[R481R, Tyrol Basin], located amidst a maze of steep hills and valleys in the southwest corner of the Badger State, turns 50 this season. This area of Wisconsin was never touched by the succession of glaciers that flattened much of the upper Midwest. The natural topography provides some steep pitches that offer lots of freestyle terrain and big air opportunities.

While the ski hill may not be big - 300 foot vertical - the runs are fun and interesting with lots of terrain features built into the slopes. "We've developed a niche in the freestyle and racing market that sets us apart from other areas," says active owner Don McKay. "We support some of the best racing and freestyle programs in the Midwest."

The Basin started life as Sutter's Ridge Ski Area in 1958 with a T-Bar and a rope tow. Two years later the state's first chairlift was installed along with a novel new concept; snowmaking equipment. Staying true to the Norwegian influence of the Mt. Horeb area, the name was first changed in the 1960s to Norway Basin, but confusion with another ski area just down the road called Little Norway brought about Tyrol Basin.

McKay has been operating the Basin for the last 20 years and, during that time, has installed three triple chairs, added seven new trails and slopes and double the snowmaking capacity.

It's eclectic and fun. Get out and ski or ride the Basin this season and join the half-century celebration. Look for lots of specials and events to be taking place all season long.