Nothing is better than standing at the top of a mountain in Michigan where you can look out and see the Great Lakes. In the winter, whether you ski or hike to the top, you can’t help but stand there with the cold, heavy air hitting your cheeks and just gaze out at the steel-blue water and jagged Michigan shoreline. With this view, you can easily see why our state motto is “Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice,” which translates to “If you seek a pleasant Peninsula, look about you”.
I have been skiing and snowboarding since I was three years old. I learned right here in Michigan which has over fifty ski resorts. Most towns in Michigan have a ski resort within a two hour drive. In addition to skiing, many resorts have lots of other activities such as tubing, snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Whether you are with a group, with your family or alone, skiing is a great way to spend time outdoors, meet new people and have a lot of fun.
Ski resorts in the winter are what pools or lakes are in the summer. If you want to be around a bunch of teenagers or other kids, this is where you need to go. Everyone there seems to have a good time both on the slopes or when just sitting around the fire having hot chocolate. When riding on the chair lifts, I have met people from all over the country and the world. Skiers come to Michigan because we have great skiing and you don’t have to adjust to a high altitude like you do in other places in the country–and adjusting to a high altitude can make some people ill.
In terms of having fun, my friends and I like to race to the bottom of the hill or do tricks on our snowboards. We also we like to–what is called– hotdog. Hotdogging is where you ski or snowboard down a ramp of snow, and once you get some air, you try to do a spread eagle or attempt some other trick. My friends and I like to watch each other to see who gets the most air or who can be the funniest.
The good news on skiing in Michigan is that you can get inexpensive skis, snowboards and helmets at ski swaps, garage sales, or rent them at the resorts. It doesn’t take long to learn to ski or snowboard and ski resorts help make learning easier by offering classes and marking trails as beginner (green circle), intermediate (blue square) and advance (black diamond). If you are in the 4th or 5th grade, for a $20 membership fee, you can ski or snowboard for free at several Michigan ski resorts. More information on this program is available here: 4th & 5th Grader Ski for Free Program . This is program offers a great chance for everyone to try skiing, see the beauty of Michigan in the winter, and I bet you’ll get hooked.
Even though I have been to other places in the country to ski, nothing can beat the views and fun of skiing in Michigan. Hope to see you at the top of the mountain or maybe on the slopes hotdogging.
Trip Apley, Ann Arbor – YCC Member