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.
Well, Winter seems to have finally arrived in Michigan, although from ski reports from around the Midwest, eastern North America, and Europe (where several World Cup Races have been cancelled or postponed), our lack of wintry weather to start the season seems to be the new normal. We have received fourteen new comments since our last update, as well as many comments on our Facebook Page, and several email messages.
Yesterday, we learned of the passing of Stein Erikson, Olympic Gold Medalist and former ski school director at Boyne Mountain and Pine Knob in Michigan, as well as many other ski areas in North America. He was a pillar of skiing during the modern development of our sport, contributing to ski instruction, the creation of freestyle skiing, slope layout, and resort and lodging improvements. I try to challenge myself annually on Stein’s Run at Sugarbush in Vermont, where he was also ski school director. He will be remembered.
I remember Stein’s shock of blond hair, which was always visible when he skied. I saw an interview once on TV where the interviewer asked him why he didn’t wear a hat. He replied that his hair was his most recognizable attribute. The interviewer asked how he kept his ears warm. Stein replied that he would cup them in his hands when he stopped. The interviewer asked what he did when it was too cold for that. He said with a wink, “Then it’s too cold to ski.”
Just after our last update, Dave Fons thanked us for the recap. Nice, Dave, thank you. Cyd Archer, daughter of the founder of Carousel Mountain said she had information for us about the hill. I will contact her to let her know how to send it to us and point her to our Carousel Mountain page.
Galen Walter commented on our Big M page in response to Bill Jennings that he remembers the 4:30 schuss. Bill responded to Galen that he remembers the Spaulding Sideral skis. I remember those, too, but I never had a pair. Andrew Brock said his family now owns TimberLee Hills and he would like any memorabilia anyone has from the area. Mary Henderson wants to know if Skyline is for sale. Don Shoals commented on Thunder Mountain that he remembers skiing great moguls there in the late ’70s. He said the skiing was good because it was only open on weekends and wasn’t groomed.
T. Yearego commented on our Mt. Grampian page that he would like a ticket, brochure or trail map to frame for a friend for Xmas. We hope someone was able to help him out. Mark Richardson left a couple detailed comments on our Franklin Hill page with pictures of the site, and Google Earth links, including his comments on the former locations of the lift and tow.
Dan Balluff left a comment on the Lansing Ski Club page that he taught x-c skiing there for Harold Brunvand in 78-79. Jan Harold Brunvand replied that his father, Harold Norman Brunvand, was a founding member of LCS in ’48. He remembers being taken at the age of 15 to Rollie Stebbin’s home on Morse River Rd. where Rollie had set up a rope tow in his backyard. Harold still skis 70-80 days a year at the age of 82. he now lives in Salt Lake City.
“ne” left a comment that he tried to find our Black mountain page from a link on Google, but the link didn’t work. He suspected possible government interference. I think he was being facetious, I don’t think the government would have any interest in blocking access to our site. I tried the link from Google and it worked for me. I suggested that he go to our home page and follow the navigation bar. In case you are having the same problem, the link for the Black Mountain page is: https://milsap.wordpress.com/regions/northeast-lower-peninsula-areas/cheboygan/black-mountain-ski-area-cheboygan/
Please keep those comments coming to our blog and check out our Facebook page. We love to hear more about the old days (and modern days) of skiing in Michigan. We’ll try to have a year-end update out just after New Year’s with a summary of YOUR activity for the past year from WordPress and, maybe, Facebook. In the mean time, have a very Happy New Year, try to patronize Michigan ski areas, and THINK SNOW!
Bob Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project