By Stem Christie
So like when you’re on the slopes it’s like nuthin’ else even matters. It’s cool. On the mountain it’s like we’re totally one, butt-draggers to rippers, know what I mean? It’s like the rest of the world can be a total yard sale, but on the hill it’s like . . . Woah.
Check out my EPIC picks for boards-n-sticks in Michigan’s lower Penn.
BOYNE HIGHLANDS | Harbor Springs
Boasting the highest vertical drop in Lower Michigan, like 552 ft, with a base elevation of like 773 ft, the Highlands has been one of Michigan’s sweetest destinations for downhill, snowboarding and winter sport since opening in 1963. 8 lifts rush skiers to a summit reaching 1,325 ft, while 2 Magic Carpets assist snow bunnies and noobs.
Like 34% of the runs are expert, so that’s cool. 29% are intermediate, which is also cool. That leaves like 37% for Herbs. The longest run is North Peak Pass, which comes in at like 1.25 miles, and is pretty cool for bunnies. But, I usually spend my time on the bumps. 4 terrain parks including a skier/boarder cross course and rail yard, and a 13-foot Halfpipe, make up the 430 ski acres, the largest area in like all of the Mitten.
The Highlands has night skiing, a tube park, 35 km of cross-country, like 8 kms of snowshoeing trails, and a lot of other stuff. Apres ski is sweet, with dog sledding, sleigh rides, heated pools, and there are always a few bunnies at the Zoo Bar. www.boyne.com
NUB’S NOB | Harbor Springs
Known as the “locals” mountain, Nub’s has a vertical drop of like 427 feet, with a base elevation of like 911 ft. Its top elevation is 1,138 ft, and includes like 53 runs, or somethin’, with 12 runs on Pintail Peak. Nub’s has 9 expert runs, 8 most difficult, 21 intermediate and 15 runs for noobs. There’s 1 Halfpipe and 2 terrain parks on 248 rad acres of fun. 9 chairlifts, 1 old school rope tow, and 1 handle tow transports like 18,000 skiers per hour – whoa!
Lift-Lickers to Old Timers get the Season Pass for skiing once per week, except Saturday (which is bogus), for like 300 bucks or somethin’. But, dude, for like 600 you can ski Nub’s anytime so, that’s cool.
The sickest runs are Terrain Park, Smokey, Scarface, Chute and Power Glade. But, I also dig chillin’ on the Orange lift, ascending through the pines, then jelly-beanin off the south side. Betties and bunnies everywhere, Dudes. Decent grub. Probably, the best overall value for dedicated skiers. www.nubsnob.com
BOYNE MOUNTAIN | Boyne Falls
Established in 1947, Boyne Mountain is the sickest alpine resort in the lower Penn. With like 60 trails, and like 10 chairlifts, the Mountain has 2 magic carpets for bunnies and noobs, 1 tube lift and 1 kiddie carousel for Lift Lickers. Boyne Mountain is the Mitt’s ski paradise for shredders and family-style skiers alike.
The Mountain’s got a 500 ft vertical drop, with a base elevation of 620 ft. But, the 1,120 ft summit contains only like 29% beginner runs verses 41% intermediate, and like 30% expert runs. 5 terrain parks, including a sick skier/boarder cross course and a Halfpipe. Cross country, snowshoeing, private and group lessons, ice-skating, Ziplines, sleigh rides, and more all make for a sweet winter wonderland experience. And, when the bell at the Clock Tower rings it’s like you’re in the Swedish Alps.
Check out the indoor/outdoor pools and chillax in the hot tub. Apres ski rocks, with the Apres Ski Pub and the Eagles Nest, located at the top of Hemlock – the sickest view of Boyne Valley. Once I also strapped a fake cast around my ankle and sipped Hot Buttered Rum in the Snowflake Lounge at the base of the hill, getting suhweeet attention from hot bar Bunnies.
For maps of trails and lifts and other stuff check www.boyne.com