Best terrain in the Lower Peninsula

by: MISkier - Oct 15, 2009

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

    Pros: Black runs, value, short lifts

    Cons: Not always reliable snow reports

    Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters

    Date Visited: Feb 1, 2009


Full review

Most of this review focuses on Schuss Mountain, the bigger of the two ski hills of Shanty Creek. Schuss's terrain is outstanding, led by several different black trails that each have a unique personality. Kingdom Come is the flagship of these trails, alongside with its twin Blue Skidoo. Sarajevo and Surprise are my favorites, both being chutes (by Lower Michigan standards) where if you lose an edge, there's a chance you'll end up in the trees. The most innocuous-sounding is Pink Schussycat, but it's steep enough and quirky enough to require your undivided attention. The best blue is Sapporo, though it's even more quirky than Pink Schussycat--some days it should be rated a black instead of blue. The blues off the red lift are pretty good, except they're shorter and a couple of them end rather abruptly at the bottom; to wit, people often need to hit the brakes hard, and it just makes the snow a little bit worse as the day progresses. Many of the greens are quite pleasant tree-lined trails.

Summit Mountain has a couple black trails, neither of which have the juice of Schuss's. The blues are enjoyable and they're generally longer than Schuss's. Summit's drawback is having just two double lifts, one of which gets pretty long lines on weekends.

You can find some pretty cheap lift tickets if you know where to look. Last year they had a coupon for $10 day lift tickets (9 AM-5 PM) on a non-holiday Sunday. Plus, starting in January, one of the local radio stations promotes a ski night on Wednesdays (5 PM-9 PM) for just $5; day tickets are $10.

Their snow reporting on the website hasn't always been accurate. A couple times I've come to the hill and seeing many of the trails closed due to snowmaking; after the website said "100% open." And the ski rental shop--to put it nicely--seems to have a musty, moldy smell to it. Nonetheless, I'm still a big fan of the area.

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