- Overall Rating 3
- Family Friendly 3
- All-Mtn. Terrain 4
- Terrain Park 1
- Nightlife 1
Pros: Decent runs for Michigan, laid back feel
Cons: Sad terrain park, exaggerated vertical, everything outdated
Recommended For: Singles
Date Visited: Dec 1, 2010
For people in Michigan, finding a well rounded ski resort can be a challenge. After riding many resorts in this state, I have found that you usually have to settle for only part of what you are hoping for.
Caberfae looks to be impressive, and by some standards, it is. This hill offers a few long runs, but these must be linked by other trails to get even 3/4 of a mile, and the rest of the runs seem to basically go straight down, and really start to get old after a few hours.
The terrain park barely exists. A few years ago, they hired a semi-professional park builder who actually turned out some great hits including a triple-hit step down, a spine, and a few rails. Miraculously, the owners must not have noticed the huge lines of people flocking to the park, and completely eliminated it the next year. A few friends and I actually went into the woods and pulled out the box to ride on until we got kicked off. Any intelligent resort owner knows that a huge number of skiers and riders are demanding park features. This year seems like they are picking up a little bit with the park, but they have a ways to go.
Another problem is uphill capacity, as Caberfae charges extremely low prices for tickets, which in turn crowds the four lifts that they have (three lifts monday thru friday) and generates lift lines that rival Cedar Point. A solution to this could be expansion of the huge acreage that was once serviced by the resort many years ago, but has since ceased to operate. I don't think I will still be alive by the time they decide to resurrect these old bowls. Until they do, it does make for good backcountry hits, until you get kicked out.
The buildings here are extremely dated, and I actually saw a plastic/visquine material shoved in the walls of one of the buildings, which had carpet that had to be 50 years old. The day lodge is an exception, which looks great inside and out. The food is somewhat pricey for the quality, but hey that's the story anywhere.
In all, the only thing that you might enjoy about Caberfae are the runs, if you can find out how to link them. Take Smiling Irishman, stay right, then cut hard left across easy street, and play around from there. The groomers are great, but you'd better be there 15 minutes early to catch them, because 34 runs get tracked fast. If you have the extra time and money, go check out Shanty Creek, Nub's or Boyne Highlands for comparison, and see what you like better, because those ones pretty much offer everything the Fae has but with a more comfortable lift ride to the top.
Also, The vertical drop is listed as 485 feet. If you feel skeptical about this claim, you should be. Download Google Earth and measure South Peak from top to bottom using the elevation profile, and let me know what you come up with. Maybe the owners were measuring down to sea level...