Am I Really in ILLINOIS?

by: sbi90 - Mar 4, 2011

  • Overall Rating 5
  • Family Friendly 4
  • All Mtn. Terrain 5
  • Terrain Park 5
  • Nightlife 0

    Pros: short drive, beautiful view, steep

    Cons: no off-piste, the usual weather issues

    Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters

    Date Visited: Feb 1, 2011

Full review

Disclaimer: I'm an advanced skier by western standards. I go to ski and don't give a flip about a "resort" experience. And I'm bored to death on groomed runs, no matter how steep. Also, I don't care one bit about terrain parks.

First, let me just say what a miracle it is that there is any halfway-decent skiing in the region. It's notoriously flat and doesn't get anywhere near enough natural snowfall for this sort of thing... so you can imagine my surprise while approaching the top of Warpath for the first time and seeing a distinct horizon line. This thing is STEEP. Yeah, it's a groomer, I really didn't expect otherwise, but it actually raised my heart rate a little, which I really didn't expect would happen around here. Mine Shaft, while short, is another surprisingly steep section.

There's very little opportunity for off-piste, maybe a couple of short drops...when there's snow cover. That's fine, though, I really just wanted to drive over for the day for a workout, and I was more than well-pleased. The view is magnificent, the lifts are slow but actually have footrests (a huge plus in my book), and the trails are better than I expected. The area suffers from the usual Midwest weather perhaps more than up in WI...the day I went was a slush-fest. Hit it while the snow is falling, though, and it would be downright amazing.

And though I said I don't care about terrain parks, I will add that they have what looks like a great one. It's more of a whole "freestyle area" with a dedicated lift. Snowboarders should definitely check it out.

Weekday specials definitely make this a worthwhile trip if you've got the day off.