, last January...This one is nice for relaxed, rhythmic GS turns...

IMG_1295.thumb.JPG.be1aa2b0192c5f315eb02e8f9ba99607.JPG

 

Edited by bigwavedave

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Looks like Buck is opening tonight with a couple of runs. Always impressed with how quickly they can cover the slopes with just 2-3 days of snow making.

It's looking like winter all over the north and most places should be opening before Thanksgiving this year. Just have to make it past the warm-up next week.

Edited by bigwavedave

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Buck must have the most snow machines per square foot, and some newer equipment. Looks like no main lift yet, I’ll probably wait till we pass the warm up. Or if Bob goes and says it’s good =)

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On 11/10/2017 at 8:08 PM, DonPablo said:

I’ll probably wait till we pass the warm up. Or if Bob goes and says it’s good =)

Same here, as tempting as it can be to get on some snow now, I'll probably wait till after Thanksgiving when there's fewer people and more terrain open. Of course, if I were Bob with the hill just across the street, it would be a different story.

Plus, I have an arbitrary rule--to ride at least as long as it takes to drive to and from the hill, otherwise it's not worth the drive.

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20 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

Plus, I have an arbitrary rule--to ride at least as long as it takes to drive to and from the hill, otherwise it's not worth the drive.

it's roughly about 5 minute drive from my house.  there's been many crappy days where i left after 1-2 runs.

according to ms. bobble, i'm spoiled. 

right now my guess is that most of the skiers and boarders are 90% season pass holders.  i only saw one couple riding rentals.ski teams were out and so were ski patrollers doing their snakey thing on the greenest hill in entire state. 

it did feel good to ride but it is just a novelty thing right now. a couple times i had to wait till congestion between edge of run and trees cleared. "grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change..."

so, come out and imbibe your favorite alcoholic beverage at Black Diamond and take in the scene. they got heat lamps.  :freak3:

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Hit pause, and here we are 1 month later with winter restart. Sure miss the days when we had winter from Thanksgiving to Easter!

It's been snowing up north:

Spirit starts daily ops this weekend with about 75% terrain open and reporting several inches of new snow this week. Hoping Russ or Ken report in. 

Indianhead started daily ops last week and have been been getting a daily dose of lake effect snows, over 2 feet in the past 2 weeks. Most of the best carving runs are open and Blackjack opens tomorrow. Maybe Al will give us 1st hand report soon.

Lutsen and Giants Ridge also starting daily ops this weekend.

My first time on the snow this year will be tomorrow at Buck, helping out with the races. I've been down for several days with whatever crud has been going around:mad:

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Looks like a foot or more of snow across most of the northland (a little less in Duluth) by the time this storm moves out tomorrow!! Spirit really needed new snow to cover their ice base. Giant's Ridge and Lutsen got close to a foot yesterday─would've been fun today!!

Heading up to Spirit on Thursday and then to Giants Ridge Friday.

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Just had a report from Rich (a skier friend) from up north. He'd been to  both Giant's Ridge and Indianhead this week and said conditions were great, despite the warm days and cold nights.

"More than awesome, fabulous, incredible, best I've ever seen and absolutely incredible, excellent grooming"...were just some of the superlatives he used to describe just how great it was. Apparently Indianhead has a new groomer.:biggthump

Also reported that Lutsen was "super icy".:eek:

GR last day is March  31st.

Indianhead last day is April  15th?

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Just checked GR website and they've extended their season, closed April 1st and reopen April 2-8 with $18 lift tickets!

I still have those 2 GR passes. I was thinking this Sunday, before the rain/snow mix forecast Sunday night. High temps will be in the 40's all next week (a nice freeze/thaw cycling), starting Sunday and I'd expect things to start turning to spring conditions. It would be nice to try and get one more day on it before it starts turning to corn snow and slush. 

Otherwise, I've got Thursday and Friday next week. I would be up for another trip over to Indianhead too!...but my pass is only good for Sundays-Thursdays.

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Planning to go to Spirit Thursday (or maybe IH) and GR Friday. Hope the few inches of wet snow in the forecast helps cover Spirit's icy base layer. Might have a Donek F plate to try out if conditions are still rough.

