If you like skiing or riding the backcountry, ungroomed slopes and tons of natural snow, choices are very limited around the Heartland. One area, located at the tip of Michigan's remote Upper Peninsula, fits the bill.

Mount Bohemia has a one day season pass sale that's hard to pass up. The season pass is $99, with no blackout dates, and it can only be purchased on Saturday, Dec. 3. The regular season pass price is $340. The normal daily lift rate this season will be $50 for all ages. You do the math.

"It's a long drive, about seven hours, but, if you like backcountry and true powder skiing, there's nothing to compare around our region of the country," Traverse City skier Deena Barshney said. "The pass is a great bargain. I make one long weekend trip during the winter, and the pass pays for itself; additional days are all a bonus.

"I'll make at least two weekend trips and maybe three if the snow is good," Barshney said. "I couldn't begin to ski out west for one long weekend at the same cost."

Bohemia is located at the tip of the UP's Kewanee Peninsula, that witch-like finger jutting out in the middle of Lake Superior. That almost always insures incredible amounts of annual lake effect snowfall; typically around 270 to 300 inches a winter. It's a big vertical drop for the Great Lakes Region, 900 feet with cliffs, chutes, trees, steep drops and all natural snow. They have no snowmaking, and don't do any grooming.

Bohemia claims all expert terrain and, they aren't exaggerating. The terrain is typical of what you find out west in the backcountry. There is nothing else even remotely like it mid-continent. Two chairlifts whisk you back to the top to find another line through the trees and boulders.

 

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