Terry Peak Ski Area, in South Dakota's Black Hills, is the place to be Saturday, March 19,if you are into telemark skiing - a.k.a. free-heel skiing.
Telemarkers, AT'ers, spilt boarders will be testing their endurance by skinning to the top of the mountain, then racing to the bottom during Terry Peak's annual Black Hills Free Hill Festival. Prizes will be awarded, fun races will be taking place, and Dan Sherrill, who has opened for the Spin Doctors, will be playing acoustic reggae/rock music in the Dark Horse Saloon.
The Black Hills Stay and Ski Package, through the Deadwood CVB has lift and lodging packages that start from $119 per person, per night double occupancy, for Terry Peak. Other packages which starts from $135 per person, double occupancy, includes a two-night stay, a day skiing or riding at Terry Peak and a day at nearby Mystic Miner, plus gaming and entertainment coupons.
When I visited Terry Peak late last March I found out free heeling is very popular. On a sunny day they would show up in droves, ski across the mountain, skin up Little Hope and ski down; over and over. They were having a free heeling ball.
The area's scheduled closing date is April 3, and they have a great season so far this winter. Terry Peak, with a mountain sized 1,100-foot vertical drop, offers over 30 runs - some up to two miles long - four chairlifts (two high-speed quads), a halfpipe and freestyle terrain park. It offers skiing and boarding for all levels, and even expert glades to test your skiing mettle. It's the tallest ski area in the Heartland.
Mystic Miner offers 44 trails and an 850-foot vertical drop. There's also approximately 10 miles of groomed cross-country trails that wind through the scenic South Dakota mountains. They will close at the end of the month.
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