Rich reported that conditions were great on Sunday at Indianhead, some snow tonight then temps up to 50° Wednesday, but then a cool spell for the next couple of weeks. Indianhead should go till mid April and they're reporting the "best spring conditions in a decade".

Spirit is done Mar 31st...maybe...plus shortened weekday hours,  11-7.

Looks like 4-5" at IH and GR and just an inch at Spirit last night.

Edited by bigwavedave

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Just got up tonight...snow starting early Friday, but 10" expected by Sunday. I'll be playing accordingly, but on the clock, unless it's good enough to burn vaca hours...

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Drove over from Duluth with Russ to ride Thursday at Indianhead. Started out with a crusty, but carvable groom (50°F the day before), the sun softening things up nicely by noon. Icy patches on the steeps kept us riding mainly on Chippewa and Flambeau. **Al, keep an eye out for patroller Cheryl (skier) who really wants to get on a carving stick.**

Friday we were up to Giant's Ridge. Another sunny day on very firm groom. Again the steep sections were icy and made for dicey carving. Everything else was pretty good, especially my secret spot (Squaw Valley to Cortina) that is always untracked, even late in the day. Really nice 2" deep trenches:biggthump

Al, hope you're having fun in all that new snow (it looks great!). Looks like Indianhead has received the most snow, maybe up to 12" by tomorrow. (Spirit only 2"/ GR zero)

Russ and I are already plotting another trip to Indianhead next Thursday/Friday.:eplus2: Looks like snow showers through Wed night with cool temps─it's gonna be great!:1luvu:

@bobble, you should come!

 

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2 hours ago, ellisdeez said:

Does Indianhead have some good runs for doing The Norm?  I might just head out there tomorrow to see if I can figure this carving thing out.

 Lots of room to carve at IH, and the snow should be good.  Voyageur and Chippewa are good runs for learning. 

 A couple of photos from Thursday and Friday; tracks left on Chippewa at Indianhead and a selfie  with the big boards at Giants Ridge in front of the new chalet...

188ADF74-9598-4422-BBF4-D55B2B775891.jpeg.a175c7e74db6404fc222c8d62dc58820.jpeg92BC9DB4-AFDA-455E-9572-A266FCE57F22.jpeg.a6081830e9e8c1fa8b4d17b6c4a4d0cd.jpeg

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SkiBrule puts up a daily video showing current conditions. Today's video shows some nice softboot carving...

https://skibrule.com/brule-mountain/snow-conditions/

 Saw something interesting  on my drive home from Indianhead last night on highway 77, which happens to be the same road one would take to ski Brule...

A8FC86C3-2D67-4593-967C-3F252CD92C5D.thumb.jpeg.356aedbdbfa016d49c3bd2b86f01c042.jpeg

… And on the other side of the road… 

5DB327BA-0D4E-4F29-A4F7-7C8EDED42C76.thumb.jpeg.e6e38a931e6138dbe515c23751865efd.jpeg

You don't expect to see a heard of Elk crossing a road in northern Wisconsin

Edited by bigwavedave

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Menards has these leather insulated super warm and durable gloves (also mittens) on sale for $14.99. I've had the same mittens for about 3-4 years and a pair of the gloves for 2-3 yrs. They hold up pretty well especially if you treat them with "sno-seal" (or similar beeswax leather waterproofing). Made in China, so we might not see this price again for awhile.

https://www.menards.com/main/home-decor/apparel/gloves/winter-gloves/rugged-wear-reg-mens-deer-grain-leather-winter-gloves/6601761/p-1444421907876-c-7085.htm?tid=-1980189074866561122&ipos=19

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Well, mostly rain and sleet at Spirit, GR and Indianhead. On the bright side it looks like the lake effect is turning on this week to replenish the UP. 

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3 minutes ago, bigwavedave said:

Well, mostly rain and sleet at Spirit, GR and Indianhead. On the bright side it looks like the lake effect is turning on this week to replenish the UP. 

10" of wet snow over the last week and each snowfall was followed by rain and warm temps, making for intermittent "Michigan Marble" with islands of bulletproof ice, and lot's of lumps 😡

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