Over Christmas break, I got my first downhill turns of the year in northern Michigan’s Leelanau County.
Christmas Eve, the temperatures dropped super low overnight as we headed to Schuss Mountain for some resort skiing. There was tons of fresh powder (by Michigan standards) and I enjoyed the gladed runs off one of the lower quad chairs.
Christmas Day, the snow continued to fall. There was probably 2′-3′ of snow on the ground. I hiked and skied down Sugar Loaf Mountain, an abandoned ski resort, a few times which was a treat.
The following day, my brother and I headed over to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to get some more turns in. We hiked up the area known as the Dune Climb to take in some low angle, easy terrain. The wind-loaded eastern slopes of the dunes could definitely slide in some steeper places, so we stuck to the central part of the dune for the most part.
The next day I lapped Sugar Loaf a few more times since the powder hadn’t been completely tracked out yet. Skiing on a bluebird day accentuated the amazing views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding inland lakes. It’s a shame that Sugar Loaf is closed, but at least it is a spot where you can find some solitude and earn some short but powdery turns in Michigan