Welcome to MILSAP! We are dedicated to collecting and publishing information about the history of lift-served ski areas in Michigan. If you have fond memories of flying down the slopes on your favorite hill, but the area has closed, let us know about it. Michigan has a long, rich history of skiing and sliding and it should not be forgotten. Please help us keep it alive by sharing your recollections, snapshots, memorabilia, news clippings, home movies, or whatever you may have that would remind you and others of the places where people used to enjoy winter in Michigan.
For more information about our site, check the About MILSAP link on the navigation bar above or at the top of our page links in the right-hand column.
It is mid-April, time to file your taxes if you don’t want to be late and a time when most (but not all) Michigan ski areas are closed for the season. Boyne Mountain remains open, as do a couple areas in the UP, but Bohemia closed this past weekend as did a few other holdouts. We have been highlighting a few areas’ end of season specials and spring carnivals on our Facebook page; check it out if you haven’t already.
We have received 14 comments in the three weeks since our last update. Bob Sisco sent us a couple pictures of the Pine Mountain Jump. Scott Stillings commented on Bob’s picture of a building at Mott Mountain that he thinks it may be the back of the “stage” someone built to hold country music concerts at Silver Valley. Rob Yates remembers seeing skiers on the hill (many years ago) while driving past Paradise Valley and wonders if anyone has pictures of the area.
Goeff Smith replied to a comment about him skiing at Alpine Valley that it wasn’t him. He raced at Mt. Holly in HS (Bloomfield Hills) and skied earlier at Mt. Christie when his dad (Doc Smith) patroller there after his dad started patrolling at Teeple Hill. Later Goeff raced for U of Colorado and started the racing program at Mt. Brighton in Dec ’69. Speaking of Teeple Hill, Thad Sienkiewicz advises us that May 9 will be the next Haven Hill “Rosebud Reveal” at Highland State Rec Area. He invites you to come see the restoration work on the old Ford barn that served Teeple Hill for many years.
Paul Trombley commented on our Iroquois Mountain page that his cousin built the A-Frame house just west of Livingston’s Restaurant. John Wyma recollected that at Cannonsburg, there used to be a loft above the cafeteria, in the peak of the ceiling. It was a popular place for teens to gather and smoke in 68-70. I might ask, what were they smoking, John?
Patrick Hanlon says Pleasant Valley was 6 mi. east of Central Lake on 624 and you could still see the rope towers with old auto rims on them until the late ’80s. Scott Stillings replied that the poles and rims are “loooong gone” and you cannot see or ski the old slopes today. He says the last person to ski them may have been Steve Erber from Harbor Springs. Pat Hanlon also remembers seeing an old, abandoned wooden ski jump with trees growing through it in the woods near Caberfae, years ago.
Gary Curatolo posted directions to an article about the founding of Thunder Mountain originally published in the Otsego County Herald in ’56. Brian said he lives across the road from Thunder and has an old trail map and brochure. We asked him to send them along.
John Wyma was looking at satellite views of the old Missaukee Mountain site and says he thinks he sees the old lodge and a couple of rope tows. He wonders if anyone locally can confirm that. David Fons replied to Preston on the Fonro page. He says his family bought the property in ’57.
Please keep those comments coming. This is how we keep the history of Michigan skiing alive. And, if you get a chance, make a few last runs at one of our great (not yet lost) Michigan ski areas. We don’t always get a lot of respect from the national ski magazines, but when winter has finally failed in the western US, we may still be getting enough cold and snow to keep our sport alive.
Publisher, Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project