Stand tall flatlanders, despite what you've been led to believe; skiing didn't start any earlier east or west than it started right here in Middle America.

About the same time Fred Pabst - of the Blue Ribbon Pabsts in Milwaukee - opened a string of ski areas out east during the 1930s that included Lake Placid and Bromley; he also started small ski areas in the Midwest. Among them were what would later become Buck Hill near the Twin Cities; Rib Mountain - now Granite Peak - in Wisconsin; and eventually Pine Knob in Iron Mountain, Michigan.

Not to be outdone in Lower Michigan, residents around Cadillac started clearing runs in 1937 at what is today Caberfae Peaks. A Michigan Historic Site marker stands at the base of the ski area marking the spot where that first run was cleared.

Rib Mountain, Wisc. which opened in 1938, was the fourth ski area in the country to open, right behind Stowe in Vermont, Sun Valley in Idaho, and Caberfae, as it was known then, in Michigan. Rib boasted the longest J-Bar in the nation at the time.

Ski areas continued to open across the Heartland over the next six decades, and today there are over 100 ski areas scattered from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains and Black Hills of South Dakota. Snowsports have a long standing heritage in the Midwest.