- Overall Rating 5
- Family Friendly 5
- All Mtn. Terrain 5
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 3
Pros: great grooming and snow making
Cons: Cindy pop needs crowd control on some weekends
Recommended For: Single/Newlyweds, Family Friendly
Date Visited: Dec 1, 2009
I have been skiing Cascade since I was 15 years old so this is my 38th season and I have averaged over 10 days per year including the last 5 years when I have logged min 17 days/season. I also go to the UP and out west somewhere for at least 10 days or more. So I figure that I have been to Cascade between 350 and 400 ski days.
I have seen it change over the years from a little place before Cindy Pop etc were opened and from before the high speed quad went in and I can tell you that the snow making effort, grooming and willingness to run all of the lifts even when the lines are low makes this gem a real ski area with real skiers and actual ski culture. I dont do much in the terrain park but my 18 yr old son and his buds have tearing it up for years.
The other areas get icy even before the crowds arrive because the snow making and grooming are just not agressive enough to make the difference. Cascade makes snow aggressively and it shows. The equipment for making snow, grooming, and moving people up the hill here is second to none. That other place near by just doesn't care about the quality of the experience on the snow probably because real skiers dont go there as they are at Cascade.
Also, not to be under rated is the northerly direction that Cascade points. This aids snow retention and reduces influences like sun and wind that creat icy surface conditions. What is the purpose of building a ski area that faces South like that other place?
And the variation of terrain is great. So often the original builders would bulldoze the terrain taking out all of the natural roll and pitch, nooks and swails making all of the runs pasturized and perfectly even. Cascade has drop offs, ridges, rolls and humps that were long ago dozed out at most other areas in the midwest. At Cascade the terrain seems very natural yet with beautifully groomed surface.
The location just off the Interstate makes our weekly travel from Schaumburg, Il under 2:15. We leave at 7AM arrive before 9:30 ski until 3 and make it home for dinner every Saturday or Sunday. Or we just hang out and have
saturday night dinner at one of the many places along the way. Or stay in the Dells.
Many years ago we skied on blue ice more often than not and now conditions are often packed powder similar to what I expect out west on most days. And there is no other Ski are in the Midwest that can ethically make that claim.
Cascade is by far the best on all counts.